Planning a Road Trip
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“Should I be planning a road trip?”

That is what a friend asked me while we were having dinner one night last week.

She was planning to fly, along with her children, to visit the grandparents for a summer break. She had never taken a road trip with the kids before, but she had heard the rest of us raving about how much fun a road trip can be, and she was curious.

If you’ve never done it, there are a lot of things to consider.

There are some great resources to help you plan your road trip. One is Road Trip Wise. You'll find lots of good info, from road trip suggestions to games to music.

This is the advice I gave to my friend who had never taken a road trip...

What is a road trip, anyway?

The term “road trip” can actually be found in the dictionary! Basically it is just what the name implies. A trip taken along the road. Sometimes by car, by motorcycle, or RV. I guess anything with wheels works!

It can be as long or as short and want it to be.

It can be driving to a particular travel destination, or my favorite…just driving and seeing where you end up for your vacation.

Can You Have a Cheap Road Trip?

That depends.

I usually travel very cheaply, myself, but it all depends on what choices you make as you are planning a road trip. Choices such as:

  • What restaurants will you eat at?

  • What hotels will you stay at?

  • What attractions will you visit?

  • How long will you be on the road?

    Cheap Road Trips - Read here about how what we look for in a road trip motel or hotel.

    Depending on the number of travelers, and how you choose to spend your money on lodging and meals really determines how much your road trip will cost. Gasoline for your vehicle is important too, but generally not as big a factor.

    But time on the road can be costly…in matter of time.

    If you only have a limited time for vacation from school or work, and want more time at your destination, you may decide it is worth to fly.

    But generally, our family likes to think that getting there is half the fun. So we usually opt for a road trip.

    If time is of the essence, and depending how much you’ll spend on the road, it can be cheaper to fly rather than drive.

    The Road Trip Advantage

    The biggest advantage of a road trip is getting to see the countryside. Visit the people in each place, shop locally, eat locally and really experience the places along the way.

    This is how those family vacations hidden gems are found.

    Our Road Trip Rule

    We have one rule on road trips.

    Actually two, but the most important is that if you see a sign for something that looks interesting and you want to visit something, just speak up. If we can, we’ll stop.

    That is another way we’ve found great hidden gems. So make part of your planning a road trip the non-planning...leave some room for flexibility.

    As I said, getting there is half the fun. Sometimes we’ll come to a fork in the road, and decide – “right or left”. You never know what you might find.

    The other rule – if we stop the car for someone to go the bathroom, everyone has to go. Sorry. But there is nothing worse than having to stop the car again another 10 minutes down the road for a bathroom when not everyone took a turn!

    More Resources for Planning a Road Trip

    Road Trip Games

    Road Trip Planning: Preparations to make and Tips for staying awake while driving

    Road Trip Activities: Pick Your Own Farms

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