Do you like to save money driving to your travel destination? If you’re anything like my family you drive everywhere. My wife won’t allow us to spend the money on plane tickets as much as I hate driving. As you know driving can be a pain in the butt especially if you have kids.We have a few road trip tips to decrease the chances that you’ll lose your mind in the car during that 10-hour road trip.
I have 5 road trip tips that will keep you sane (hopefully)…
1. Bring the electronics on your road trip.
I know our kids spend so much time on electronics already, but honestly I wish I could play video games in the backseat for hours instead of being bored to death!
We have the Nintendo Switch which is capable of being setup in the back seat of the car and can also be charged in the car. Only bring multi-player games if you have more than one child or you’ll increase your chances for fighting. Nothing to watch on TV at the hotel you stopped at? That’s OK, the Nintendo Switch can hook up to the TV and is fun for the whole family!
Accessories you’ll need for taking the Switch on the road:
- Nintendo Switch High Speed Car Charger. This one uses the lighter outlet. It’s the only one my wife could find that was GUARANTEED to work with the Switch in the car.
- Car Headrest Mount Holder. This one is very adjustable so anyone in the back seat can see no matter what seat it’s set up behind. Just make sure it fits your headrest.
- Switch Deluxe Travel Carrying Case. This one has a lot more room for extra remotes, games, and accessories. My son got a basic one from Target because it had Zelda on it. This one was better, but no one listens to Dad.
- Our favorite multiplayer games are Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Rayman Legends, Super Bomberman R, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
2. Use a mounted vehicle GPS.
Alright so this one to me is a no-brainer. The most important product for your road trip is a Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS.
- First off, even though you have it plugged into the charger you are wearing out the battery on your phone. Keeping your cell phone charged is a must on long trips.
- Also, there is a convenience to just leaving the Garmin GPS mounted and running, especially if you want to use your phone for something else during a major highway change.
- A car mounted GPS does not cost a lot of money anymore. Nobody is going to steal it if you leave it mounted in your car because everyone probably has one.
- Don’t forget you’ll need to make sure you purchase a charger and car mount for it as well if it doesn’t come with them.
Some people may disagree, but as far as making your road trip more enjoyable and less stressful I suggest you go with a Garmin car mounted lifetime updated maps GPS. It doesn’t have to be this exact one. Figure out what you like and go with it.
3. Take food with you.
This might be one of the best road trip tips we have. There are some simple snacks you can bring that are healthy and prevent you stopping 100 times to pick up some food for the family. I said healthy snacks for a reason. There is nothing worse than a family member getting sick in the car.
Get yourself a Thermal Tote for your food. Then freeze some water bottles and add it to the cooler. Now you have a nice way to have cold drinks and keep your food cool as you drive.
This is what we typically bring with us:
- Cheese sticks (Everyone loves cheese sticks.)
- Beef Jerky (My personal favorite. You have a long time in the car to chew.)
- Fruit (Just not grapes. The choking hazarding is just too high… you definitely don’t want anyone choking in the car while you are driving 75 MPH down the highway.)
- Lays Stacks (OK so not totally healthy but kids will want something like this to keep them happy. My wife likes these because they come in a hard container and don’t get crushed in the backseat.)
- Sandwiches (If we are really trying to save and don’t want to stop for lunch my wife will pack sandwiches and keep them in the cooler for lunch.)
There you have it. Simple and easy. Helps you avoid some of that stopping which in turn increases that travel time. Which is why I try to avoid stopping at all costs.
4. Don’t argue with your wife.
This one is just for fun really but it’s still good advice. I have a funny travel story for you…
So, we have the Garmin GPS and we also used a phone app called WAZE to see if there are any accidents to avoid on the highways in major cities. With WAZE we would follow on her phone for a little while to avoid these accidents and then go back to using the GARMIN GPS.
The WAZE app was telling us an accident was up ahead and to take a different route. My feeling was to continue following my Garmin GPS and not listen to WAZE this time. My wife said “well WAZE is usually right and saves us time”. So, I just bit my tongue and followed WAZE (and my wife).
Well, wouldn’t you know, the way WAZE was telling us to go was blocked by a police officer. Then we continued to follow WAZE and it took us around in a big huge circle only to get us back to where we started. It took us 30 minutes OUT OF OUR WAY.
During this time I’m ticked off, my wife is ticked off, and you can feel the heat in the car. Of course I had to say something under my breath and that was all it took. She’s yelling, I’m yelling and then the WAZE app got deleted. Bye Bye WAZE.
I still like the app but to avoid such arguments it’s no longer used on our road trips anymore. Hehe… I still think I should have just kept my mouth shut.
5. Stop before any major city.
Last but not least, always, I repeat ALWAYS, stop before a major city.
If this is your first road trip and you’ve hated this whole article please take this bit of information with you at least. You never want to feel what it’s like to have to go to the bathroom soooooo bad that you think you’re going to #$%# yourself and you’re stuck in a traffic jam. I’ve been there and it’s the worst. Life as you know it in that moment is a fight for survival. So always 15 to 20 miles before you hit a major city, have everybody go to the bathroom. Then fill up on gas. This way if you get stuck in an hour-long traffic jam you won’t have to experience what I have experienced.
Did you like my road trip tips?
I hope these road trip tips will help you. We have gone on over 15 road trips that were always over 10 hours. Hey what can I say, we save tons of money on airfare. If I had the money of course I would just take a plane, but traveling on the road allows us to save more and go on more trips.
If you are interested in saving MORE money for your next vacation, check out my other blog post 5 Ways to Save Money for Your Next Vacation.