5 Ways to save money on the Road

Life today is tough, as it has always been, the only difference may be that today, no matter how badly we may be under credit debt, we still can manage to get some time for travel. Thanks to a good and effective channel of traveling like never before. Though the air links and railways have grown out to be a good and reliable transportation means, but a road trip is always preferred when you wish to be close to nature amidst travelling. And as said, money may be an obstruction in a way but here I am going to tell you ways you can cut down your travel cost by 25-40%.

1. ITENIARY

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Planning and organizing every big and small aspect helps in a big manner when it comes to saving and cost cutting during a trip. When you are well aware of your itinerary and know what’s coming next, that means you have already planned things like:

- What means of transport / route you are going to follow with respect to the low traffic congestion and minimum tolls?

- Where shall you make your stops for lunch / dinner / snacks with the help of list of restaurant you already have shortlisted.

- Which hotel / motel / guest house, you are going to stop by with a desired budget and comfortable stay?

These micro level planning can help you save around 30-50% of your money as in case you have yet not done R&D, you might not be aware about what are the cheap / convenient transportation options towards your destiny and you might end up paying huge bills to a cab company. Similarly at the last moment when you feel hungry, you will look for any restaurant that comes first and you might even end up in a hotel that gives you a not so comfortable room at a huge price because of last minute booking. If you pen down your expenses on a trip, you will realize that a good trip consist of around more than one third of the share spent for shelter and similar on food and beverage.

For a better preview, have a look at the travel expense pie chart:

For a micro level planning, you may want to take in account the following aspects:

- Go for Cheapest and most comfortable mode of transportation,

- Find good hotels / guest house / dormitory / hostel and book in advance for a better deal.

- For places you may visit, check out the nearby restaurant on zomato with their ratings and feedback.

- For activities such as water sports and hiking etc. book a package in advance after comparing and getting a good deal among several other service providers.

- Try sharing. Be it a shelter in form of dormitory or hostel, or transport in term of sharing auto / cab / bus etc.., sharing means splitting and when you share, you just may in a fraction of a n overall cost.

- PACK A SANDWICH

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As viewed in pie chart, we may spend around 25% on food and beverage but we also spend a huge money on snacks and fast foods which can come under the 10% others category. Some essentials like mineral water shall never be neglected as water borne diseases could be a serious issue while on a trip but junk fast foods and snacks can be avoided if we have had enough supplies in our rucksack. This can be done for a Short trip as well as a trip of over 10 days. To understand this we should first understand what is craving. Craving is something that may occur when you feel hungry or when you just looked at chocolate cake poster which is quite common especially when you are on a trip and you see food advertisements, snack joints at every short distance and duration. To avoid this, you can pack your bags with can be chocolates, salted snacks such as peanuts, Cashew or even homemade snacks such as Mathi, Mathari etc. For some light food, you may pack a couple of sandwiches and a can of soda which shall instantly help you replenish your hunger for some time. For smokers while travelling, if you keep a Chewing gum, you may not get a craving. For longer duration trips, you can upgrade and replace your supply from time to time whenever you get across a grocery store. Also try to pack minimum and light snacks otherwise you may have to carry a substantial weight of your language that might only consist of snacks. Things you can pack are like:

- Sandwich those needs to be consumed same day

- Snack/protein bars such as Snickers

- Mini Gatorade / soda cans

- A can of tuna ( when you are really hungry)

- Sachet of proteins / electoral for instant energy

- Instant coffee/tea / green Tea packets

3. CONTROL YOUR SPEED

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If you are driving a car or bike, drive it at an economical speed as speeding will result in burning more and more gas and you shall end up paying a good sum over fuel gas. An economical speed in between that of 40-70km/hr. will give you the best mileage on road. If you drive a fancy BMW or similar sort of wheels, then you may have a higher speed under economical mileage section. And of course when you hit a freeway, you may want to accelerate as high as you can but when you are looking up to saving few currencies, you really need to slow down.

Driving at an economical speed also reduces your chances of car breakdown, flat tires caused due to expansion in tire by over speeding and hot weather and the last most important factor might be that it shall lower your chances of getting into any kind of minor or major road accidents and thus help you save all that money that you have ever earn and also the one you are going to make in future, No offense. When talking about a road trip, another very important factor is to take continuous naps and required sleep. When on road, you can take a short nap on any of the roadside dhaba’s that is on way specially if you are on a long and continuous drive. This may help you cut down expensive hotel stays and in case you need to drive for more than 8 hrs, try getting some rest in some motels on way.

4. TRY HITCHHIKING

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Hitchhiking as part of a trip was initially started out by Americans but today, we find hitchhikers all around. Hitching is means of commuting and transportation by asking people on roads, usually strangers for a ride in their car or vehicle. Though it may sound risky from places to places but if enough precautions are taken care of, if might prove to be a good way to save a lot of money especially on a cross country trips where flight fares can go substantially high, and with a good conversation and an effective communicational skills, people may love to give you a free ride along with a hosted lunch or dinner. A ride is usually, but not always free. Some means of transport such as goods carrier or a transporter may eventually ask you for a fixed or negotiable sum of amount which you may find very minimal when compared to the actual fares. Try getting lifts with families, lone riders and people who look comfortable giving you a ride and you are not intruding in their journey by any means. Also you need to follow your gut feeling when hitching. In case you feel the slightest of a bad vibe, don’t get into it. And especially for female travelers, if you are travelling alone, don’t try hitchhiking unless you have enough experience of it. All you need for a ride is a thumb up, a wide smile and a clean heart.

5. RELAX ! YOU ARE ON A HOLIDAY

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The most important factor from my point of view is to relax! You are on a holiday. I find many people those actually create an itinerary in a way that they wish to cover as much places and destinations as possible within a certain timeframe. I always wanted to give them a piece of advice to relax & chill. Remember, you have taken a break from your boring or hectic schedule and if you are running on a holiday too, what’s the difference. Try relaxing and chilling out to the most. Read a book, play some instrument or even try making friends with strangers and get into a conversation of your favorite topic or simply just like I do, sit down at the beach, get a can of chilled beer, relax and go into your own world of fascination and dreams. The best way to enjoy your time is to spend it as the way you like without looking at it and once you do, you gather all the positivity that has been missing since last few months. And also it provides you all the time you were looking for – to think about your next big move or just a moment of time alone, with yourself without the worries of the things those have been hovering upon. The Ideology is to find the inner peace and sources of gaining back all the energy and positivity that was lost in that concrete jungle. Trust me, it will not only help you save a lot but this kind of relaxed trip is what will give you an inner peace though not so many selfies.

Good luck travelling solo or in group. The next time you travel, just remember to be smart enough to make the right decision which may help you not only to avoid adding a figure to your current debt but can also help you save for the next one. Apart from travel, my personal experience is that this has not only helped me to get more organized but also made me creative enough to come out with better plans of managing at a micro level, professionally.

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