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The first thing I think of is everyone pilling into the truck and driving to see family. Or opting for a road trip vacation instead of a flying vacation to save money. The idea sounds great. Traveling the open road stopping in unknown cities exploring new surroundings. Seeing new things and enjoying an ever changing adventure.
But a road trip with family can get expensive. Remember to set a road trip budget. How do you save money and survive a long road trip with kids?
Food is the first thing that comes to mind… “Mommy I’m hungry”
How many times have you left the drive way just to go into town and heard “Mommy I’m hungry or Mommy I’m thirsty”? Add is a few extra hours on a road trip and I can guarantee you will hear those words. Gas station beverage and snacks are expensive, so is restaurant take out.
When we road trip we pack snacks, water, tea and coffee. We have even packed a picnic lunch on one trip and had a family picnic in a city park. Why pay for snacks on the road if you can bring all the ones you love from home? We do bring a few “treats” for the road; snacks we don’t normally have everyday like specialty muffins or easy to travel lunch ideas.
Easy to travel snack ideas:
- fruit like apples and grapes
- crackers and cheese
- chips or veggie stix
- cut vegetables
- finger type foods
Great picnic lunch ideas (other than sandwiches):
- meat & cheese platter with crackers
- fruit & cheese platter with crackers
- picnic style chicken and salads
- portable BBQ and all the fixings
- leftovers done picnic style
When we travel we bring reusable personal water bottles that we can refill when we stop. This saves money, saves waste and the beverages will stay hot or cold depending on the right container. When my husband goes on long road trips he brings his portable oven so he can heat up leftovers, soups, stews and much more.
Plan for safety.
Road trips can be long and a million and one things can go wrong. Be prepared and plan ahead. Pack lots of water, changes of clothes, blankets. Car emergency kits. If someone has allergies make sure you pack what you need. We pack, or I should say I wear motion sickness bracelets on ALL our road trips. I am otherwise the worst traveler, motion sickness bracelets keeps the nausea away. When I ask everyone if they have everything, my husband asks me if my bracelets are on :).
Plan to stop.
When traveling with kids or with anyone plan to stop to use the facilities, stretch your legs, gas up or have snack. Periodic stops will break up the length of the trip and make time go by. When planning your trip research the towns you will drive through; is there a community festival going on or a tourist attraction worth seeing or a fun park to play in. A road trip doesn’t have to be drive, drive have fun along the way. Make some memories.
What to do? Activities along the way.
When we travel the portable DVD player is a must and my son brings his LeapPad. We also pack travel games, paper and pencils and a few toys. If you must “be connected” pack a portable travel router. If your child has a favorite toy or thing to do try and pack that. If you knit or crochet or if your spouse likes to read the local paper pack it. Make the trip fun bring something you like to do and something to help pass the time.
Planning ahead, packing lots of snacks and beverages and things to do will make your road trip memorable and save you money.
Have an amazing road trip.
Saving & Simplicity