Drive and Save: How To Plan a Road Trip That Won't Break The Bank

Going on a road trip is one of the great, simple pleasures of life. Saddle up, pack supplies, make a great road trip playlist, choose a route and explore. The ultimate spontaneous break, and a great bonding experience with friends or with a partner. The downside to all this can be the cost. You may think a road trip is relatively cheap, but once you factor in fuel and accommodation, the price can quickly rise. Here’s how to enjoy your trip without the financial sting in the tail..

Pack Your Own Snacks

It sounds like a minor thing, but the cost of snacks and drinks along the way can quickly mount up, especially if you’re buying at roadside stores and service stations. These places know that they have a captive audience, and the prices they charge reflect that. Your best bet is try and visit a cash and carry place, hypermarket or even a discount store and fill the boot of your car with easy-to-eat snacks and bottled or canned drinks before you go -  you can even make this a part of the trip if you like!

Prep Your Vehicle

It's a wise idea to book in for a comprehensive vehicle service package before taking any long trips in the car, so shop around for deals on servicing to make sure your wheels are good to go. If it's about time to change your vehicle, consider used car loan rates before purchasing a vehicle -  there are big savings to be had if you choose a car a year or so old, with a low mileage and a full service history. Give yourself time to get used to the new car before heading off on your trip.

Benefit From Bonus Points

As you’re going to be purchasing a fair amount of fuel, make sure that you do two things - use a website to find the best fuel prices and also take into account any bonus schemes. Sainsbury’s and BP both offer Nectar points on fuel purchases, so you could be benefitting from a lot of rewards! Doing a summer road trip could mean a heap of points which you can put towards the costs of Christmas - thereby netting you a saving!
Woman In Black Aviator Sunglasses Sitting On Car's Passenger Seat

Accommodation Savings

A big cost of a road trip can be the overnight stays along the way, so consider how to offset these. One way is by choosing to camp. The cost of a pitch on a campsite is much lower than a hotel, and it adds to the adventure. Buying a tent second-hand from an auction or local deals site will pay for itself in a few nights, and you can find yourself staying in some gorgeous coastal or countryside locations that will lead you off the beaten track and towards some new adventures. If you don’t want to do camp, making reservations ahead of time is likely to save you more money than turning up somewhere at the last minute. Look into the loyalty schemes of big chains like Premier Inn - you may be able to get some nights free when you book a certain amount.
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Follow The Lewis And Clark Trail For A Memorable Family Adventure

Following the same paths that Lewis and Clark took on their now famous expedition can provide an opportunity for your family to have an adventure of their own. You'll be able to see the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest part of the country, while learning about the journey taken by these famous explorers. It's a chance to have fun and provide your children with a closer look at some of the facts they're learning in school.

The journey is marked by museums and visitor centers that use state of the art technology to bring the adventures to life. Tourists can also attend Native American events to learn more about the cultures that the explorers encountered throughout their travels across Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Along the way, marvel at the mountains, rivers, lakes, and ocean beach fronts that distinguish these areas.

Some of the Lewis and Clark expedition route and stops in Montana include spending time in West Yellowstone. You can spend time at the Yellowstone IMAX theater, while visiting the area or you can take your family to visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center and the Yellowstone Historic Center Museum. Additionally, the Big Hole National Battlefield, Big Sky Resort Area, and Bear Paw Battlefield are all along the way.

Idaho is equally packed with fun and interesting stops, which include a stop at the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Additionally, spend time at Idaho Falls and Lemhi Pass. Sun Valley, Lolo Pass, and Boise are all along the way as well.

In Washington, one of the most fascinating adventures you'll share with your family will be a visit to Cape Disappointment State Park. This is where Lewis and Clark guided separate tours to view the Pacific Ocean, because it extends out over the ocean an impressive 200 feet. Elsewhere in Washington, view the Columbia River Gorge and visit Long Beach Peninsula, among dozens of other stops.

The stops in Oregon also emphasize the history and beauty of the area. Wonder at the beauty of the state, as you visit Astoria and Fort Stevens State Park, or take in the many events that Portland has to offer. Stops at Hood River, Cannon Beach, and the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway are a few of the other stops that make the trip through Oregon worthwhile.
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Make Your Next Family Vacation Educational and Fun

Make Your Next Family Vacation Educational and Fun

If you are like many parents, you hate to see your child’s education stop once the summer break begins. You can actually make learning fun and exciting by planning an educational family vacation this summer. Use some of the suggestions below to get you started.

Living History Presentations

One of the finest ways to learn about history is to visit a living history presentation. You’ll find great examples all over the country such as the ok corral reenactment in Tombstone Arizona or the revival of the historical city of Williamsburg in Virginia. There are also traveling presentations like the Civil War re-enactments that tour many of the old battle fields. The people that participate in these events dress, act, and talk like they are actually in that location and time period.

Hands on Experiences

Learning reaches far beyond history lessons. Consider taking your kids to a space camp where they can learn all about the univers and how we go about exploring its vastness. Even an aquarium that allows you to swim with the dolphins can be a wonderful learning opportunity. You could also sign up to learn a craft, trade, or sport related to the area you are vacationing in.


Museums are an excellent place to learn, but children can grow tired of these settings quickly. Be creative and search out museums that don’t necessarily look like museums. These will hold their interest much longer. It could be a zoo, a planetarium, or a tour of a candy factory like the one in Hershey Pennsylvania. Even Walt Disney World’s Epcot is filled with educational experiences about agriculture, other countries, and our oceans.
If you plan your family vacation just right, the kids may not even realize they are learning. Instead they will remember a fun and exciting time spent with their parents over the summer break. Imagine their surprise when they hear their teacher discussing something they actually experienced while on vacation.
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The Basics Of A Candy Basket

If it's difficult to find a gift for someone for a special occasion, you can always rely on the gift of candy. This is an item that you can give for holidays including Christmas and Halloween or for birthdays. There are also options if you want to make candy gift baskets for someone in college or to make someone's day a bit brighter. The first step in making a basket with candy is to find the right basket for the occasion. You can add small details to the basket to make it personalized for the recipient, such as a bow on the front or a few trinkets inside that can be used with the candy. Invest in craft sticks if you plan on using candy bars because they will stand up better in the foam block that you put at the base of the basket. 

An option to try if you don't want to use a basket is to tape or glue concession candy boxes in the shape of a square. You can then put a foam block in the center to hold the boxes in place and to hold the crafts sticks that are attached to the candy bars. Find candies that you know the person will like. If you aren't sure about what the person eats, then use a blend of candies that include chocolate, soft candies, and a few hard candies. Try to coordinate the candies with the occasion, such as pumpkins for Halloween or hearts for Valentine's Day. The basket that you use should also coordinate with the occasion. You could also put a ribbon around a white basket or one that is a neutral color. When all of the candy is in place, add the extra items that you want to include. A small balloon or a stuffed animal is a good gift idea to consider if you aren't sure what the person would like.

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