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What better time to load up the car and head for a road trip than during summer? The weather is excellent, the air is fresh, and the mood is just right.
There are so many destinations to choose from like the mountains, to some relative’s place, or even Disney Land.
Additionally, road trips are fun if you bring some company along.
They’re a fantastic way to explore the majestic outdoors and escape the ever-present cares of life. Have a sing-along or play a game to while the time away in an exciting way.
The best part is, you don’t need loads of green to make the trip a success. All you need is some positivity, the spirit of adventure, a car, and you’re good to go.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be summer for you to head out with your loved ones. You could pick a day when everyone’s mostly free, like on a sunny Saturday morning.
If you intend your trip to be fun and frugal, how’s about bringing along your meals or you could carry the ingredients and prepare some food later on when you arrive at your destination.
Maybe it’s your first time to go on a road trip and you’re wondering what stuff you should take along with you. Here are some essential money-saving items to take on a camping road trip:
1. Water Filter
With all the heat that summer has to offer, you’re bound to get thirsty often on your road trip. Bottled water isn’t likely to do the trick.
For starters, it’ll cost you cash. Second, you don’t know how long it’ll last. Depending on your chosen location, you’re most likely to spend more money on water than anything else. Third, if your supply runs out, you’ll have to drive to a gas station or store to get some more.
The more water you buy, the more cash you’ll spend. Stopping at a waterfall if you come across one and drinking its water isn’t any better.
You’re only exposing your body to more bacteria and chemicals and you never really know if someone had a bath there. Gross.
Why not invest in a water filter system? Not only is it handy but it’s readily available at affordable prices too. They’re also easy to use. If you’re busy driving, someone else can use it. Additionally, they provide clean water within the shortest time possible.
As the name suggests, a water filter filters dirt and other contaminations out of the water. You can, therefore, drink it without any fears.
Whether you’ll get your water from a puddle or a tap somewhere, you’re assured of quality drinking water. There are many pluses of using a water filter. Some of them are:
- It leaves water smelling and tasting better no matter where you’ve fetched it from.
- It keeps you healthy.
- It saves you cash.
- It’s convenient.
- It boosts your immune system.
2. A Good Rewards Credit Card
You never know what you’ll come across while you’re out in the great outdoors. The money you brought along for emergencies and a few purchases may not be enough.
If you’ve got a big company, you’ll need sufficient cash for the trip to rock. That’s why it’s essential to have a backup plan at all times.
Don’t empty your bank account on an adventure that’ll last a few days or hours. Why not bring your great rewards credit cards along instead? It enables you to save as well as spend cash.
Here’s where shopping frequently comes in handy: you get to earn rewards every time you buy something during your trip. Whether it’s groceries, gas or whatever, there’s no limit to how much you can earn by using them.
Once you redeem the rewards, you can redeem them for stuff you were going to buy. Plus, if you planned to check into a hotel instead of camping, it increases your purchasing power. This allows you to have the cash to spend when you need it.
Another perk is that you’ll have some spare bucks to treat yourself and your loved ones. If you don’t have a credit card, it’s wise to apply for one as soon as possible. The process is impressively smooth and fast.
When choosing a credit card, they are a couple of factors that you should consider. These factors include the interest rate, your spending habits, penalties, and fees. You should also pay attention to the credit limit and if it comes with incentives.
3. Camping Equipment
If you’re planning to spend a few nights at a camping site, you’ll need some camping gear — specifically a sleeping mat, pillow, tent and sleeping bag. You may want to make camping one of your pastimes — the more reason for you to invest in this equipment.
Perhaps you’d love to buy this stuff, but you’re a bit short on cash. Don’t worry. There’s another alternative. Ask a friend or family member to lend you the stuff. Having a backyard camp is another option, but it wouldn’t be as fun as an actual campsite.
Or if you don’t wish to camp often, you could rent the items. Whichever method you choose to go with, it should be in line with your budget.
Once you’ve sorted out that bit, you need a place to set up camp. Again, there are several options on how you can deal with this.
First, do some research on cost-effective campsites. And, identify one that works for you. Second, identify the place yourself. This can be tricky, especially if you’re a first-timer. But it can be fun as well. Here are some tips on finding the ideal campsite to help you out:
- Consider the level. Choose a flat site with a gentle incline.
- Is it private? Is it close to necessities such as water and a toilet?
- It should be big enough to contain you and your company of friends or relatives.
- You should also pay attention to what trees are around the spot.
- The people camping around the site.
