This year, Thanksgiving Day travel may be easier now that most travel restrictions have lifted, but the early days of the pandemic might have a lingering effect on your budget.
Here are some things you should think over before committing to your holiday road trip. Below, you’ll find some ideas to help you plan an affordable trip.
Prime Your Emergency Fund
The last thing you want to think about is how a fender bender or blown tire could postpone your trip, but it’s in your best interest to brainstorm how you would handle these roadside challenges.
If you don’t save before things go south, you have a couple of backups to help you. Firstly, your insurance can help you cover the big stuff, like an accident that leads to property damage or medical bills, so it’s a good idea to review how your policy works before you leave home.
For smaller repairs or out-of-pocket costs, an online loan might be the next best option. Online loans provide a safety net for when you don’t have enough savings in your emergency fund.
You can start your search for one simply by typing this into your search engine: cash loans near me. Shop around until you find a loan online that offers the funds you need at affordable rates.
Get a Tune-Up
Is your car ready for the trek? You can avoid preventable breakdowns and other repairs by scheduling a tune-up before you hit the road.
While insurance or an online loan might be helpful in an emergency, a tune-up is an expected procedure in your regular vehicle care. Since you can expect to make ongoing maintenance to improve your vehicle’s performance, it should be a fixed expense in your budget.
You’ll also want to sit down with your budget to see how you can set aside cash each month for your usual auto costs.
The AAA estimates your routine maintenance costs an average of $0.09 per mile. If you drive roughly 10,000 miles a year, that’s $900 in repairs. That breaks down to $75 per month — these small, monthly contributions add up over the year until you can afford a necessary oil change or emissions test.
If you don’t have the kind of disposable cash to cover a tune-up upfront, ask your mechanic if they have an affordable financing option. Or you can try asking friends and family if they know their way under the hood.
Plan out Your Route
Don’t wait until you’re ready to pull out of your drive to input your destination into Google Maps. You’ll want to think about your journey in advance to help you plan the most cost-efficient route.
With advanced planning, you can organize your trip, avoid unnecessary toll roads, and visit the cheapest gas stations.
Adjust Your Driving to the Conditions
With Thanksgiving falling at the end of the year, you could be driving through fall’s worst weather. Rain, fog, sleet, and high winds could stand in the way of you getting your piece of pumpkin pie. Even snow and ice aren’t unheard of at the end of November!
To make sure you arrive safe and sound in time for dinner, check out these winter driving tips. Pay attention to the conditions, slow down when appropriate, and give every vehicle a generous cushion.
Travelling on a budget is possible — just remember these tips before you put the pedal to the metal.