Road, Destination, Mountains, Sky, Landscape, Direction

Ready to take your family on the road trip of a lifetime? If so, you will need to think outside the box when it comes to planning. However, you may also need to find ways to save on your road trip costs.

Thankfully, some of the best ways to amp up your family adventure are also some of the easiest ways to cut down on those expenses. So, before you start gassing and packing up, keep these budget-friendly family road trip steps in mind.

Get Your Car Road-Trip Ready

If you’re taking the family sedan on your road trip adventure, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape because you will be racking up miles, not to mention wear and tear, on a vehicle your family will depend on. Before heading out, schedule a maintenance checkup at your mechanic to prevent having to pay for expensive repairs in case something goes wrong on your trip.

Your mechanic should check your battery, tires, and exterior lights and if you’re oil needs to be changed. You may need to have your brake pads replaced if they are worn. If you need new brake pads, be sure they’re the recommended size and material for your vehicle.

Look for More Creative Family Accommodations

Whether you decide to take a car you already own or buy one especially for traveling, you’re going to need some places to rest along the way. If you do purchase a larger van or SUV for your road trip adventures, you can actually use that extra space to camp.

Camping in your car is something that avid outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers are fairly used to, but you can make it work for your family with enough space.

Toss some sleeping bags and blankets into the back for a minimalist experience that will barely cost a dime. If camping in your car won’t work for your family, you can also check out camping sites where you can pitch a tent, dock your RV, or book a cabin to sleep in additional comfort.

For those who prefer more traditional sleeping arrangements, you can always search for a convenient hotel or Airbnb. If you do go for a hotel, be sure to map out your accommodations along the way and do some homework online to find the best room rates for your budget.

Save Calories and Money by Packing Your Own Food

If you haven’t been on many road trips, you should know that the options for healthy meals on the road tend to be limited. For families who want to take a cross-country trip, be prepared for endless amounts of fast food, diner fare, and truck stop snacks. Or, make sure you’re really prepared by packing a couple of coolers as you go.

To keep messes and the need to utensils down, go for snacks and meals that can be eaten with your hands. Think string cheese, fruits, and even PB&J sandwiches. You should also save some room for plenty of water, so you can stay hydrated on your journey without countless pit stops.

Thinking about doing some of that car camping mentioned above? Then bring a portable grill along or a cast iron skillet so you can prepare some delicious camping meals for your family. You can prep breakfasts, lunches, and dinners without a kitchen if you have the right ingredients and tools.

Planning a road trip always takes work, but planning a trip that’s exciting for everyone on a budget takes some special savvy. To make your trip memorable, as well as make the most of your vacation budget, you may need to try something different. Daring is at the heart of any memorable adventure, so take a chance when you take your next family road trip.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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