How To Plan An Epic Family Road Trip…On A Budget! Ask almost any adult about a favorite childhood memory. Guaranteed, one of the Top Three will be about a trip the family took together.
“Remember when?” “I couldn’t believe it when…” Years from now, these stories are the best part of get-togethers and reunions. The summer road trip may not be an annual event.
While that is a pity, less-frequent trips mean making them special is even more important. So, it is essential to spend a fortune on an epic family vacation. Go bankrupt if necessary.
Just checking to see if you were paying attention.
Plan An Epic Family Road Trip…On A Budget
The truth is, you can make great memories and make them on a budget that is comfortable for you. How do we know?
Here are some tips to plan an epic family road trip, on a budget.
Prioritize the Agenda
It isn’t enough to say, “These are the 20 things I want out of our trip.” Rank order the list. Are you going to a beach resort? Do you want a day to shop ’til you drop? Do you want ample kid’s activities? Does your family like sports?
Make a Budget…then Add 10%
You can plan to utter exhaustion. But you will still spend more than you expected. It is the nature of the word “vacation.” You lose your mind, just a little, and some money vacates your wallet. So, build a budget for this vacation reality. Conversely, if the budget has a hard ceiling, plan your road trip around that. But, leave 10% over the top for unexpected beanie earrings at the ballgame.
Plan Lodging Within You Budget, But Not at the Expense of Health and Wellness
As a family, you will likely never spend the night in The Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson. First of all, it’s in Switzerland. It also runs $80,000 a night.
Does that sound okay? If so, you don’t need to read any further. Families who vacation on a budget should look for nice places, but ones that cost less per night than your first home.
Here is where a travel resource comes in handy. Go to tripadvisor.com, and find the city in which you want to stay. There you will find the hotels and motels listed under “Traveler Ranked.” Select a lodging choice that fits your per night budget, but never, EVER, drop below halfway down the list. Raise your lodging budget if necessary. It isn’t worth $20 to share a bed with weevils.
Don’t Forget the Great Outdoors
While the focal point of your vacation may be a Disney resort, don’t neglect Mother Nature. There are 58 National Parks in this country and an annual pass to see them all is just $80 from the National Park Service. This might be a good year to get one. There is talk that the price may go up, by a lot, next year.
This one may be the hardest one of all. Who knows when you will be this close to the World’s Largest Ball of Paint? (A real thing in Indiana.)
Surely, you can stuff that three-hour round-trip into your vacation. Take a deep breath. The Paint Ball may not be worth the extra time in the car with two restless kids in the back seat, playing “He’s on MY SIDE of the LINE!”
Those are our epic family trip tips, but they are guidelines only. Make your memories on the roads of America. We can’t wait to see the pictures.