When the weather cools down and the leaves begin to turn, it’s great to head out on the open road for a few days of vacation. Road Trips can be relaxing, since you set the pace. There’s no worry about delayed flights or missed connections. And the best part? With a bit of planning, you can enjoy some fall travel this year without too much expense.
Are you in need of some affordable Fall travel advice to help you save money and prep your budget for a great fall vacation – regardless of your credit? If so, here are a few tips for you!
1: Make free and inexpensive experiences part of the fun. Scope out destinations that will be offering free live music in public spaces or free/low-cost festivals during your travel dates. Throughout the fall, you can find big events like the Smoky Mountain Elk Fest in North Carolina or the Fall Folk Arts Festival in Kingsport, Tennessee. Both of these events cost just $5 per person for those 12 and over, and they’re free for kids under 12. You can also research scenic overlooks at your destination and make adventures like seeing sunrises and sunsets part of the fun.
2: Choose a destination with gas costs in mind. Pick a place you can reach within just two hours of driving or less, so you can travel there and back on less than one tank of gas. And choose a place where you won’t use your car much once you arrive. This could be a town with plenty of sightseeing and restaurants reachable on foot. Or it might be a national park or other wilderness area where you and your family can hike, bike or both.
3: Pack food and drinks to bring with you. It’s easy to pack some breakfast staples that don’t require refrigeration (packets of oatmeal are one easy choice) and a cooler full of drinks, sandwich fixings and fresh fruit. That way, you can use your budget for a few special meals during your trip, but you won’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant. (Other budget-smart food choices: choose a hotel with free breakfast or stay at an Airbnb or VRBO, or a hotel room with a kitchen, so you can bring groceries from home and cook all or most of your meals.)
4: Save on digital data costs. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan for your cell phone, screen grab maps and directions before you go. That way, you don’t have to keep your GPS going the whole ride. Also, make sure kids don’t spend the ride gaming or streaming video that will gobble up data.
5: Make good choices as you pay for your trip. It’s always practical to plan ahead by spending less in the weeks ahead of a vacation. You might bring lunch to work instead of buying and scale back any avoidable expenses. And if your budget doesn’t have space for pulling back or those changes won’t provide enough extra money to fund your trip, you can strategize about how best to spread the cost of the trip over several months. Another good option: come in and talk with the “Friendly Franklin Folks” about a small personal loan that you can pay back on an affordable fixed payment schedule, rather than paying snowballing credit card interest rates that can grow. Even if you have had credit trouble in the past and may have poor credit now, 1st Franklin is here to work with you and figure out the best way to get you the personal loan you need. You can even begin your application online.
Wherever you may roam this fall, we hope our affordable Fall travel advice helps and you have a great time along the way!