10 Ways to Save for that Summer Road Trip

Friday, June 11, 2010

In these tight economic times, everyone is struggling to figure out how to have a good time this summer, yet be easy on the budget and not totally give up your lifestyle.

Here are 10 ideas to get you started on banking your summer vacation savings

1. Go to the Saturday matinee movie instead of Saturday night – bank the savings. Better yet, rent a DVD for home and buy popcorn to pop.

2. If you have more than one vehicle, always take the most cost effective one on the longer distances – save the gas.

3. Make your weekend activities “cost free” – check the local paper for ideas or head for a park, the beach, the mountains, a river or take a family bike ride. Save what you would have spent for the big vacation.

4. Turn in the change! Have everyone in the family empty their pockets every night into the jar – and no sneaking money out.

5. Get the kids into the act – have them donate a % of their jobs and/or allowance to the vacation kitty. They will appreciate it more.

6. Consider taking a camping or RVing trip rather than flying everyone somewhere. It is guaranteed to be more fun and less expensive – according to “Go RVing” up to 70% less.

7. Pick one activity that you hire outside help for (house cleaning, yard work, window washing, car washing, etc.) and have everyone pitch in and do it yourself a time or two.

8. Share a house or condo with family friends at a resort area – the kids will think it is great fun, you’ll save money, and they will have someone to play with – less fighting!

9. Buy fewer expensive prepared foods and take out – have everyone help prepare dinner using fresh in-season foods. It will be easier on the wallet and better for you. Grilled meat, a salad, BBQ veggies and fresh crunchy bread – easy and less than 30 minutes to prepare.

10. Forego the Starbucks or McDonalds coffees/drinks for a day or two a week – add the savings to the jar.

Tips courtesy of Carol White, the co-author of the award-winning book, “Live Your Road Trip Dream” ( – the ultimate road trip planning guide for extended road trips. Carol and her husband Phil have traveled over 50,000 road miles in the past several years, visiting all fifty states and having visited all of the National Parks in the “lower forty-eight.” As national spokespeople for the RV Industry, they now spend their days speaking, writing, and helping others to live their dreams. Carol also writes for a variety of travel-related websites and magazines as well as managing an active publishing consulting practice from their home in Wilsonville, Oregon.


  1. Awesome tips. It's amazing how changing just a few things can equal a holiday most think they can't afford! Thanks.

  2. Yes, when you don't have extra money you have to sometimes get creative.


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