Ready, Set, Drive! Preparing for a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

We love road trips! We started our journey of road trips in 1979. We were nineteen and had a four month old child. We owned a Gremlin and car seats were not mandatory. We set our little man up in the back seat in his plastic baby carrier. We propped him up on blankets in between our seats so he could see out the windows…as frightening as it is today, we thought nothing was unusual with this idea. Getting ready for this road trip was a huge deal for us. We had to prepare bottles, diapers, buy a tent, sleeping bags, figure out where to pack all the grocery supplies. Every year since this first road trip we have gone on a road trip every year. Some longer trips, some shorter trips. Some with one child, two children, or three children. We once went on a road trip with four adults and three children in the same car. We LOVE road trips. Road trips can be fun, but getting your car ready for one can also include anxiety and break the budget. Through the years we have come up with a list of must haves for a great road trip.

Will you be in the car an hour a day, two hours a day, or 5 hours a day? When you go on a two week vacation that is 2000 miles away, it is very different from going on a two week trip that is 600 miles away. Also, are you camping, hoteling or staying with friends/family? How much room do we have?

Invest in some car accessories that will make the road trip travel friendly.

A trash can is a must have on any road trip and budget friendly:

At a budget price a car phone mount is a must have especially if you will be using your phone as a GPS.

Budgeting for a place to store all those chargers and computer, car phone, tablet accessories is necessary for your sanity.

Storage space is limited in most cars and finding places to keep all the travel brochures, receipts, and maps can be limited. We love these little, but budget friendly storage bins:

These handy hangers are great for just about anything! You can hang umbrellas, bags, clothes. Now that we don’t travel with children, we can hang these on the back of our headrests and the uses are limitless and fits any budget.:

Another handy headrest accessory is this cooler, Kleenex, multi pocket organizer:

This affordable and handy personal fridge keeps things cold or warm without the mess of ice and holds up to nine sodas. You will want to save room in the budget for this cooler:

This cooler is great and folds when not in use to a mere 3”:

We have found a GPS is an amazing tool, but there are times when you need a good old fashion road atlas:

Traveling by car is fun and budget friendly when you are prepared! Where will your next car trip be? How will you prepare for the trip?

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19 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Drive! Preparing for a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

  1. I love road trips! My kids love going on road trips too, they are champs at it! We have done it all, rving, hotels, and family/friends home.

  2. You brought up good memories that my mom shared with me. She had told me that my car seat was a playpen in the back seat. I am glad we have evolved I love my gps as without it I probably would be less likely to wander as I do. Thank you for sharing these great tips and you memories.

    1. Awe…I am glad I brought up this memory for you! I agree we will set our GPS on a destination and then we will find different ways of getting there. It is always a fun adventure!

  3. I love road trips too! It’s just been so difficult with young childer–especially Jaxson. I do recall going on a road trip with my grandparents many, many years ago. We drove from Texas to Colorado and back in their RV.

    1. It is difficult when the children are small or have special needs, but maybe shorter trips. You would be surprised at how much is close to home and getting kids into new surroundings is good for them. I need to take my grandkids more places!

  4. My husband and I also love road trips! We usually set out early morning and settle on a loose plan. There is nothing better than letting the road lead the way! Great post.

    1. I love those spur of the moment road trips with no definite plans, just let it flow…those are the best!

  5. Super handy ideas! Saved for the next time we go road tripping 🙂 Thanks for sharing ❤️

  6. This is awesome! I’ve also been road tripping since childhood. Where has been your favorite destination?

    1. Anywhere that is into west from the Blackhills all the way to Yellowstone National Park! We travel in this area a lot!

  7. So much has changed! It’s so weird to think of a baby just riding on someone’s lap in the car, ha. Definitely lots more to think about these days!

    1. I am glad I have inspired you! Start with little steps, towns in and around you and then go for it!

  8. I love road trips too – definitely one of my favourite types of holiday! Can’t wait for our next one…

  9. This reminded me of stories my told me about putting my play pin in the back seat when they took me down south. Thank you for the smile. Great post!

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