Fall is here, and it’s the best time of year for setting new goals, getting a pumpkin latte, and hitting the road to cruise through nature and all its glory. Nearly 40 percent of Americans will be heading out on road trips this fall. If you’re a part of that crowd but haven’t quite figured out where to go or how to build this trip on a budget, we’ve got you covered with some tips so you can have more fun this fall.
Go Out for a Hike, Apple and Pumpkin Picking, and Hayrides
Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors, and there are a ton of autumn-centric activities you can do that will cost very little. Some things, like hiking, don’t cost a dime. Other classic fall activities that are great for you and your whole family without breaking the bank are apple picking, pumpkin picking, corn mazes, hayrides, and haunted houses. Just about every region in the United States offers some variation on these seasonal pastimes.
Get Prices on Orchards and Farms Ahead of Time
If you want to pick apples or pumpkins, plan by comparing the costs of different orchards and farms. Some orchards will take a more substantial chunk out of your wallet than others. Prices will be available on their websites, or you can call them up. If you’re interested in other activities like hayrides and corn mazes, compare those prices as well. In some places, these activities will be free or at least included in the amount of admission. Though at some places you might have to pay a little extra.
Use Gas Rewards Credit Card and Gas Station Loyalty Programs
The cost of gas is rising in certain parts of the nation. Unless you drive a fuel-efficient car, these hefty costs can add prohibitive financial stress to what would otherwise be a relaxing trip. There are a few ways to minimize expenses. If you have a gas credit card, make sure to use it when you fill up at the pump as you will get cashback rewards. Also, before you head out on your trip, look into loyalty programs. BP, Shell, and other chains offer programs that save you a few cents on every gallon or help you rack up points for future savings.
Pack a Cooler
Sitting in a car for an extended period can make you hungry, and rest stops don’t usually provide healthy and affordable options. Instead, pack up a cooler before you hit the road for your trip. That way, you can pack your car with more healthy options to snack on as you travel. If you are traveling with young children, try putting together a thermos of hot cider or cocoa, and pack bags of easy snacking food like Cheerios and Pop-Tarts. You can always stop at a supermarket if you need to restock.
Build a Road Trip Around a Thanksgiving Family Visit
Here’s a great suggestion from Winner VW in Dover, DE. If you’re planning on taking a trip to visit family members out of state for Thanksgiving, consider driving instead of flying. You might miss the peak of fall foliage, but building a trip around the holiday might help you unwind from family stress and save on hotels. Although the best answer to an affordable road trip is to take the opportunity to visit family and stay with them as a way of cutting out hotel costs.
Though many will take a vacation in the summer, save a week for fall as it is an excellent time of year to get out and see the country! Using these tips will help you save money and maximize your fun. Enjoy the fall season!