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How Much Does a Road Trip Cost?

how much does a road trip cost

Itching to go on a vacation but don’t feel like dealing with the hassles of airport, bus or train travel? Time to take a road trip!

From being in charge of your own schedule to seeing sights you wouldn’t see otherwise, driving to your destination has its benefits. But, how much does a road trip cost?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for calculating overall price and budgeting to help you plan.

Rental cars

It’s definitely worth considering a rental car for your road trip. It can save your personal car from the wear and tear of a long journey, and can be a great chance to test out a new ride. When figuring out the cost of your road trip, the type of vehicle you rent is definitely part of the equation. For instance, a compact sedan will likely cost less than a turbocharged sports car. To get the best deals on your rental, be sure to take advantage of exclusive AAA membership benefits through Hertz.

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The type of accommodation you choose will also impact road trip cost. You’ll pay significantly more to stay at a luxury property versus a motel or a campground. AAA Diamonds are one way to gauge what a property will cost.

Your Own Wheels

If you’re calculating the expenses of taking a road trip using your own vehicle, you should consider the combined costs of maintenance, insurance, taxes, depreciation and finance costs. AAA has a handy tool to help you calculate the per mile cost of driving your car.


Gasoline prices change on a near daily basis, so it’s wise to make this calculation as close to your departure as possible. Research the cost of gas in the states you’re traveling through to plan the smartest route for fuel ups. The AAA Gas Cost Calculator is a good resource. The AAA Auto Club App also has a feature to find the cheapest gas.


It’s hard to come up with a sizable road trip route that doesn’t include a toll. Calculating your expected toll costs can be tricky. There are a few apps to try, and you can research toll costs with states’ transportation departments ahead of time. No matter what you choose, don’t leave home without budgeting for these expenses.


Your destination, how long you’ll be there and when you visit can all impact how much your road trip will cost. Disney parks, for example, price single-day tickets based on expected attendance. The busier the park will be, the more you should expect to pay. AAA travel advisors are good folks to talk to for advice on what you can expect to spend on attractions, and how might be able to use your membership to save.

What are your road trip plans this summer? Tell us in the comments. 

Ready to reserve your car? AAA members can save up to 20% on Hertz rentals.


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