Taking your family on a vacation can be exciting, fun, challenging, overwhelming, and expensive. We all face challenges when planning a vacation. We have to decide on a destination, accommodations, transportation, budget, activities, and more. While flying to your planned destination has the advantage of saving time, it can also be challenging for your family as far as costs, boredom, and having a schedule to stick to. While some destinations require us to fly, others we have the option of taking a road trip. I am sure you are thinking, “road trip, yeah right!” Here, we are going to show you the benefits of a family road trip and why it’s a great idea.

Why a Family Road Trip is a Great Idea


Save Money

The biggest set back for many families when it comes to taking a vacation is the cost. Domestic, round-trip flights can cost at least $300 per person and that’s just staying on the same side of the country. Cross-country flights can be double that! For us, having a family of 5, those flights on the same side of the country will run at least $1500 total.

By removing this cost, we are able to stretch our budget further. We can drive to that same destination and back home for just a fraction of the cost of airfare. Freeing up this extra cost allows us to see more, do more, and travel more.

Travel More

The more family road trips you take, the more money you save on travel expenses. That savings can actually allow you to hit the road more often! Who doesn’t want to spend more time with their family, creating memories that last a lifetime

Those big trips to exotic destinations can sometimes feel unattainable when you are caught up in the daily routine of working and raising a family. The cost of a vacation also plays a role in how often we can travel. The family road trip mindset allows us all the chance to get away more often because it can be a last-minute decision, a short getaway, and the cost is minimal. Sometimes a weekend getaway is all we really need

See More and Do More

Cutting the cost of airfare, as discussed above, frees up a lot of extra money. Having the extra funds allows us to explore more areas and take in extra sites on our family road trip. That attraction or show you were going to cut out of the itinerary because you didn’t have the extra money can now be added back in. You know that nicer hotel that you really wanted to stay at, but it didn’t fit your budget? You can go ahead and book it

A family road trip not only frees up money to do more, but it also allows you to see more along the way. Driving allows you to see the country side, the beauty of town or city, and everything in between. That interesting or weird road side attraction that you read about online can now become a small stopping point along your route. That small diner that sells the best baby back ribs in the nation can now become your destination for lunch. So, when planning a family road trip, plot your key points of must see and do and then leave gaps to explore what your family comes across along the way. You have the freedom to that

No Schedules

Building off the point above, you have the freedom to explore more along the way. Your family has more time automatically built into your vacation. You are not bound to the schedule of flights, you are not spending hours in an airport waiting, you don’t have to go through security, and you don’t have to wait in line to get a rental car (another expense by the way)

Taking a family road trip adds extra time to your vacation and when vacations don’t happen as often as we like, every minute is valuable. Road trips allow you to stop when you see something of interest, explore less well-known attractions, experience a town you otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to, and more. Each day is yours and it’s up to you what you choose to do and how you spend it

Choose Your Own Adventure

One of my favorite parts about planning a family road trip is that we have full control over our entire adventure. We like to plan one route for leaving and another route for coming back. In doing this, we are able to explore more of the country, see more sites, and create new memories – all in the same trip! Being bound by a flight only allows you to see the sky. Being on the road has you exploring some cities

and attractions on the way, and others coming back. It’s really like two trips all built-in to one

One great thing about a family road trip is that every day is different and unique. Each day brings new towns, landscapes, and attractions. This makes every day a new adventure. It also means that you can change your itinerary on a whim if you find something better and more exciting to do. A total win

Take Breaks When You Want

Have you ever been on a flight where you felt suffocated and trapped and wanted to scream? It happens. Being “stuck” on a plane is no fun when all you want to do is be able to walk around, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air. Kids feel the same way

Taking a family road trip allows you the ability to slow down, take a breather, and stop for a break as often as you need. You can choose to drive during naps and break during long stretches. This makes the trip more enjoyable and relaxing for everyone

Pack What You Want

With the size, weight restrictions, and cost of luggage on airlines, packing for a flight can be difficult. We are forced to make tough decisions on what is essential and what needs to be left behind. This can be difficult when packing for children who are unpredictable and may need more clothes or comforts from home

The amount of space you have and lack of cost when packing for a family road trip makes these decisions painless. You have the ability to not only pack what you need, but also pack what you and your family want. That playpen and portable high chair that you probably would have left behind when flying can now be brought along in the car. The car seats that you have to check-in as baggage on a flight are now already included in your travel. All of those toys and that comfy blanket that your children “can’t live without” – you can now bring it ALL! The freedom is yours

Bring Your Own Food

Eating out all the time can put a major dent into your travel budget. Even stopping at a fast food restaurant can add up to $25-$40 for a family of five. Multiply that by three meals a day plus snacks and you could go through almost $1,000 in a week, just on food alone. Those numbers can be doubled if you are choosing sit-down restaurants. I don’t know about you, but we like to look at food as a means to stay nourished and not as an experience in itself. We prefer to save money on food to open up more opportunities for travel and experiences with our family

Traveling by car allows you to save by having the ability to pack food to take along the way. We always pack a cooler or two and load up on water, sports drinks, snacks, and stuff to make sandwiches. It’s always a nice break to find a place to stop to get out, stretch our legs, and have a nice little outdoor, picnic-style lunch

We try to pack and bring along any and all non-perishable food items that we would use. This saves us even more money as groceries in some cities cost almost double of what we pay at home. Throughout the trip, as we run out of certain things, we are still able to purchase groceries at stores. Any way you look at it, it is money saved and that money is now free to use as you and your family sees fit

Spend Quality Time as a Family

The most worthwhile part of ANY vacation is the quality time spent with your family. Those moments together are worth more than the cost of the vacation itself. Money is something we can make more of, while time is something we can never get back

Life is always busy with work, school, cleaning, cooking, and other obligations. Our favorite part of a family road trip is that we are able to spend a long period of time together exploring the world, connecting with each other, and creating awesome memories that we will all have for the rest of our lives

If your thought of travel has been, “it’s too difficult and expensive with kids”, do yourself a favor and plan a family road trip. Pick a destination you’ve always wanted to go, start planning, and hit the road as soon as you can. Your family will thank you and you won’t regret the time you’ve had together and the lifelong memories that you will make

What is your dream road trip destination? Tell us about it below
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