- Safety. The site should be free of debris and sharp objects. It should also have no anthills, and the soil should be heavily compacted.
It’s extremely tempting to grab something to eat at some restaurant while you’re on a road trip. It’s fast and convenient.
If you begin imagining yourself fighting with sticks to start a fire and then inhaling the choking smoke that comes with it when you’re cooking food, It isn’t such an appealing thought, is it?
Have you given the money part a thought? Eating out can cost you. Whether or not you’re eating by yourself. There are plenty of restaurants that offer tasty food at affordable prices. But why not invest your cash in something better?
Try buying a cooler. Then, preserve all the perishable groceries in it. It’s able to keep fresh food for a couple of hours, which is enough to get you to your preferred destination.
Granted, coolers can’t keep foods like meat and vegetables fresh for long, but it’s better than nothing, right? You should just plug it into the lighter socket of your car. And, keep it clean.
If you don’t have one already but are thinking of buying it, there are several factors you should look into.
First, if it fits into your preferred place of putting it perfectly. If you’re not sure, there’s no harm in taking a tape measure and measuring the space.
Second, your budget. Your purchase shouldn’t dent your bank account or affect your budget. Always go for one with a reputable brand. That way, you’re guaranteed that it’ll last.
Third, where you’d wish to place it. There are many places you can keep it like in the kitchen of your home, at the office or even your car.
Games are among the most important things to have on a road trip. With the advancement of technology, however, there’s been a change of everything, including games.
Spending countless hours playing a game on your smartphone doesn’t count. Besides, once it’s out of battery, you’ll experience boredom for a couple of hours or more. You’re lucky if there’s a power source where you’re heading.
Whether you’re traveling with kids or your adult pals, there are plenty of games to enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you make them up or if they exist already.
Apart from entertainment, games bring people together and, they provide that healthy adrenaline rush that’s necessary once in a while.
If you’ve got kids along, you could keep them engaged with a color book and crayons or you could simply sing to them.
These ideas might seem good, but chances are, the little ones will get bored sooner than you think and they’ll most likely nag you to take them to the arcade. There are many good old-fashioned games they could occupy themselves with like:
- 20 Questions
- Spot the Car
- I Spy
- I’m Going on a Picnic
- Road Trip Bingo
- Tic Tac Toe
Adults are no exception. Depending on what you’re all into and the number of people on the trip, finding a suitable game is a piece of cake.
You could play:
- Did You Hear That…?
- The Movie Game,
- Alphabetical Categories,
- The Counting Game or
- Battle of the Bands.
6. A Portable Stove
Cooking meals on an open fire can be such an inconvenience. The good news is that you don’t have to go through the hassle.
Thanks to a portable stove, your cooking experience can be easier and more enjoyable. Not only that, but it also has a simple design too. Just about anyone can put it together.
If you’re thinking twice about it, imagine going to a campsite and starting a fire the old-fashioned way-with sticks.
It sounds easy, but it isn’t. If you don’t have the experience, you might end up hurting yourself or those around you. To make things worse, chances of you reducing your precious belongings to ashes is high. You might even set the entire campsite ablaze.
Even if you’re a bit tight on cash, never compromise on safety. A stove is the way to go. It has tones of advantages. First, it’s available in various sizes and shapes so finding your pick is really easy. On top of that, they’re easy to move around with.
Second, setting up a fire with it is a walk in the park. Just turn it on, and there’s your fire. It’s also smoke-free. Just remember to ensure the flames are burning if it’s on.
Third, you can use it just about anywhere outdoors and it doesn’t leave any unpleasant markings on the earth like the traditional stick fire.
Fourth, you save on cash that you would have used on takeaways. The extra money can go to your account or sustain you and those tagging along with you for the time you’ll be camping.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to spend money on snacks? When you’re driving by a store and a chocolate bar or a pack of chips catches your eye, it’s so hard to resist. Especially if you’ve got kids urging you to buy them as you drive.
Most of the time, you buy more than what you actually need. Okay, maybe you might be immune to the temptation, but you can never let your kids down. What they want, they get, almost all the time.
There’s a smart way to deal with this. Before going on a road trip, set aside some cash for snacks. Going with home snacks is a less costly and easier alternative.
You could choose to pack them separately or to put them all in one bag. Mix them together in a variety of your choice to minimize heavy baggage. It’s advisable to have sufficient on-hand snacks that you can nibble on as you drive.
The rest can go to the trunk or an easily accessible spot. Once everyone’s done with their treats, you can distribute refills at stops.
