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Are you gearing up to get in one more trip or vacation before the weather takes a turn for the “brrrrr effect”?
Some of the best memories I have are from family road trips back in the day. Whether you can recall the station wagon or nostalgic minivan experience, it seems like road trips just aren’t what they used to be. Remember the anticipation of jam-packing the family care full of kids and luggage at 3:00 AM to try and get a head start?
Those were the good ole days. The days where you didn’t look at your cell phone every 10 minutes or need to check your emails, text messages. While things are bound to change and continue changing, let’s take a look at how you can get back to the old school roots of taking a road trip.
MIY: Make-it-Yourself. Pack a cooler full of sandwiches and snacks to keep everyone’s hunger satisfied during a long road trip. Food purchases are one of the items families often underestimate when going on road trips. Nowadays, you won’t be able to get a meal for under $10. If you have a family of 4, that can quickly add up. If you MIY, you just save yourself some extra bucks!
Pack Wisely: There’s a reason why Mom always did bag-checks the night before the big road trip. Of course, we’re always bound to forget a few things but the less you have to purchase in terms of necessities while you’re on the road, the better off you are. Also, since you’re driving vs. flying you don’t have to worry about any extra baggage fees associated with the heavier luggage.
Download It: With no Wi-fi on the open road, data expenses can rack up quickly. And, even if you have an unlimited data plan, service may not be the best depending on where you’re driving. Downloading your favorite tunes or a few good movies can save you money and the hassle of interruptions in service.
Get a Tune Up: Above all, before going on a road trip you want to make sure that it is safe to do so. I always suggest bringing your car in for a checkup before you hit the road. If nothing else, make sure your oil change is on schedule and your tires still have tread. Towing expenses and costly repairs really have a way of screwing up your family road trip.
The most important piece of advice I can offer for road-trippers is to be prepared. Not only will a lack of preparation impede on your good time, but it can also interfere with your finances.