Tired of being cooped up at home? Ready for on-the-go adventures? You’ll have even more fun with these easy tips and websites to save money along the way!
Spend $0 on entertainment.
Looking forward to stopping along your trip to enjoy outdoor events, museum exhibits or other activities? You can find free and low-cost entertainment by visiting Eventbrite.com (type in the zip code of your destination) and Facebook.com/events (change “Your City” on the Events Settings page). You’ll get a list of all the happenings in the area you’re headed to on the dates you’ll be there. Also smart: Log on to Groupon.com, change the location in the search box to your destination, then look for deals in the “Things to Do” category, which includes wine tastings, walking tours and more for up to 70 percent less than the original price.
Snag BOGO deals on food.
Before picking a place to eat on your trip, visit LocalSaver.com or RetailMeNot.com/coupons food and type in the zip code where you’ll be stopping for food. You’ll find coupons and deals for dine-in and take-out restaurants, like buy-one-get-one entrée offers and up to 50 percent off meals. And sign up for free loyalty programs for restaurants on your route, where you’ll earn free food for frequent visits. For example, Red Robin (RedRobin.com/royalty) gives you every 10th item you purchase for free, and after six purchases at Papa John’s (PapaJohns.com/papa-rewards), you get $10 in “Papa Dough” to spend at the eatery.
Dodge high prices on tolls.
The cost of tolls for roads and bridges averages $3 and can climb as high as $20, which can add up quickly. Luckily, dodging these pesky fees is easy. Whether you’re using a GPS system, Google Maps, MapQuest or the Waze app, most now offer an option to create a route that avoids tolls, which you can usually find in “settings.” Or, if creating a driving route yourself, log on to TollGuru.com/toll-info for maps of where tolls are located in every state so you can chart an alternate course.
Pay 25 cents less per gallon on gas.
Fuel pump prices are going up, but there’s an easy way to bring the cost back down: Download the free gas card from GasBuddy.com, and you’ll save up to 25 cents per gallon. Just link it to a debit card and use it to pay at the pump. The discount gets put right back into your bank account. For bonus savings, download the GasBuddy app (GasBuddy.com/gasback) and you’ll earn up to 10 percent cash back to your gas card when you make purchases at The Home Depot, Petco and other major retailers, which you can then redeem at the pump. Have a fuel loyalty card from your favorite gas station? You can stack many of these with your GasBuddy card, including Shell (FuelRewards.com) and Circle K (CircleK.com/easyrewards), to lower your fuel bill even more.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.