Trucker Thanksgiving Trip
Money Saving Tips
had a Thanksgiving trip over the road in
a big truck three times.
What we mean is that we were under a load and
while lots of folks in the USA enjoyed that holiday and "Black
Friday" (the day
after Thanksgiving -- known as the "biggest shopping day of the year")
as time off work.
We certainly didn't feel sorry for ourselves. We
jobs and were earning money. The freight was good for the 9-week
stretch from October to Christmas.
Of course, our family consisted of just
the two of us,
so there was no push for us to "be home." Our truck was our home during
those times since we were "homeless"
If you have to be "on the road" and taking a
Thanksgiving trip yourself, opportunities for savings still abound.
We'll reveal some things that you can do even on or from the road.
Money saving tips:
For your convenience, we have broken up our money saving tips into the
categories as shown below.
- There may still be truck stops
that offer a free
meal to CDL drivers in their restaurants on Thanksgiving
Day. The first two years we
drove OTR, we enjoyed such a meal at truck stops in New Mexico. All we
had to do was show our commercial drivers licenses. For a
list of various chains, see our diesel
fuel prices page.
you cannot find a freebie
meal, you can make
one for less money than some expensive truck stop meals (the ones that
or 4 meats on the buffet and all the traditional Thanksgiving side
We detailed this on our Thanksgiving
Dinner page and video.
If you don't like turkey or ham
as entrees, then
eat what you like. Still, the prices of traditional Thanksgiving meats
may be lower at this time of year.
You don't have to get a regular
turkey; a turkey breast
can fit down into many medium-sized crock
pots to cook.
Tips: Shopping and Finances
- Since you're in a big rig and
the parking lots
for many stores may be jammed full of shoppers, don't try to
compete for space. Shop ahead of time for foodstuffs,
such as early in
- Be aware that some Black Friday
sales are available only on
the web (over the Internet). Some
stores' websites have certain items
listed for sale only online year-round. Furthermore, some stores are
having "pre-Black Friday" sales this year.
- If you
usually use a credit
card to pay for your
purchases, don't forget to look for special savings or cash back
rewards points for certain categories of purchases during certain
One of our favorite credit cards increase the
percentage of cash back rewards from 1% to 5% during certain months for
certain categories of goods.
Of course, you don't want to buy more than
you normally would
just to get the rewards. You still have to pay for what you charge.
- Hopefully, you've been working
on meeting the
you set and have saved up money for whatever Christmas
gifts you want to buy this year. The money you saved will help you
either pay cash or avoid paying interest on your credit card balance
(if you have one). As
one astute speaker said, "Some people pay interest,
interest. Which are you?" Personally, we'd rather be earning interest
than paying it.
- If this is the time of year
when you normally do
your Christmas shopping, it might be a good idea to evaluate why you
We have a friend who visited an out-of-town
relative during Christmas 2010. When gifts were exchanged, he expressed
to us his dismay over the size (cost) of the gift he received versus
what he had been given, especially in contrast to what the relative
gave others in the family.
This mental "comparison" of gifts tends to
lead to competition or bitterness, neither of which is healthy.
urged our friend not to focus on the size of the gift because he didn't
know what was in his relative's heart, mind or budget.
- We cover trucker
accessories separately. These are tools that are good to use
in your truck all year long.
- No one
can take your place at
home. Do what you can to ease the ache of family members who want you
to be home at this time of the year when you can't be.
If you can't be home on Thanksgiving, family members will most likely
appreciate it if you contact them,
such as by calling on the phone. An alternative to calling is to
email. It's also faster than mailing home a card (even though you can
do that, too).
If your trucking
pays a holiday bonus (for OTR drivers) or time-and-a-half (for local
drivers) or some higher pay rate than you would normally be paid --
just for working on Thanksgiving Day -- this may be too big an
incentive to pass by. Discuss this with your loved ones. It is possible
that your home
support team can celebrate the holiday with you on a
Tips: Traffic and Traveling
it works well for you, see
if you can avoid big
snarls of traffic by routing yourself around areas that are prone to
Some GPS units may be able to help.
You can view current
traffic conditions (inasmuch as they have been updated) on Google Maps.
When you pull up a map, click on the box in the upper right hand
corner. (If you receive Internet while traveling, be aware that traffic
updates take up more data than views of roads.)
- In 2011, the American Trucking
Associations published a news release citing AAA's
prediction that "[o]ver 42.5 million motorists are expected to travel
over 50 miles" this year between Wednesday and Sunday of the
In 2013, the number of Thanksgiving trip travelers was expected to be 43.4 million.(link)
- While traveling, allow plenty
distance and anticipate the moves of other motorists.
- Wherever you park, be aware of
the potential for
slick spots at freezing or near-freezing temperatures, for both you and
truck. Sometimes leaves
that fall can cover a slushy or icy spot that, when stepped on, can
right out from under your feet. Unless the ground is perfectly dry in
freezing temperatures, there is always a potential hazard.
- Use three
points of contact when getting out of or into your truck. Flatbed
drivers need to be especially careful when getting up on their loads in
Tips: Give Thanks
practice to give
thanks. Many of us have been
blessed by our Creator in many ways. You may wish to read about the origin of America's annual Thanksgiving Day
or our Thanksgiving
- It's also helpful to remember
the folks who have helped you get where
you are or are helping you get where you want to be. Who is on
your list to
receive a word of thanks?
- We are grateful to you, our
readers, for helping us make Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com the
place on the web to help all professional truck drivers save money.
Thanks so much.
Thanksgiving Trip Money Saving Tips to our Budgeting page
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Recommended Trucker Accessories