Carefully mapping out your route can have a significant impact on the number of miles you travel. Getting lost or taking lengthy detours eats up time and fuel. Plan your journey before you leave, and bring along a GPS as well as paper maps to ensure that you stay on the right track. Organizations such as AAA will provide members with maps free of charge.
In addition, consider the time of day that you’ll travel through major cities. During the very congested periods in the morning and evening, heavy traffic may leave you idling in a sea of cars for lengthy periods of time. Try to plan your travel so that you drive through major cities mid-day, at night, or on the weekend. Utilize HOV lanes during peak times.
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If traveling via RV, choose budget-friendly places to stay. Research options on websites such as freecampgrounds.com. which provides a list of campsites that cost $10 or less. Instead of splitting your vacation between a string of campsites, choose only a few, and stay at them for longer periods of time. Some campsites may even offer discounted rates for extended stays. And most Wal-Marts allow a free overnight stay (review the Wal-Mart Atlas for specifics).
When visiting attractions, check the local visitor’s bureau for coupons. Always ask for any applicable discounts, such as a senior discount or reduced rates for AAA or AARP members. In addition, some attractions offer discounted admission on certain days of the week or at certain times (for example, theme parks often offer discounted admission in the afternoon). Also, it never hurts to simply enter the name of the attraction along with the word “discount” into a Google search. You can find a surprising number of coupons that way.
While these cost-saving strategies may take a little extra effort, they’ll help you enjoy your travels without breaking the bank. Most importantly, don’t forget to relax and have fun while you’re on the road. After all, laughter is free.
Janis ranks with the ultimate travel schoolers. She and her husband sold their home and purchased an RV in which they travel the country with their three daughters. Here Janis shares what she values about their flexible lifestyle.
I believe ”School” is a series of experiences, and travel just opens you up to more than staying in one place. We consider Life to be our Educator, and by traveling, I know my children are exposed to more differences in people and environments. Geography and History are more than words -places have meaning. Even something as basic as food can change from place to place.
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