What’s more fun than a great vacation with a bunch of friends? How about a great vacation with a bunch of friends that doesn’t cost a lot of money?

My wife and I just spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with my family in St. Louis. Since we live in Dallas, it obviously takes a little bit of time and money to get from here to there.

A quick check of flight prices and it looks like it costs about $250 for a single round-trip ticket from Dallas to St. Louis. That makes it a $500 trip (not to mention renting a car), which would have priced us out of the trip entirely since we are saving as much money as possible for our house.

However, we were able to make the trip for just $120 by turning it into a road trip.

Okay, so this isn’t ground-breaking personal finance advice here, but it’s worth mentioning because gas prices just keep falling. It certainly helps that Missouri has the cheapest gas prices in the country, and Texas isn’t far behind at #5 according to Gas Buddy. For my geography majors out there, about half of our driving was in the state of Oklahoma, which has the 4th cheapest gas in the country.

Overall we paid about $2.50 a gallon for the 1,200 mile trip. That comes to $120 in a car that gets 25 miles a gallon on the highway, which is pretty darn cheap when you compare it to the plane ticket costs. We saved $380!

With gas prices so low it might be worth it to get a few friends together and plan a road trip. Maybe you want to go skiing in Colorado or hit beach in Florida while the rest of the country freezes their buns off.

Obviously Christmas is just around the corner, and if you haven’t bought plane tickets by now then you’re going to be looking at paying huge premiums to fly around the holidays.

My suggestion: take a road trip. Here are the benefits of driving to your next vacation destination:

  • Cheap gas = save money!
  • Avoid getting molested by TSA agents
  • Don’t have to rent a car once you reach your destination
  • Stop at exciting roadside attractions like the World’s Largest Rocking Chair
  • Did I mention it saves money!?

If you’ve been meaning to get a bunch of friends together to go somewhere fun and do something crazy, now seems like a great time to make it happen!