5 Budget Road Trip Tips for Families

Budgeting for a road trip can be tricky, especially when you’re planning on spending several days away from home. But you can do plenty of things to keep costs down while having a fantastic holiday. Here are our five budget road trip tips for families.

Person In A Vehicle With Legs Stretched On the Dashboard during budge road trip
Photo by Vova Krasilnikov

Budget Road Trip Essentials.

When planning a budget road trip, there are several things you should keep in mind. First, you want to be prepared for anything. You never know what might happen during a long drive, so always bring extra clothes, snacks, and toiletries. Because you are travelling by car, you won’t need to worry about size limits or liquid requirements. Second, you want to avoid unnecessary expenses. For example, if you plan on stopping at motorway services, they are great if you need a quick freshen up but can be expensive with their offering of snacks. So if money is tight, perhaps pack some sweet snacks. Third, you want to ensure you have everything concerning an emergency car kit. Bring a map (physical version), a great backup if there is no signal, a rechargeable torch and a mobile phone charger. Finally, you want to list items you need before leaving home. This will ensure you don’t forget anything important.

Check our budget road trip essentials list

Plan Ahead.

Planning is vital when planning any trip. When travelling with children, you must ensure you have everything before leaving home.

When planning a family road trip, there are many things to consider. You’ll want to plan where you’re going, what activities you’ll be doing, and what you’ll eat while away from home. If you’re taking a long car ride, you’ll also need to pack snacks and drinks for yourself and your kids.

Young woman with map looking away on city street
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Be Prepared.

Before you go anywhere, make sure you’ve got everything you need. This includes packing clothes appropriate for the weather, snacks, and drinks, including plenty of water, sunscreen, and other essentials. If you’re going somewhere with kids, pack toys and games too. And don’t forget to bring along any medications you might need.

When planning a budget road trip, be prepared for anything. You never know what kind of unexpected situations you’ll encounter. For example, driving from Lands End to John A Croats, you should plan for unpredictable weather. Bring extra clothing, blankets, and water. Make sure you have enough fuel to get where you’re going, or you know where the petrol or charging stations are along the route (for those of us with electric vehicles).

Pack Smartly.

Make sure you pack smartly, so you don’t spend more money than necessary. If you’re going on a family road trip, you should consider packing light, which will help you save money while still having enough supplies for the entire family.

Man Packing Luggage into Car
Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Don’t Forget The Kids

It’s easy to forget what you need when planning a family holiday. So before you head out, have everything you need to be packed into one bag. You won’t have to stop at every store to pick up something else.

When packing for a budget road trip, remember that kids need different things than adults. For example, pack extra nappies, wipes, and snacks if you plan to visit a zoo. Bring plenty of water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, and a first aid kit if you plan camping. And if you plan to hit the beach, pack swimsuits, towels, flip-flops, and a change of clothes.

Have Fun!

If you’re going on a budget road trip with kids, there will be plenty of opportunities to have fun. Whether taking a day off from work or spending quality time together, you’ll enjoy yourself more if you keep these five things in mind.

Happy Asian kids travelling in car
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

The first thing to remember is that having fun doesn’t mean you have to go broke. You can still have a great time without breaking the bank. For example, if you plan, you can save money by bringing snacks instead of buying them at motorway service stations. Another option is to get a cooler filled with drinks and snacks. And if you want to splurge, you can always rent a motorhome or campervan for the trip.

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