Health tip: instead of buying snacks and packing them up, include some healthy home-made snacks too. Chop up some carrot, add some fruit or probably go with yogurt. You could also pack sandwiches and blended fruit juice.
Don’t limit your creativity. Healthy treats not only maintain a healthy body, but they keep one full for long. This can be an advantage if you wish to pack a few snacks.
8. A First Aid Kit
The great outdoors can be an exciting and scary place at the same time. Once you leave the comfort of your home, you have no idea what might happen to you.
When you’re on a road trip, it’s best to prepare yourself for anything. Including injuries. That’s why you should include a first aid kit in the stuff you pack.
Instead of going to the hospital when an accident occurs, you can reach out for the kit and treat the injury. If the injury is serious, you can dress it up and take the one affected to hospital.
On the other hand, if it’s a slight scratch on the surface of the skin, treat it with some antiseptic and bandage it up.
It’s not only in the vehicle that someone can get hurt. It could happen at the campsite as well. When you have a first aid kit with you, you can treat an injury. And, you can prevent bacteria from getting into the body as well.
It’s important to note that you should use a first aid kit only if you know what you’re doing. Learn about every item in the kit and what its use is.
Most people look into a kit and assume that they can handle an injury. Yet, they may not be in a position to tell the difference between a bandage and a cotton swab.
If you have a first aid kit, it’s crucial that you replace the contents as often as you use them. By doing this, you’ll always have fresh items to treat minor injuries with.
9. A Map
Most people nowadays put so much faith in their smartphones and it would be safe to say that these gadgets are controlling their masters. Technology is great, but there are some things that can never do to full satisfaction.
If you’re used to using a tool such as GoogleMaps to show you where you are, it’s not always reliable.
Your phone might run out of power in the middle of a road trip. If there’s no service in an area that you’re passing by, you might find yourself in a tight situation. Especially if the route you’re on is new to you.
Even if you’re on a route that you’re used to, straying from it is easy. If you’re in traffic, for example, you might decide to take a short cut to escape the traffic.
Or, if you’re in a rush and would like to take a quicker route to your destination, the only option is to take a shortcut. Trouble starts if you don’t know where you are. You might drive around in circles for quite a while before you get help.
You’re safer if you have a traditional map with you. It’s easier to use, covers a broader area, and you can access it no matter where you are.
If your car doesn’t have a GPS, it costs approximately $100 to get one. By using a paper map, you can save on cash.
Using a phone to show you where you are is okay but, it’s always safer to have a paper map as well any time you’re on a road trip or any other outing.
10. Toiletries and Other Important Stuff
Are you on medication? Do you have allergies? Or asthma? If yes, you should never go on a road trip without the necessary medication and an inhaler.
Even if you’re in perfect health, it’s always good to ensure that you stock your car with necessities like enough rolls of toilet paper, a hand sanitizer, and paper towels. You should also include some comfy clothes to change into and a first aid kit.
If you suffer from motion sickness, don’t forget to put in antacids and any other remedy that helps you feel better.
If the place you intend to go to is hot, some sunscreen and sunglasses should be on your checklist. You could also include a sun hat and some slippers.
Having what you need before hitting the road is crucial. This way, you’re always prepared for anything that might happen.
Plus, you go easy on your cash too. Some hotels and restaurants charge outsiders before they can use the restroom.
When preparing for a trip, it’s recommended that you have a list of items you’d want to pack. Plus, you should do the packing on the night before the trip day.
Take your time and put everything together, and after you’ve packed an item, tick it on the list. Remember to pack the items in a place where they’re easily accessible. This saves you from the hassle of having to pull over every time someone needs something.
To avoid congesting your vehicle, it’s essential that you have only what you really need on board. Stuff like hair products and makeup might not be necessary for the great outdoors but it’s all up to you.
You’re Ready for the Road
Going on a road trip occasionally is a great way to relax. It gets even better if you have everything sorted out.
Whether you’re planning to travel nearby or someplace far, now you know what you need to make your trip a success.
Don’t be too cautious and overprotective while on the trip. Just sit back, and have fun with your loved ones. Make some precious memories that you’ll fondly look back at after the trip is over.
A family is very precious and that’s why every second with them should be special. You should never let finances be a hindrance to your having fun with them.
Money isn’t exactly a number one must-have when it comes to having a wonderful time with your loved ones.
No matter the amount you have, you can apply the tips discussed in this blog post to make your trip worthwhile. Have a safe trip!