Vacation can be an expensive thing for families to save up and budget for each year. Flying is definitely a faster way to get to your destination, but road trips can save money and create some wonderful memories. Taking a family road trip can be very fun and give you lots of bonding time. Everyone should take the time to spend a quality, fun trip with their families each summer. Here are some tips to take an affordable family road trip without busting the budget:
1. Plan Ahead
Look at the route you will be taking and plan ahead and designate any stops along the way. This will definitely help you save money. If the road trip takes a few days to get to your final destination, finding affordable accommodations along the way can prove very beneficial. Making a time sheet for your road trip can also be a wonderful way to outline your plans! If you are traveling with kids, proper planning is especially crucial.
2. Create a Budget
Before your road trip, sit down with your family and prioritize the activities that are “must-dos.” By outlining the most important stops, you will be able to budget accordingly. For example, your family might want to go to a theme park while on vacation, so save costs by picking cheaper accommodations. Try to create a budget for food, gas, lodging, and activities. Unexpected things might come up and plans could change, but it is much easier to save money when you have a budget plan to follow.
Cut more costs by packing a cooler of meals and snacks so your family doesn’t have to stop to eat at a restaurant for every meal along the way. Once you arrive at your destination, meal plan and take a trip to the grocery store to pick out food for the week. Allowing your kids to pick out staples they like at the grocery store can be a fun way for them to get involved!
3. Search Online for the Best Deals
Do your research! Check online to make educated purchases. Call the hotel directly to make sure there aren’t any events scheduled during your stay that can cause higher prices. Also, use online websites like Priceline or Kayak to ensure you are getting the best deal. You’ll be surprised how you really can save 30% or more on a hotel deal!
4. Get a Car Checkup
About a week before your road trip, take your car in for a checkup or thoroughly evaluate it on your own. Make sure your fluid levels, belts, lights, wipers, and your battery are all working efficiently. Your tires are also very important to the safety of your trip, so making sure they are properly inflated before hitting the road.
Taking the time to do some car maintenance before your trip can help prevent possible problems down the road, and save you unexpected costs during your trip. Consider using a rental car if your own vehicle doesn’t get great gas mileage, or if you want to limit the extra miles on your car.
Lauren Byrd is a contributing writer and media specialist for Mavis Discount Tire. She regularly produces content for a variety of family and lifestyle blogs based around driver safety tips, auto service tips, and more. You can follow her on Twitter.