On the road again…
After moving south for medical school, my husband and I thought we would never be able to afford to travel until after he graduated. Boy, were we wrong! We have traveled more during medical school than we have at any other time in our lives. Prior to med school we agreed that we would not just put our life on hold and try to enjoy this new life adventure to the fullest. We saved as much as possible and with the help of these eight simple tips we have been able to travel the East coast on a budget!
Tip 1- Drive– We found that we could never afford five plane tickets on our budget so we drive everywhere. It only costs us one tank of gas to get to Florida from our home in South Carolina and it costs us three tanks of gas to drive home to Massachusetts. As you can see driving is a no brainer.
Tip 2- Bring your own food– I cannot even begin to tell you how much money we save when we bring our own meals from home. It saves us time because that is one less stop we need to make along the way.
Tip 3- Play car games– Growing up we did not have fancy electronics to keep us entertained when taking long road trips. Even now, my kids and I enjoy taking a screen time break to play some good ole fashion road trip car games. One of our favorites is the license plate game where we try to find the most unique license plate states. You can even pass the time with a game of eye spy! This game is a favorite of my younger kiddos since they can’t read license plates yet.
Tip 4- Pack a potty seat– I know this tip is more for potty training but I have found that sometimes your kiddos just have to go and there is no potty in sight for miles. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times the potty seat saved us from a potty disaster!
Tip 5- Bring grocery bags and Zip-lock bags– Now is the perfect time to make use out of all those grocery bags that you have stored away. Grocery bags come in handy to control the trash chaos that can happen in the back seat on a road trip. You can never bring too many! I will never forget what our car looked like after our first road trip. It looked like a tornado passed through my car! Zip-lock bags are my best friend when traveling because when it comes to road trips my kiddos cannot stop snacking and they never seem to be able to finish anything. Using a zip lock bag I can just bag it and save it for later. They also double as storage for car chargers or cords and are great for holding small toys with little pieces that you don’t want to lose in your car.
Tip 6- Bring muffin tins– Muffins tins are perfect for travel because they are small enough to place on your child’s lap but also the holes are deep enough that you can put snacks and meals in them. A bonus tip: Muffin tins double as additional drink storage, so you’re welcome! We also like to use these special travel divider plates that I keep in our car year round. It is perfect for travel because it has a food separator to keep your condiments from spreading into your other food.
Tip 7- Bring pillows and blankets– I hate sleeping in the car without a pillow. It is so uncomfortable! I never leave for a road trip without bringing my pillow from home. I also bring blankets to layer on us since it is easier than driving in hot stuffy jackets.
Tip 8- Drive at night– My husband loves to drive at night. With less traffic and cars on the road it saves time getting to your destination. It makes the trip go by faster because we put the kids to bed in the car then when they wake up in the morning we are almost to our destination. He loads up on coffee and snacks and will pop in an earbud to listen to podcasts to keep him alert and pass the time.
Hope you enjoyed my road trip traveling tips! For more traveling tips be sure to check out my article “Ten Fabulous Traveling Tips.”