Road trip Tips & Tricks

RoadtripeditedVacations and get-aways can be fun & exciting  but they can also be stressful and hard on your purse.  As most of you know, our family just took a big adventure about 3,000 some odd miles and traveled through about 9 different states!  Whew!  That is a lot of traveling in one weeks time.

When doing any kind of vacation, planning ahead is key!

Speaking of just this trip we took, I’m going to share things that worked for us and things that didn’t.  I’m also going to show you ways that you can cut costs when traveling with any size family.

First let me tackle packing!  Ugh!  I don’t know about you but this can be a major undertaking at my house.  Trying to coordinate outfits, shoes, socks, pj’s, & possibly a change of clothes for the younger ones that may have accidents.   The other thing I had to consider was the temperature change from where we were coming from to where we were heading.

Here is something that helped me while packing for our little ones.  (now…let me say I didn’t pack for my older girls who are 16 & 14 and I did ask to see my oldest sons clothes who is 11) The rest of the gang I packed myself.  Here is how I did it…..

First I started out with separating their clothes into piles according to each day that we were going to be gone.  (everything in the pile included undies & socks)



Second, I bought a cheap box of Walmart large storage bags (it cost 2.87) and I labeled each bag for each day that we were going to be gone.  (let me note…I have used just plain old Walmart or grocery bags)

roadtrip4Third, I put each set of clothes for that particular day in the bag with the day.  ( I tried to think ahead of what we would be possibly doing that day and planned accordingly)


I’ve got to say….this really worked well for us, because it took the guess work out of what they would be wearing that day.  No searching for socks and undies etc.  They just opened their suitcase and pulled out their clothes for that day.  Worked great!

Here are a few other tips to save money and help your trip to go smoother:

  1. Print out directions from map quest or have a GPS (we used both on this trip and we are glad we had a back up)
  2. Stay at a family or friends place for a night or two while in between places.
  3. Use hotel points or book online ahead of time for cheaper discounts.
  4. Pack your own food and snacks to avoid fast food restaurants.  Eat at a rest stop.(this helped us tremendously….we ate healthier and saved a ton of money)
  5. Look up “free” things to do in the area that you are going to or along the way.  We stopped at a number of museums, parks & beaches that were free and the kids LOVED!
  6. Use the cruise control.  I know this sounds a bit weird but it truly saves money on gas if you put the cruise control on for long trips down the highway.
  7. Pack games, movies, & other activities to help keep kids occupied.  I made up my own folder of activities to do.  They loved it!!!!  (even my older kids)  I printed out papers like the license plate game, scavenger hunt, & for yummy fun….the M & M game. Click here for printables.  Here is the one for the M &M game here (I made my own).
  8. Plan for extra stops when you have little kids.  For us traveling more than 3 to 4 hours they needed to get out and just stretch and run for a little bit.  Find a rest area and bring a soccer ball, or tennis ball and let them just get it out of their system.   Side note…the younger ones sleep much better after burning their energy!
  9. Keep extra time in your schedule for mishaps!  We hit a lot of traffic here and there or you may run into longer break.
  10. Get a few dollar store prizes a head of time and reward for good behavior & find a Redbox along the way to rent a movie for a $1 to break the trip up some.  (remember Redbox movies can be returned to any Redbox).

Vacations are fun but planning a head and trying to save money always help to relieve stress and headache while your on the road.

Making memories and fun with your family is the most important thing!  You may forget to pack something or get lost on your travels but whatever comes up, make it fun by having a great attitude no matter what your doing and finding those special moments with your family!!!    Happy Travels!

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14 Responses to Road trip Tips & Tricks

  1. Sandy says:

    When we traveled when my children were small (many years ago and before videos) I would give them a roll of coins. They would have to give back a coin each time they would ask are we there yet!! Many many times they reached our destination with the whole roll.


    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, I remember doing that as a child. It’s much easier to do money with a few kids….with having 7 you gotta find different ways. 🙂 Fun memories though!


  2. As an older mom who discovered the “freezer bag” tip for packing around the time of baby no 6 …I want to second that this is a great way to pack for kids on a trip. They even enjoy getting their things ready and putting them into the bags now. The other tips are a great as well. Thanks!


    • Jennifer says:

      Awesome….better late then never! Right? It’s been a huge help for us when traveling. Anything to make life easier….I’m all about that! Blessings to you!


  3. Melissa says:

    Wonderful tip! We’re going to Hawaii in July and we have to be very organized in terms of packing because of baggage fees. I think I’ll give it a try for my family of eight!

    In Christ,


  4. Jenilee says:

    Pinned this! Great post and a great list of tips. Thanks for sharing 🙂 visiting from W2W


  5. Love your blog, first time posting. I have those Sperry sandals and LOVE
    love love them. They are so comfy and jazz up any all white outfit,
    which I mostly wear here in Boston with the ridiculous humidity! Great
    for running around with kids or clients 🙂 Enjoy your vacation!


  6. Danette says:

    We did a road trip when our first was 14 months, so my husband used google maps to find parks along our route to get the wiggles out. It worked great…. until the police escorted us out of the gang park we stopped at in Palm Springs. You couldn’t tell by looking at it, we were alone there and nothing happened, so it ended up being a funny memory and an interesting lesson. We are planning a trip for next year and we will be checking with local police on all the parks.


  7. Linda S says:

    Such good tips – thank you for sharing! I used the zip-bag trick when mine were small. It worked wonderfully, especially when camping!

    Liked by 1 person

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