Tag Archives: road trip

Taking a road trip can be a wonderful vacation idea for you and your family. Loading up the car and driving somewhere is usually a cheaper way to travel than buying various airplane tickets. The journey of a road trip can provide wonderful sights and thrills along the way, rather than being clumped in a crowded flight, make a road trip its own reward.road trip


However, a road trip can just as easily turn into a major headache if you don’t plan for it. Traveling with the whole family in one car is surely going to turn up some challenges, but it’s still worth it. Here are some tips to make the family road trip go smoothly…road trip


Prepare some distractions for your kids


When you pack your kids into a car and expect them to sit there quietly all day, then you are invariably going to have problems. This is most families’ hesitation with taking a road trip, as it can be a horrendous experience if you are going to hear crying and bickering the whole time. For this reason, make sure that you plan out things for your kids to do on the road trip.


Think of some road trip games that the whole family can play, or give them a creative task to do while the drive is going. If all else fails, there’s also no shame in letting technology do some of the heavy lifting for you and getting some entertaining apps to hold their attention for a while during the longest stretches of road.


Budget what the drive will cost


While taking a road trip is definitely going to be cheaper than taking a flight, there are still going to be some deep costs for a long journey. You should expect this, but you can ease some of the travel pains on your wallet by thoroughly planning out the road trip and budgeting what it will cost you.


Once you get everything down and on paper, you can see ways that you can cut hotel costs, or ways that you can spend less on gas. Just make sure that you also budget yourself a cushion, because there are almost always things that come up that you just don’t expect.


Get your vehicle a checkup before you go


Nothing can wreck a road trip faster than having your transmission go out, or your engine stalling, in an area that you are unfamiliar with. Breakdowns are sure to add a great deal of stress to the trip, and can make your costs skyrocket. For this reason, it’s always worth the insurance and peace of mind to take your vehicle in for a checkup by a professional before a long drive, so that you can rest easy knowing that you can get where you’re going, safely.


Plan for regular bathroom breaks


When traveling with a large group of people, it’s important to understand that everyone’s bathroom habits aren’t going to suddenly synchronize, as beneficial as that would be. Don’t limit your family to only one, two, or even three bathroom breaks throughout the day. Plan for some regular stops so that they can relieve themselves and travel comfortably. This will make the trip much more pleasurable, believe me.road trip


Pack a wide variety of snacks


Getting hungry on a road trip is an easy shortcut to getting angry, and nobody wants that. Always make sure to pack enough snacks and drinks to keep everyone appeased for the duration of the trip. Sure, you’re probably still going to stop for a quick meal at an interesting place that you spot along the way, but you still want to make sure that everyone is staying hydrated and well-fed during the long stretches of road where you can’t stop. Don’t only stock up on sugary snacks, either, as that will lead to sugar highs and crashes, which won’t be fun in the full car. Make sure to get some healthy things in there, as well.



My husband and I have been planning this trip for a long time. We’ve been planing to drive across the United States for almost a year! You may ask why? I guess the major reason is for the adventure! I drove across the US as a 12 year old with my family and I have many memories of that trip both good and bad! It will definitely be an adventure and it will also give us the opportunity to scout out the Pacific Northwest, spend some time there and decide if we’d ever want to re-locate.waterfall

Now how are we going to save money on this trip and make it an economical trip? After all we just can’t fill up the car and take off! First we had to make sure our car was ready. Once we knew the car was ready for such a long trip we planned out our route. We plan to stay with friends and family along the way. Not only will it be fun to catch up with folks we haven’t seen in a long time but you can’t beat the price of a free room!

We also planned to save on food. We packed a cooler before we left full of healthy snacks like carrot sticks and apples. Along the way we plan to stop at local grocery stores and purchase sandwich stuff for lunches. When I was a kid and we went on family trips my mother would give us candy! Bad habit, as now I want to eat candy in the car! Not a healthy choice! I also packed a supply of my homemade granola. A few individual containers of yogurt and some homemade granola are the perfect snack.Granola and yogurt

Before we left we had our route mapped out. Using your smartphone or online maps and guidebooks it is easy to plan a route ahead of time. We know how many days we have for travel and where we want to go. However, we don’t want to spend hours in the car racing to our destination. And we want to see sites along the way. By allowing for sightseeing the trip will be much more enjoyable.Wall Drug Signs - 300 in state of SD

Before we left I also made any necessary reservations. Driving across country is tiring and it was nice to know we had a place to stay at the end of the day! This was especially important because we are traveling with a small dog! We have to find hotels that are pet friendly. I was quite surprised that this is relatively easy to do, so many hotels are now pet friendly!

It was fun to research attractions along the way. The Internet, guidebooks and our smartphone are all good resources for finding places that we don’t want to miss.

Mt. Rushmore

Mt. Rushmore

Most important was creating a realistic budget. Gas is a major expense and using Internet mapping to determine our approximate gas bill  gives us an idea of that cost.

Food costs will be a little trickier as we don’t want to eat out all the time. Having a dog with us limits where we can eat. We’ll have to resort to take out or creating simple meals we can pick up at a store. Having a small cooler in the car makes this easier.

We also  budgeted for emergencies, souvenirs and any costs for tolls or attractions.Frugal tip, prudent living

Once the car was taken  care of and we prepared ourselves for traveling with a small dog, we packed the car and were ready for our adventure! So far we’ve had a great four days on the road and have made it to Keystone, South Dakota where we will spend the next month before heading to the west coast. So far Riley has been a wonderful traveling companion and the car has done it’s job! Stay tuned for further adventures!

Riley enjoys these pet friendly hotels!

Riley enjoys these pet friendly hotels!

Never Miss a Post!

Find Me


Nancy’s Archives