Budget Friendly Road Trip Advice for Single Parents
Hello Goodish Traveler Tribe! We have another awesome guest post from Daniel over at Dad Solo ! We’ll be uploading a post covering things to do in Bogota soon so be on the lookout for that next month.
Being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and when you’re a single parent, all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. This can be overwhelming and have negative effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
So, what do you do? What is something you can do to decompress and ensure that both you and your child are healthy and happy? One thing you can do is take a road trip to spend quality time together. And if you plan your trip in advance, it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Follow these budget-friendly tips for a great road trip experience.
Prepare Your Home
Before you go anywhere, you want to consider your home. You don’t want to come back from a stellar vacation to find that your home has been broken into or that it has flooded from a pipe bursting in the basement. Ask a neighbor, family member, or friend to watch your home while you’re gone. It will give you peace of mind to know that someone will be keeping an eye out for home emergencies, maintenance, and burglars. If you need to, hire a house sitter; it costs money up front, but it can end up saving you money if there are any issues while you’re gone.
Take a Reliable Vehicle
Since you’ll be spending the majority of your time on the road, it’s essential that your vehicle is reliable. If you’re unsure that your everyday vehicle can handle the wear and tear of a road trip, consider borrowing or renting a different one — you don’t want to get 500 miles down the road and find yourself stranded! Renting will obviously cost a pretty penny, but in the long run, it will cost less than a major repair bill or having to replace your vehicle.
Strategically Arrange Accommodations
Hotel bills can easily take up half your trip budget if you’re not careful. Think about what amenities you must have and which ones are less important. For almost anyone, cleanliness will be a priority, but there is a lot of gray area between a clean budget motel and a five-star chain. For instance, do you need a fitness room to feel productive and happy each day? That should be on your priority list. Is breakfast a must? Maybe you should consider opting for the hotel that offers continental breakfast over the $20 buffet. You can also book a room with a single hotel chain each night to earn rewards and save money.
Another lodging option to think about is Airbnb, which has a solid reputation for offering clean homes for much cheaper than a standard hotel. If you decide to go with Airbnb, however, you may need to plan a little more in advance to ensure you have a place to stay in each city.
Don’t Eat Out for Every Meal
Traveling is a great opportunity to try regional and local cuisines. However, dining out for every meal can swallow your budget within the first week of your trip. Pack a bunch of snacks for the road, go grocery shopping, and cook in. Plan to dine out once a day — at most, twice. That way, you get to experience new tastes while leaving money in your budget for other things.
Going away on a trip with your kid can be one of the most refreshing and enjoyable experiences as a single parent. Be sure to get your home ready before you leave; that way you can rest easy knowing it’s safe and it will be less stressful when you come home. Use a vehicle you can depend on, and be strategic when it comes to booking a hotel or other lodging. Finally, bring snacks and plan to cook in some of the time. Following these tips is a great way to start planning your amazing budget-friendly road trip!
Thanks to @thirdcoasttribe for the awesome photos!