Cool Ideas

Car Trips Make for Cheap Family Vacations

Stay close. Save on travel time and gas by visiting places within one to two hours away. Many people have seen sites across the U.S. but have not actually visited significant tourist attractions closer to home. You may have just such a place in mind; if not, search the Web for places near you.

It’s about the journey, not just the destination. Having fun while driving. Look for off-the-beaten path, interesting places and sites to stop and see. A great resource for this is the Roadside America Web site. You can enter in your route and see a corresponding map with attractions.

Keep the drive interesting. is a good resource for a printable travel bingo, kids’ travel journal, scavenger hunt lists, and more.

Bring a picnic basket for snacks and small meals. Pack some snacks and maybe a cooler of drinks to decrease fast food and convenience store spending along the way. This could be a great way to save on calories too!

Escape the cold. Winter months will be here soon. If you live in a colder climate, opt for a weekend trip to an indoor water park. This will be a welcome respite from the frigid weather.

The beauty of short car trips is you can leave on a Friday after school and work, and return on a Sunday night, so you won’t need to take time off – or break the bank!