Thinking About a Classic Family Road Trip? 3 Planning Tips for Frugal Moms

Planning Tips for Frugal Moms

Let’s get real: the idea of packing up your entire family and every little belonging  to hit the open road may seem like a total nightmare, right?

Don’t discount the benefits of an old-school road trip quite yet, though.

From introducing your kids to the great outdoors to one-in-a-lifetime memories and chances to bond, families of all shapes and sizes should embrace the classic road trip. And sure, while it might be more tempting to just veg out or enjoy a staycation, exploring the open road is an experience like no other

But perhaps the most enticing aspect about a road trip versus the likes of flying?

They’re cheap.

Seriously.

As we learned from our recent trip to Yellowstone, If you’re looking for a frugal vacation, look no further than trekking via RV or even your own vehicle, if size permits. That said, there are tons of affordable RV rentals in Wisconsin and throughout the country that might meet your needs.

Now, based on our Yellowstone trip, here are three basic travel tips that you can use to make your road trip a reality.

Map Out Your Trek

This might seem like a no-brainer, but is crucial to both saving money and making sure there are no hiccups on the road.

Mapping out where you’re going to say and what you’re going to see via Google Maps is a must-do.

In fact, there were a couple of state parks we were considering in Wisconsin that were way too far away from Yellowstone to realistically check out. Obviously it pays to create a “path” of attractions and places to stay so you can progress to your destinations without too much back and forth.

Likewise, this makes  our time on the road more efficient so you’re not stuck in long stretches with your kids asking “Are we there yet?”

Pack Wisely

If you have the luxury of taking an RV, you can cram quite a bit into your vehicle even if you’re not exactly the most efficient packer.

Regardless of how you’re traveling, make sure to at the very least bring along the traditional kids road trip essentials such as…

  • Entertainment: from books to iPads and beyond, don’t assume that nature will do the job of keeping your kids occupied throughout an entire trip
  • Snacks: you never know when you might get stuck in traffic and likewise have limited options on the road, so it always pays to bring along non-perishables and plenty of water
  • Clothing: in addition to layering up, extra blankets, ponchos and underwear are always a good idea in case of any unexpected accidents or weather

As an added bonus, bringing these items along for the ride also keeps you from having to pay for them on the road.

When in Doubt, Take a Hike

In terms of things to do, just about any given state has their hiking hotspots and parks where you can spend the day with your kids without spending a dime. Of course, bear in mind some classic tips for hiking with children such as packing gear and checking the terrain conditions beforehand on a serious hike.

For example, we opted for Yellowstone partially because there were so many safety precautions in place and other popular trails were a bit too intense for the little ones. A simple Google search for kid-friendly parks and trails can clue you in on where to go.

Although the initial idea of trekking across the country with your kiddos might seem overwhelming, you can make it happen with the proper planning and precautions without breaking a sweat. The best part? You can enjoy a vacation that brings your family closer together while saving so much money in the process.

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