How to avoid unexpected road trip expenses

A road trip is a great way to see the country but if you don’t plan, you can drain your budget with unexpected expenses.

The best way to avoid surprises on your road trip is to plan your expenses before you leave. Make a quick checklist of what you need to budget for and where you’ll be spending your money.

Checklist:

  • Fuel

  • Fuel prices can vary in different cities so make sure that you allow some extra money to fill up your tank.

  • Breakdowns

  • To avoid car service charges, check all fluids under your bonnet. Make sure all tyres have enough tread and are filled to the correct pressure, including the spare. Check hoses and belts for leaks or cracks and replace any that look worn. If you are not a member of the RACQ, join before you leave home. Pack an emergency kit of jumper leads, a reflective safety triangle, torch, tyre pump and a first-aid kit.

  • Food and drink

  • Save money by making your own snacks and packing them for daily consumption, rather than in bulk. This reduces your expenses on impulse buys full of calories at the service station.

  • Plan your route

  • Plan your route before you depart. Use a GPS system to avoid getting lost or driving the longest routes and wasting fuel. If you’re planning to stay in motels or hotels, book in advance. If you plan to visit attractions that charge fees, check online before you leave. You can often get discount entry tickets by booking online in advance.

  • Accidents

  • Make sure you are full covered for insurance before you leave. RACQ provides car insurance for all cars and motorcycles registered in Queensland against loss and damage.