When it comes to road trips, you find that that is an activity those in the Black community seldomly participate in. Family road trips can be seen as an expensive headache, and not holding much value. It’s an activity that can easily be seen as impossible with our little broke best friends, aka our children.
When you have children, you have grand thoughts on not placing any barriers around them seeing the World. Then life hits, and somehow those plans change with finances, time, and even energy getting in the way. Eventually you don’t even know where to begin to take your family on the road—especially if you have younger children.
However, it can be done—and we encourage families to take a break from the daily responsibilities of school, and work to engage in a family vacation. It is imperative to reduce stress, and it also helps in creating stronger bonds! Even a short distance road trip can prove to be eventful, reduce stress and bring families closer together.
Here’s our list of fun and cheap tips, for you to begin planning that road trip with your little ones
Plan the route ahead Oh and driving at night is a life saver.
Road tripping takes planning. Especially with young children, you cannot wing it. Well, if you’re like me with anxiety—you definitely cannot wing it. So, planning is key. If you are driving a long distance, similar to our 13-hour one-way drive—for starters picking the right time to drive is key! I have younger children, so driving at night is the best option—because they’re asleep! It cuts down on the fighting time, begging time, crying time, etc. And by the time that they are awake, you are extremely closer, with significantly less car time. It’s also great to make it an adventure! Children become stir crazy and being cooped up in a car for hours at a time, is just not ideal for them. Look for places you can visit, that are low cost—or even free. For instance, on our trip to VA, we stopped in KY to visit the Muhammad Ali Center, ATL and visited the MLK Center, etc. We mapped out stops, attractions, free sites and more. It was a mini adventure that they were so excited to go on. This is ideal for longer road trips, and allows you to explore, educate and engage your children during the trip.
Many people take road trip snacks. We take road trip food. Taking a cooler full of items, will save you a ton of money on food. Sandwiches, lunchables, fruit, juices, waters—add ice and all you have to do is replenish your ice as you press along! Also, snacks such as chips, cups of noodles, etc come in handy as well! There really should be no reason you need to stop for food, unless you all decide to splurge on a meal! Which brings me to my next point.
Use Mobile Apps.
If you are going out to spend money, always check to see if the places you’re headed to have mobile apps for savings! These always come in handy and will cut cost when you decide to go out. This goes for gas, food, entertainment, etc. Other great apps to have on deck as well, are Groupon, and RetailMeNot.
Free Attractions, are really the best. Going Local is the way to go.
Keep in mind that free, is always better. Especially when you have the entire crew. Before you look into priced attractions, or experiences—check out what the cities you visit have to offer for free. There are always things to do at the libraries, museums—and during the summertime—public parks that are free. Make sure to check out our app, we are adding events to our database frequently that we suggest to our users, and some of them are free so check them out!
Location, Location, Location. Know where you go!
It is imperative that you look up routes, and even parking wherever you go. Because let me tell you having to pay over the top for parking or having to walk block after block with little ones is not an ideal situation. Knowing how to prepare for your outings will make for a fun, stress-free time. Pull up the neighborhood on Google maps, and gauge your trip, parking—and even if there are things close by that you can check out as well. For instance, if parking is free ten blocks away you may find a few stores, and activities you can stop at along the way before you get to your destination that would create a fun experience—as opposed to a long, dreadful walk. Best of all—you save a nice chunk of change, because parking can be expensive and parking tickets even more so!
We hope that these tips help you with planning that family vacation. Drop a comment to tell us what tips worked for you. Don’t forget to share your experiences on the app. Now available on Apple, and Google Play!