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How We Did a 4 Day Road Trip for Under $800 with a Family of 5
So we took a 4 day road trip to go visit family this past summer. This wasn't an overly planned trip but I'm still very proud if how well we did. There were 5 of us (and one more on the way!) because of the kids we chose to get a hotel vs trying to crash with family. Had we stayed with family this trip would have only cost us only about $420.
Here is the breakdown of what we spent and how we saved money on it.
We paid a bit more to make sure we had a small kitchen area with a fridge. We got free Wi-Fi and free breakfast in the deal as well.
I want to point out we got one hotel room. Many places try to tell you with 5 people you need 2 rooms we booked 1 room and because really we have 3 small kids none of which can be a room by themselves and if the Duggars and Bates families can travel and get only 4 hotel rooms I'm not paying for 2.
Total spent on hotel $350
With a big family we do drive our van that gets pretty good gas mileage. We filled up 3 times it took one tank of gas there and one tank home and one tank driving around town.
Total spent on gas: $145
For food we brought a cooler and food for breakfasts (though we got some free breakfast) and stuff for sandwiches for lunch. We only paid for 3 nights of dinner and we ate out cheaply. We also brought back left overs to the hotel for lunches. We brought snacks and granola bars long with a case of water, Gatorade and some juice boxes. When on the road we pre-made our sandwiches so we just had to stop and take a potty break and pass out food. Many rest areas have a picnic spots if you wish to get out of the car to eat. Weather didn’t allow us to do this.
We could have cut this cost down more by bringing a crock pot and cooking dinner in the hotel but visiting family each night, going out to eat was one of the ways we got together.
We spent an average of about $50 a night for dinner, including a night of taking dessert back to the hotel for mommy and daddy one night 😉
Total spent on food: $160.25
Since we packed a cooler we used what ice packs we had but we had to get ice on the drive there and the drive back.
Ice total: $4.30
We were in Ohio and hubby being an Ohio State fan, we couldn't not pick up something. This included an outfit for the new baby! If you plan to pick up gifts or souvenirs then make sure to budget for it and look for coupons and sales!
Souvenir total: $34.45
To our surprise our kids wanted water this trip over the Gatorade so we had to pick up another case. We got it in sale for $2.22! We also had some pictures printed out of the kids for hubby's grandfather and bought some frames to put them in for him
CVS Total cost: $47.10
We had a slight sandal incident on the trip. My oldest daughter ended up needing new shoes. I also splurged and got hubby the new CD he wanted so we had new music to listen to in the car because the CDs were the same from the last road trip….. So really this was a gift for mommy’s sanity.
Target total cost $23.63