A vacation is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle for any family. After all, the monotony of life at home can get too much at times. So, packing a suitcase and hitting the road is a great stress reliever. Plus, it’s also a fantastic way to bond as a family, even if arguments are inevitable!

The only problem is the cost. Family road trips, especially ones in this country, are expensive and put lots of people off going in the first place. Unfortunately, your budget may be a deciding factor, and it may also ruin what you plan on being an incredible journey.

Of course, if you could avoid any unnecessary costs, that would be helpful. Luckily for you, it is possible if you carry on reading. Here are the tricks that will keep the cost of your family vacation down this summer. Just hope that the open road is ready for you and your family!

Plan The Route

One of the great things about a road trip is the sense of freedom. When you’re behind the wheel, you can go wherever with a turn of the wheel. However, taking multiple detours shouldn’t be part of the plan. As soon as you leave the route, it becomes a waste of gas because you have to use more fuel to get back on track.

If a detour is miles out of the way, it can be a huge money spinner, and not in a good way. The trick is to stick to the plan as much as possible unless there is something everyone wants to visit. This doesn’t mean that there is zero freedom as some of the best sights are the ones you happen across out of the blue.

Create A Budget

Families that have a good time all share one thing in common – they lose track of money. Even though the expenditures aren’t massive, they do add up in the end. Yep, even the ice cream you got for the kids that time you stopped for gas. Again, there is no need to act like Ebenezer Scrooge because you are on vacation. Still, making unnecessary purchases should be kept to a minimum.

And, the best way to do that is to create a budget. When you know how much you have to spend per day, you can keep on top of your finances. As soon as you start to hit the red line, you can cut back. What’s great about this technique is that money from the previous day can roll over into another day’s budget. So, you can still be liberal and keep money in mind at the same time.

Pack Intelligently

Do you like to pack thoroughly, or are you more of a throw it all in and hope for the best packer? If you’re the latter, it’s time to change for the sake of your holiday funds. In truth, everything that a family needs for their time away is available at home. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sun cream or a travel hairdryer because it’s lying around someplace.

As such, there is no reason to spend money on additional accessories once you’re on the road. Quite simply, it’s a waste of money that you can put to better use. By packing wisely with tips from skyscanner.net, it is possible to cut out the expenses that put a strain on the credit card.

Anything that you can’t find at home is often cheaper to buy locally, too. So, if you do have to buy something, try and do it before you leave and the prices rise.

Shop Around Car Hire Stores

Obviously, the vehicle is going to be one of the biggest expenses. Okay, some people just take their car and cut out this expense straight away, but it isn’t always so simple. When a family goes on vacation, there is a lot that follows, and that’s without the luggage! Not to put a dampener on things, but your current motor may not be sufficient, which is where a car hire company comes into play.

Before you make a decision, it’s vital that you shop around for a bargain. These firms are competitive, and they will undercut their rivals. Also, don’t be too proud to use discount codes and coupons.

At the moment, CouponSherpa.com has a great deal on Hertz vehicles that will take a chunk off the final price. Finally, take the car back to the same office. When you drop it off at a different location, the rental company adds a hefty fee to the price.

Lose The AC

Yes, it’s summer, and yes the weather is boiling hot. But, just listen before because this is science in action. The air conditioning, although nice and cool, is costly. The reason is pretty basic: it needs fuel to keep it going. So, the more you use it, the more fuel you will have to use during the trip.

Now, this may appear like a small price to pay, but it isn’t the case. There is no doubt that gas prices are higher than ever before. Plus, the car you plan on hiring isn’t going to be fuel efficient, not it is big and bulky.

As a result, the amount of gas the vehicle will get through may amount to a sizeable amount of the budget. Anyway, there are other ways to keep cool, like opening a window. Or, drop the roof and let the wind flow through. Just make sure you apply lots of sunscreen if you opt for the second option!


Drive Smoothly

Yep, you guessed it – it’s all about fuel! As you probably know, the way a driver acts behind the wheel affects the fuel tank. In layman’s terms, the more erratic you are, the more gas you will waste.

It is that simple, and it is a fact which applies to the trip. With that in mind, keeping the car at a constant speed is a good move. Why? It’s because cars waste the most gas when they stop and start.

If the vehicle has a cruise control option, put it on and let the vehicle do the work. If you’re savvy, you’ll opt for an automatic transmission as manuals aren’t as fuel efficient. If a manual is unavoidable, get it up to speed and keep it in high gears.

Rank Sights & Attractions

You will have a list of sights that the whole family wants to see, and hopefully, you get to see as many as possible. However, there is a chance that some may be out of your price range. Or, it may be a cumulative problem, as in there are too many sights and the total cost becomes too large.

It isn’t nice, but ranking the top attractions is an effective solution. That way, there is no reason to visit any attractions which don’t make your list. The knock-on effect is that the budget doesn’t take an unnecessary beating over the course of the trip.

No one likes to admit it, but seeing every sight is just not possible. At least picking the main ones allows you to see the best and forget about the rest.


Double Up

Kids get to an age where they ‘must’ have their space because they are adults. When you’re at home, it’s better to tolerate this opinion to save a lot of grief. Plus, they are right to a degree. However, the flexibility isn’t the same on the road. Accommodation will account for a lot of your budget, so you need to come up with a way to keep it low.

The kids won’t like it, but getting them to share is the easiest and most effective method. When they bunk up together, there is only need for one or two rooms for the entire family.

Some people even ask for a spare mattress and fit everyone in a single motel room. For those of you with boys and girls, divide the genders up into teams to avoid any awkwardness.


Stay Away From Junk Food

It’s so easy to pull into the drive through and order a meal for five. The problem is the cost. Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot, a McDonald’s dinner does add up, particularly when you’re buying multiple meals.

Plus, junk food isn’t good for the kids, so it’s best to avoid where possible. Instead, head to the local store and fill up on supplies as they have everything you need at an affordable price. You don’t even need any cooking utensils as there are ready meals that are cheaper and healthier than takeout.

To take it one step further, buy a cool box and fill it with snacks for the upcoming journey. Then, there is no reason to stop off at the golden arches for lunch or dinner. Well, there is because it’s still delicious, but you get the drift.

With any luck, these tips will help keep the cost of the vacation down without taking from the experience.