Its summertime, and for us that means lots of road trips! Some people fly to their destinations, we road trip it. For us, flying is impractical for 6 people so we drive almost everywhere we go.
We have been out of town more often than usual lately, but we have one more to go and are thinking that this will be it for a while :-) Trips are fun...but exhausting and can put a serious drain on your budget.
There are some ways to cut costs and have fun at the same time:
* Pack your own food. This is huge for us. A fast food drive thru just isnt in my budget all the time, and with Tim and I both trying to drop some pounds, eating from home is a much healthier option. We pack a variety of snacks and fresh fruits. If I am traveling over a mealtime, sandwiches are packed with no complaint. We have a small cooler that sits right between our seats that holds drinks and perishables.
Since a trip through the drive thru can run us at least 25 dollars, we save a significant amount on bringing our food...especially when I bring stockpiled food :-)
* check your tire pressures and air filters. Both of these can seriously affect your gas mileage. By keeping up on routine maintence, you will not only save money, but keep your car in top running order
* Stay with family or friends. For us, most of our roadtrips are to stay with family or friends....or camping. We do a big vacay once a year (disney this year) but for our weekend jaunts, we try to never have to pay for a hotel. It is great to stay with family or friends that we havent seen in a while, or camping is a great treat for all of us to get out and explore the great outdoors.
* Stick with the free or cheap. Discounts are everywhere...we take road trips to state parks to lie on the beach. It runs us a total of 10 dollars for some great family time. We go to zoos and museums in other cities that give us a great experience with very little outlay since they offer reciprocal memberships with our zoo and science museum. Google and search for discounts on everything from resturants to activities to see what you can do without breaking the bank.
So what are your favorite tips for roadtrips? What about tips to keep your kids busy while you drive?