Planning a Summer Road Trip? Here's How to Cut Costs

Drivers expect to spend about $2 per mile on average, or about $1,000 on road trips this summer, according to an Experian survey.

Three girls (6-8 years) sitting on rear seat of car on road trip
(Image credit: This content is subject to copyright.)

Summertime — warm weather, t-shirts, concerts in the park… and budget-friendly road trips. Errr, not so fast. Although drivers plan to travel about 500 miles this summer, according to a new survey by Experian, motorists expect to shell out some serious cash. The survey found that 20% of motorists say they will spend between $1000 to $1,499, even though their average budget is only $1,007. Only 3% plan to spend $100 or less.

“Consumers may not have much control over some of the costs of their vacation, but there are many ways to prepare in advance so that they can save more,” says Rod Griffin, senior director of consumer education and advocacy for Experian. “I always suggest consumers make a budget before finalizing their vacation plans, then research costs for different accommodations, activities and experiences, and book those accordingly.”

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.