How to Manage Road Trips Expenses

How to Manage Road Trips Expenses

One thing that keeps many of us from heading out on a road trip is the belief that our car simply won’t be able to make the journey. It’s true that after a certain point in a vehicle’s life it’s a good idea to keep its journeys to a minimum, meaning even though you can happily (and safely) drive it to and from work every day, when it comes to heading out on a longer trip you should consider taking an alternative vehicle.

road trip
Photo credits: Marcin Wichary –


When you’re considering the expense of your road trip it may quickly occur to you that it’ll work our cheaper to lease a car rather than risk taking your old car out on a long journey. For affordable leasing plans, contact Leasing Option Ltd or a similar site to see what their rates are. Chances are you may be pleasantly surprised.

Of course, the cost of a leased vehicle isn’t going to be the only cost you’ll face over the duration of your road trip. In order to manage your expenses when you’re on the road, try and budget for the following costs before you even head out:


There’s one easy way to roughly budget for the amount of fuel you’ll need on your road trip, but in order to do so you’ll either have to ask the leasing company you’re leasing your car from how many miles it gets to the gallon, or you’ll have to lease it for a week or so ahead of your trip.

If you have to go with the latter option you should ensure the fuel tank is completely full before starting your experiment. Once it’s full, note the mileage figure shown on the car’s odometer and keep this number safe. Now you can use the car as normal, making sure you drive it around (whether to work or elsewhere) until it’s nearly empty. At this point you should check the car’s odometer again, and subtract the first number from the second number, giving you the number of miles you can roughly expect to achieve from a full tank.

With this information you can work out how many full tanks your leased car will need to complete your road trip, and thus work out a fairly accurate estimation of your road trip’s fuel cost.

Food (Your Fuel)

When you’re out on the road your cost of food (your own, personal fuel) is inevitably going to be higher than your food costs back home. Before heading out you should intend to manage your food expenses by:

–    Eating at cheaper restaurants: If you have the luxury of eating from several different places, always choose the most affordable.

–    Taking supermarket (and corner shop) food back to your hotel: If this is allowed you should shop at a nearby supermarket to take advantage of their lower prices, then take said food back to your hotel room to cook if you have a small kitchenette area.

Hotels and Lodging

Your hotel and lodging expenses when you’re on a road trip can sometimes be difficult to control due to your inability to know where you’re going to be ahead of time, meaning you’ll more often than not find yourself paying full price for last minute hotel rooms.

You’ll be able to keep some of your accommodation expenses down during your trip if you:

–    Occasionally sleep in your car,

–    Camp at registered, safe campsites whenever you’re near one,

–    Seek out cheap hostels rather than hotels.

Fun and Entertainment

Firstly, even though this is an article about managing your road trip expenses you should keep in mind that you’re allowed to enjoy yourselves, which is the very reason you were saving for a rainy aday in the first place.

Secondly, your fun and entertainment budget needn’t be large, but you should certainly put aside enough so you’re able to enjoy the local attractions of a city you stop in overnight, or catch a show on a whim if the mood takes you.

In conclusion, if you’ve finally decided to head out on a road trip in a leased vehicle you should take some time beforehand to figure out how you’re going to manage your expenses throughout the trip, putting special focus on your costs for fuel, food, hotels and lodging, and fun and entertainment.



Edward Luke is a freelance writer for Leasing Options, a company that has been delivering value and service for more than 23 years. They aim to provide clients with the best possible car rental deal.

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