We’ve all taken the traditional travel vacations; Disneyworld, Cancun, Ocean City, and every tourist trap spot in between. We take these trips because they’re predictable and easy and there is always enough stuff to keep your kids entertained long enough to keep them out of your hair for a couple of child-free moments. Not to mention, these places usually offer pretty good deals for families trying to enjoy a week away while still maintaining our budgets.
However, there’s one other thing about those trips; they’re average. Sure, your kids are going to have fun, but you’re going to leave without having enriched your life at all. Beach days may be awesome, but where’s the adventure? Where is the road trip travel spirit?
There are plenty of itineraries and maps for planned out road trips across the country, even trips involving kids. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean spontaneity needs to go out the window. You could make a plan for a trip, and then make a stop that each family member chooses. There are practical ways to make a cross-country trip, even if you’ve got a family. Here are some tips for driving across the country.
Top Travel Tips for Trips
1. Plan It Out – The trip can be practical if you’ve got a route planned out. Whether you choose to do it in your car or you rent an RV there needs to be a designated trip plan. If you don’t at least have a route in mind, then the trip could wind up costing a great deal of money, both in gas and added mileage. Side tip: Don’t always choose the most traveled route. There may be some cool stuff off the beaten path.
2. Watch for Deals – If you’re using your car, download some apps that can tell you where to find the cheapest gas, campgrounds, or hotels. If you’re renting an RV, shop around. RV rental facilities usually offer free miles or free days with several day streaks. There are ways to keep your costs pretty low, even if you’re staying in hotels. Side tip: If you’re traveling with kids during the summer season, look for hotels or campgrounds with pools. You’ll be able to keep them entertained for a day and you’ll get some time off the road.
3. Map Your Stops – You don’t have to have every minute of the road trip planned out, but keep some stops in mind so you’re not traveling outside of your designated route. Find out what’s located close to your route and let each person choose a stop they’d like to make. In the different states, you plan to stop, alternate who gets to choose. Side tip: If you’re traveling with kids, keep the choices limited.
4. Sleep Smart – Driving can be taxing, so sleep smart. Get your sleep when you can and sleep soundly. Don’t waste the time you have and create a schedule with the other drivers. Take naps when you can while someone else is driving. This way, you’ll always be refreshed and ready for the drive. Side tip: Don’t use sleeping aids if you’re having trouble falling asleep, as those drugs can cause a heck of a hangover the next day.
5. Mind the Rules of the Road – The number one thing you need to remain cognizant of is the different laws in the different states. Make sure you’re paying attention to state lines and make sure that you’re obeying the speed limit at all times. Nothing makes a road trip more expensive than traffic tickets. Keep your speed around the limit and watch for police. Side tip: Some states have a minimum and a maximum speed, so make sure you’re watching both.
Road trips are the classic way to travel, so make sure you take a really good one at least once in your life. You need to maintain a good plan, and you can keep your costs low enough to make the trip cost effective as well as super fun. Get out on the open road and reconnect with your friends or family!