Monday, September 25, 2017

My Love for the Road | Saving Money on Trips

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CambialoConQS #CollectiveBias

Road trips hold a special place in my heart.

Growing up, my family's sole mode of transportation for vacations was our car. We lived in Phoenix, from where it was easy to travel to California, Mexico and Nevada. I began to associate car tides with beach trips, Disneyland memories and quality time with family I didn't get to see regularly. I even remember the day my family moved from Mexico to Phoenix when I was 5 years old on a four-hour road trip through the desert. The drive has always been beautiful and special to me, and we did it often as a child to visit family. This instilled in me a love for the road that still lives on. I don't mind road trips at all as an adult because I had so much practice as a child.

When I became an adult, the urge to explore beyond the Southwest hit me hard. I wanted (and still do want) to see more of the country (and the world), something my family could not afford when I was a child. My little family now -- Graham, Victoria and me -- continues that tradition I learned as a child. Our first road trip with her was when she was baby and we took her to Rocky Point, Mexico, to meet some family members. But I want us to go beyond the places I have been to and to keep exploring new locations. That's why we packed our bags and took our toddler on a road trip to Clearwater, Orlando and the Florida Keys this year. It's why we planned a 9-hour road trip to Canada to see Niagara Falls and Toronto this summer. And it's why we are planning another major road trip this winter. Victoria will grow up being comfortable and safe in our family car, at least that's the goal!

With so much time spent on the road, I follow certain tips to save money during trips:
  • Avoid toll roads, but if you must take them, buy a pass ahead of time if it saves on the cost of tolls. 
We recently drove to Canada, crossing on toll bridges.
  • Use an app that tells you where to find the most affordable gas in your location.
  • Plan your trip times to avoid rush hour traffic as much as possible.
  • Research free or low-cost attractions along the route and choose those over more expensive options.
  • Shop for snacks and drinks (or a refillable water bottle) while you get your oil change at the Walmart Auto Care Center. Meal prep as you might for any other week and pack the meals in a cooler. A camping stove is great for rest-area or park picnics.
We like to make quesadillas (sometimes with black beans) as an easy on-the-go snack.
  • When buying gas, use a rewards credit card and pay it immediately. You can do the same for hotels, which you can usually book with a cash-back site to save more.
  • Camp along the way if possible!
We stopped at a park in Michigan recently.

As a one-car family that loves to travel, we need to make sure our car is well taken care of, and that means regular car care, including oil changes with a quality motor oil.  It also means being mindful about how we spend our money so we can have more left over for fun. That's why we get our oil changes at Walmart's Auto Care Center. Saving on oil changes helps me put money away toward exploring new places with my family. We are currently saving for our big cross-country drive as well as some international travel, and I am putting away every penny I can toward those trips.

To do so, I rely on the convenience of being able to shop for affordable groceries and other necessities while getting our oil change with Quaker State® oil at a low price. Walmart's Auto Care Center offers a $19.88 Pit Crew Oil Change service that includes 5 quarts of Quaker State® conventional motor oil (5W-20, 5W-30 or 10W-30), a new oil filter, chassis lubrication (where applicable), battery performance check and tire pressure adjustment as needed. (All of this meets industry standards, but see your vehicle's owner's manual for requirements.) Quaker State is a motor oil name I have grown up with: Its the top-selling brand in Latin America and with Latinos in the U.S. Those who prefer to change their own oil could easily pick up Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil for the everyday low price of $20.24, along with other Quaker State options at the Walmart Auto Care Center.

DIYers can find the 5 quart Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil and other Quaker State motor oils next to the Auto Care Center.

Do you have any road trips planned? Leave your money-saving tips in the comments and check out the Quaker State video linked below!

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