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How Family Road Trips Can Be Done on the Cheap


Low-cost Lodging

The first thing you'll probably hear when it comes to saving some bucks on road trip lodging is "go camping!" But not all families are into the outdoors, and you're just asking for bad attitudes if you go Clark Griswold and try to force them into it. If your husband and kids are nature challenged, then a hotel will probably be more to more to their liking. Roadside motels usually have great rates, but if your family refuses to camp, they may also boycott the meager accommodations of a roach motel.

Just like with meals, planning for your hotel stays is a must. Plot your stops ahead of time and try to stick to that schedule. Once you know your stayover points, use the Internet to find discounted deals. You might also want to consider joining AAA, which offers savings on pretty much all hotels in the country and a roadside assistance policy that can be helpful in a pinch.

Sometimes a suite is less expensive for a family than getting separate rooms for the kids and parents, or if you really want to save a buck, ask for rollaway beds and have a good old-fashioned slumber party in the same room. And last but not least, home stays are as cheap as it gets, so don't be afraid to call up that third cousin from Topeka who you haven't seen in 10 years.