Summer is a great time to hit the road for an epic adventure. While it can be a cheap way to see interesting things and places, the expenses can add up if you don’t plan ahead.

Here are some great tips on how to have an amazing road trip without going over budget.

Get the car ready

Nothing puts a damper on things faster than a broke-down vehicle. Make sure your car is road-trip-ready. Even if it’s a newer model, you should pack up an emergency kit for repairing flats and jumper cables for dead batteries. Also, take care to fill the tires with the correct air pressure because it will get you better gas mileage.

Bring along your first few meals

When you’re traveling, you’re going to be eating out. However, make those meals special by waiting until you get to one of your marked destinations. Bring along a cooler and pack up sandwiches and cut-up fruits and veggies for the road. Bring drinks too. You’ll save so much that when you do get to your destination, you’ll have more money to enjoy on attractions and meals.

Pack your own snacks

Get the snack-sized zipper bags from the dollar store and fill them up with different things like your own homemade trail mix, chips, pretzels, and whatever the family likes. Bag them up in a brown bag and dole them out whenever the crew wants something to munch on.

Use frozen water bottles

When you pack up your cooler, fill it with frozen bottles of water. This way, you won’t need ice that will just melt anyway. And when the water thaws out, you can drink it. Win-win!

Plan ahead for free stops

During road trips, you’re going to need to stop for gas, bathroom breaks, or simply to stretch your legs. There are so many unusual and interesting things to see as you hit the great American roadways. Plan ahead and see what things you’ll be passing by and plan to stop at a few of them. It will make for great memories and most of these roadside attractions won’t cost a cent!

Go for cheap accommodations

If you like the great outdoors, plan to camp on your road trip travels. You can save loads of money over hotels and motels. Or if you’re just not into the outdoors, see if you can stay with friends or family along the way. It’s a great way to catch up and add to your adventure. Just be sure if you do stay with friends and family, that you give them notice and that your visit is welcomed. Don’t forget to bring a gift to say thanks too. And if there’s no one to stay with, there are great sites online that allow you to book accommodations that are cheaper than hotels. Airbnb is one of the most respected of these. Check them out!

Where will you hit the road this summer? Let me know!