How To Save Money on a Road Trip

Tips to hit the highway for less.

A road trip is an affordable way to travel—but the costs of gas, hotels, food and essentials still add up. Fortunately, your AAA Membership offers many ways to make your journey more economical. Here is our advice for how to save money on a road trip.

How to Save Money on a Road Trip: Gas

Budgeting for fuel is wise, but how do you know where to find the best gas prices along your route? Remember these three tips for your gas tank.

  • Be on the lookout for Shell stations: AAA Members save at least 5¢ per gallon after joining the Fuel Rewards Program (terms apply).
  • Use the AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices near you.
  • Conserve gas by driving economically: accelerate gently, avoid high speeds, etc. 

How to Save Money on a Road Trip: Hotels & Restaurants

The AAA Diamond program includes in-person inspections. Use the “AAA Best of Housekeeping” filter to find hotels that meet general cleanliness standards.

Find AAA Diamond Hotels

Having the perfect place to spend the night after a full day of driving and exploring means a lot. Getting a room with a discount is a bonus. AAA Members save up to 20% at hotels across the country, including well-known brands like Marriott and Best Western.

Discounted dining is also something you can savor. From local bistros to national chains, use the AAA Mobile app to find restaurants near you—including ones that offer AAA Discounts.

These car maintenance tips can help you be ready.

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Our advice for how to save money on a road trip wouldn’t be complete without mentioning your vehicle. Getting it examined by a professional adds peace of mind to your road trip and reduces the chances of a costly breakdown.

At AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities, members get a free vehicle maintenance inspection upon request and a 10% discount (save up to $50) on labor for regular-price services. Need a car battery? A new AAA battery includes a six-year limited warranty and a member discount.

If you prefer the DIY route, AAA Members save 10% on parts and accessories at NAPA Auto Parts stores.

How to Save Money on a Road Trip: Tickets

Free attractions are a great way to save, but there will be times that you’ll want to see all that a city has to offer. From theme parks and zoos to shows and movies to CityPASS and Go City explorer passes, you can use your AAA Membership to get discounted admission to must-see sites across the country.

How to Save Money on a Road Trip: Essentials

Stock up on staples (here is our safety essentials packing list) by shopping through the AAA Dollars Online Mall at stores like Target, Walmart and Kohl’s. You’ll earn AAA Dollars that can be redeemed on select AAA purchases or applied to your annual membership renewal.

  • Need a new bag to tote everything in? AAA Members save 20% at Samsonite stores and online.
  • Good planning can help you earn AAA Dollars on your snacks from online stores such as Dollar General and Thrive Market.
  • AAA Members can earn 6% of their order in AAA Dollars when they purchase camping essentials at Camping World through
  • Going camping, hiking or biking? Save $50 on Beyond The Road, which offers emergency medical evacuation help and more. Go to
  • Plan your route to avoid tolls or save on an E-ZPass so you can budget for and prepay tolls, rather than digging for cash at each stop.
  • When you return home, document your road trip memories with printed photographs. Save with Thunder Bunny Labs, where you can crop photos into the shape of a state, and earn AAA Dollars from photo orders online with Walgreens.

How to Save Money on a Road Trip: Guided Tours

A guided tour can take you to amazing places—and spare you the driving. AAA Travel partners offer many types of guided tours, with exclusive access to must-see sites, knowledgeable guides to lead you and many member benefits. Our expert travel advisors can help you find the perfect tour. (They are also pros at helping you plan and save money when planning your road trip.)

How to Save Money on a Road Trip: Rental Cars

To avoid wear and tear on your car, you may want to pick a rental car company with great perks and updated safety and cleaning standards. The Hertz Gold Standard Clean includes a 15-point cleaning and disinfecting process, and AAA Members save up to 20% on a Hertz rental. Plus, you get the use of one child, infant or booster seat for free—a savings of $13.99 per day!

How to save money on a road trip: Take everything with you in an RV. Take advantage of special member pricing and up to $1,350 in bonus savings on new and used RVs, boats, motorcycles, and more at GoRollick. Or rent an RV with Outdoorsy and get an exclusive coupon for $40 off your first night. Learn more at

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