There’s nothing quite like a road trip. Where else can you watch landscapes unfurl like a scroll before you? Or stop to photograph places that would make postcards jealous?
Whether you taxi through historic villages or drive through Death Valley, road trips are a fantastic way to discover new places without the stress of stuffy planes, hectic airports, and high price tags.
But if anything snaps you out of this nostalgic daydream, it’s remembering that you have to split road trip costs with friends.
How can you make sure everyone pays their fair share?
It’s a great question. Shared expenses can be confusing, tense, or awkward.
So, before you start clocking miles, you need a smart way to pool money so everyone splits road trip expenses fair and square.
Keep reading to see how Braid Money Pools fit the bill and how to set up your pool today.
- What are Braid Money Pools?
- What are the expenses of a road trip?
- How to set up Braid Pools for road trip expenses
- What is your road trip estimated cost?
- Gas cost road trip
- How much should I budget for food on a road trip?
What are Braid Money Pools?
A Braid Money Pool is a new place to collect, manage, and spend money with everyone on your road trip.
Braid Pools are free to set up and free to use. You can create as many pools as you need. For example, one for gas, one for food and drink, and one for reservation fees at parks or campgrounds.
It’s easy to pool money; anyone can contribute with a debit or credit card. Spending pool funds is hassle-free, too. Each pool comes with a free digital debit card that you can use wherever Mastercard is accepted.
The great thing about Braid is that it’s designed to be collaborative. You can invite as many people as you want into the pool. Together, you can view the pool balance, track transactions, and spend funds wherever your trip takes you.
Here are the most common road trip expenses you can manage with Braid Pools.
Don’t want to wait? Start your free Braid Money Pools here >
What are the expenses of a road trip?
The great thing about road trips is that you can make them as expensive or as budget-friendly as you’d like.
You can take a weekend trip or a weeklong tour. You can extend your stay if you like where you’ve landed. You won’t miss your flight if you do!
Whether you want a frugal trip or to go all out, start a group chat and figure out your shared expenses before the trip. This will minimize financial trouble on the road.
Shared expenses might include the following items:
- If you’re driving your car, do you need to schedule a service appointment for routine maintenance?
- If you’re renting a car, how much are rental costs, fees, insurance, etc.?
- AAA trip planner and roadside assistance
- Safety kit, that contains jumper cables, flashlight, reflective triangles, water, etc.
- Gas money
- Tolls and parking costs
- Accommodation, like Airbnb, Vrbo, hotels, campgrounds, cabins, etc.
- Campground costs
- Park reservations
- Food and drink
- Tickets for recreation
How to set up Braid Pools for road trip expenses
Whether you set up one general pool for all your trip expenses or set up several pools for different categories, Braid simplifies shared money on every leg of your journey. Check it out.
1. Start your Money Pool(s)
Once you sign up for Braid and create your first Money Pool, you can choose a color palette, add a photo, and name your pool, like “Road trip gas money” or “Snack Budget”, etc.
Braid Pools are free to use and you can keep them for as long as you need
You also can customize and share the Pool Link so people can contribute without using the Braid app. Keep reading to learn how to share your Pool Link and collect money.
2. Invite friends to join the pool
With Braid, it isn’t “your” money or “my” money. It’s “our” money. As pool admin, you can invite your friends to join the pool. Simply send them an invitation link.
As pool members, they can add money via bank transfers for free, view pool transactions, spend pool funds with the Braid debit card, and more.
Because Braid is collaborative and transparent, your Money Pool builds trust and accountability. It also keeps money troubles from putting a damper on your camaraderie.
3. Share the Pool Link
If your friends prefer to contribute without becoming pool members, all you need to do is send them your Pool Link. It can go anywhere: in text messages, group chats, social media, emails, etc.
With this link, anyone can contribute to the road trip fund with a debit card for free. Contributors who add money via credit cards are charged a 3% fee by Braid.
4. How to collect money for road trip expenses
Braid is a dedicated place for your road trip money. Everyone’s contributions stay in the Pool. They never mix with anyone’s checking or savings accounts. This makes it easy to manage and spend shared money as a group.
You never have to worry about maintenance fees or monthly fees either. Your pool is free.
With Braid, you can spend 100% of the money in your pool. No strings attached.
5. How to spend pool funds on your road trip
When it comes time to refill the tank, pay for parking, or buy tickets, it’s easy with Braid.
You can spend funds directly from the pool with the free digital debit card that comes with it. You can order a physical card for in-person spending, too.
This is ideal for road trip money because:
- You never have to worry about transferring funds to your account to spend them
- You don't have to track down banks or ATMs
- You never have to incur ATM fees if you can’t find your bank
Spending pool funds is a group effort. As pool admin, you can give any member permission to spend with the Braid card, too. If you need to freeze the card for any reason, you can do so in a few quick steps from the app.
What is your road trip estimated cost?
Calculate rough estimates before you put the keys in the ignition. This ensures that everyone contributes the correct amount and no one gets shorted. Here are some guidelines to consider.
Gas cost road trip
Use this step-by-step guide to calculate a reliable gas cost for your trip:
- How many miles will you drive? (1000 miles)
- What is your car’s mile-per-gallon/MPG (25 MPG)
- What is the average gas price? ($4.99)
- Divide the road trip miles by your car’s MPG. (100 miles / 25 MPG = 40)
- Take that number and multiply it by the average gas price. (40 x $4.99 = $199.60)
- Then, divide that number by the number of people on your trip. The result is how much everyone needs to pay into the pool. ($199.60 / 5 = $39.92)
You may want to consider the following factors when calculating gas money:
- If your car is more loaded than usual, it may reduce gas mileage
- Driving faster may reduce gas mileage, too
- Gas prices fluctuate throughout the country. Researching prices on Gas Buddy can help you calculate more accurate estimates
How much should I budget for food on a road trip?
You and your friends need fuel, too. Since service stations aren’t famous for their healthy offerings, you might want to budget for food.
The following questions can help you figure out a reasonable food budget:
- How much time will you spend in the car per day?
- How many times will you need to eat in the car?
- Will you need to buy groceries along the way?
- Do you need to purchase a cooler?
After you answer these questions, you’ll have a good idea of how much everyone needs to contribute to the food budget.
If you empty either the cooler or the food Money Pool during the trip, you can avoid hangry travelers easily. Simply add money back into the pool from your phones and voila - you can replenish the snack supply.
Braid Pools are your dedicated place for road trip money so everyone can save and spend together.