In the last week, I drove halfway across the country, twice. In fact, I drove almost 4 thousand miles. Needless to say with prices the way they are, it wasn't cheap.

We are quickly approaching Summer and that means that many folks will be getting together with friends and family and heading out on summer vacations. As mentioned, fuel is at an all-time high in many parts of the country, so this might alter your travel plans, however, we've got some great ideas that will help you not only save money but still make sure everyone has a good time.

My reason for traveling wasn't for pleasure, however, I was able to make the most out of the trip and time in the car and see some things along the way. If you're looking to have a good time, while saving some money, check out these Helpful Road Trip Tips.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Planning is key.  In fact, you can save yourself a whole lot of headaches by making a plan and sticking to it.  Now, I completely understand that life happens and we have to be flexible on occasion, but having a plan is one way to make sure that you're summer road trip is a success.

Things to consider planning?

  • Where you will stay
  • How far you will drive each day
  • Must-see attractions

Some time spent on one of the travel sites can get you a good deal on lodging.  I would highly suggest that if you're traveling with children, you get a place with a pool.  Nothing wears kids out faster than swimming, which is a nice little break for the adults, right?

Photo by Yalçın Ozgan on Unsplash
Photo by Yalçın Ozgan on Unsplash

Just Because It's Free, Doesn't Mean It's Lame

I think for a whole lot of people there is this misconception that in order for something to be fun or a good time, it costs money. My recent trip took me to the Kansas City area and back and in South Dakota alone, there was a ton to see for free. The Corn Palace in Mitchell, Wall Drug in Wall, and Mount Rushmore just to name a couple.(There is an entry fee, or you can just drive around and get pretty close for free) Not only is this helpful for the bank account, but you can also learn a thing or two, which is always cool.

There are a ton of really cool free attractions here in Montana and in the surrounding states.  A quick google search will get you started in the right direction.

Photo by Rich Martello on Unsplash
Photo by Rich Martello on Unsplash

Technology is your friend

As you drive across Montana and many of the western states, you might be hard-pressed for entertainment as far as the radio goes. There were several stretches of interstate that I could only get one or two stations and they were either preaching to me, literally...or they were playing some sort of classical music. With all the fancy gadgets on our phones and in newer vehicles, it is super easy to connect your device to the vehicle itself and stream through a station app.  So, no matter where you go, you can listen to your favorite station.

Pretty cool, eh?

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash
Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Make A List, And Check It Twice

Speaking of apps, there are a few out there that will tell you where you can find the cheapest gas and highest-rated gas stations/truck stops such as the app "Gas Buddy". Personally, I'm a fan of a couple of different truck stop chains because they have clean facilities. No one wants to go into a nasty restroom, so knowing where the best ones are is a positive thing.

Same way with food.

One of the cool parts about road trips and summer vacations is trying out the local foods. Many areas have something that is unique to the area and can be a whole lot of fun to try.

Person writing list of goals, close-up of hand

So if you're planning on taking a Summer Road Trip/Vacation, these Road Trip Tips will certainly help you out.  Not only can you save a little money, but you can also end up having a whole lot of fun and making memories that will last a lifetime.  Plus, isn't that what it's all about?

LOOK: Route 66’s quirkiest and most wonderful attractions state by state

Stacker compiled a list of 50 attractions--state by state--to see along the drive, drawing on information from historic sites, news stories, Roadside America, and the National Park Service. Keep reading to discover where travelers can get their kicks on Route 66.

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LET'S GO: The most popular historic sites in America


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