How to Plan Your Family Summer Road Trip on a Budget?

Driving Adventure

If your perfect idea of summer fun involves a road trip with your family, then it’s time for some planning. Of course, it’s fairly easy to organize a road trip when you don’t have to think about your budget. However, if you want to stay frugal but still have a blast on this trip, it’s important that you consider several different factors. Budget-friendly road trips don’t have to be less enjoyable if you plan ahead. The following tips may help you get more organized so read on.

Avoid the busiest time

If you want to save money on gas and accommodation, it would be best to avoid the peak of summer holiday season. Even if you don’t want to stay in a hotel, it’s still better to avoid the traffic at this point in the season. When everyone is on the road, the costs shoot up, so scheduling your own family road trip before or after the summer rush will be more budget-friendly and fun for families who just want to relax.

Consider camping


Camping is a really interesting part of road trips. Moreover, it can save you a lot of money on accommodation. Plenty of popular road trip routes have camping sites along the way. What’s more, the kids will absolutely love the chance to spend their nights in a tent, surrounded by nature. Make sure to have your outdoor gears, sleeping bags, tents, hiking gears and other camping essentials packed. That way, you’ll also be able to make a stop wherever you think is appropriate.

Prep your vehicle

Before you start your journey, it’s essential that you check the condition of your vehicle. Sudden problems on the road are not only inconvenient but they can cost you a lot of money as well. Therefore, it would be best to have a professional inspect your vehicle. If you want to be on the safe side, research affordable mobile mechanic as an option to replace your air filters and spark plugs. You may also want to consider bringing a tank of gas with you, just in case. 

Bring your own food

Improvised Van

Eating on the road can be really expensive but very bad for your stomach as well. If you don’t want your family to suffer from bowel problems during the trip, make sure to bring your own food with you. Canned, non-perishable goods are the best choice. You can also bring plenty of tasty and healthy snacks for the kids, such as granola bars, nuts, dry fruit and similar. Of course, don’t forget about water. The best way to stay hydrated on a long trip without wasting money is to bring reusable water bottles. Every time you get the opportunity, remember to refill them.

Plan the activities

In order to have a blast, it’s essential that you know your main stops on your road trip. Visiting museums and other historical places is usually pretty affordable. Moreover, research the natural sights along your route so that you can get the chance to enjoy this particular beauty as well. If you’re travelling with kids, it’s important to keep them entertained while on the road. There are plenty of interesting car drive activities for kids so make sure you have some of them prepared in advance.

If you plan your road trip beforehand and create your perfect itinerary on a budget, you won’t have to worry about unforeseen situations and/or costs. Stay safe by inspecting your vehicle before the road trip and make sure that you have enough water between the stops since summer sun can be really unforgiving. Then, all that’s left is to enjoy your family time and make some unforgettable memories together.

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About the author

Peter Minkoff

Peter is a lifestyle writer and a recent newly wed living in Brisbane, Australia. After graduating from Australian Institute of Creative Design, he worked as a fashion stylist and also as a freelance writer for few local magazines in Brisbane. Beside writing, he loves shopping, cooking exotic meals and traveling around tropical destinations with his hubby Josh. His future plans are in creating his personal lifestyle blog about everyday life-saving tips. Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter.
To read more of Peter’s writing, you may visit Voice Boks

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  1. These are all such great recommendations! We just got back from a 30-hour road trip, each way, split into 15 hour trips. It wasn’t easy, but I was surprised at how well the kids did! We saved so much on airfare and I completely agree with you about bringing your own food. Food on the road isn’t cheap OR healthy!

  2. Great tips! I love taking road trips with my family and I’m the queen of bringing too much. I’ve learned the hard way about eating on the road. I know bring a cooler with drinks and lots of dry foods that won’t melt, or make too much of a mess in the car!

  3. This comes in perfect timing as I plan to take my family on a road trip later this month! There were some great ideas that I needed to be reminded of.

  4. Really fabulous tips. I really love the suggestion to camp because you not only save money but you can enhance the experience!

  5. These are great tips! I know when my family was on a budget when I was younger, we went camping ALL THE TIME! My parents wanted to get us girls out of the house, so that was the easy, affordable weekend option

  6. Amazing tips! I love the one about checking ahead for places to get your car fixed! This has happened to me before, and that would have been helpful! Thanks for the tips! ?

  7. I’ve never done a road trip before and never really wanted to. The only thing I think I could do (or have ever wanted to do) is drive along the Northeaster Coast during the fall as the leaves are changing colors. I heard it is absolutely breathtaking!

  8. In love road trips but rarely get to go on them. We go caravanning for our summer holiday but are missing out this year for the sake of saving. Great tips here, thanks for sharing.

  9. I am looking to planning my own roadtrip with my boyfriend, hopefully husband in the near future. It’s not about the budgeting that matters, but the experiences together!

  10. Great tips I’ll keep in mind! I still haven’t planned anything this summer, I’ve been soooooo extremely busy and overwhelmed… but that is all the more reason to get something planned quick for my kids and I. This single mom life is kicking my butt, but I’ll work through it and make it happen for my kiddos! thanks for the list!

  11. These are some tips that I was needing. I am always wanting to take a family trip but one we’re on a budget and two, I do not know how my crazy 1 year old will handle the trip! <3


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