As Summer has officially started, you may be wondering about what type of vacations you want to take this year, now that Memorial Day Weekend is gone. It’s a terrific time of year in the United States to go out on the open road and explore what’s out there. Here’s how to plan the ideal summer road trip, whether a weekend break or a cross-country journey.

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1. Calculate the Distance You Must Go.

We like to drive no more than 4-6 hours away from home to optimize our time at the destination for a short road trip. If you’re a big fan of the open road, consider a trip with a more extended goal but more frequent, shorter rest breaks. You can do this with an iPhone trip planner to see the distance of your desired destination.

2. Decide on a Location.

Find interesting spots to visit that aren’t too far away from where you now reside. Even though the internet might be overwhelming, the official tourist website of your state is an excellent location to begin your search. There’s a surprising amount of helpful information to be found there. 

You may also ask your friends on social media, such as Facebook, for help. Asking for advice from friends is always a good idea! If anything, the influx of viewpoints might make it more challenging to settle on a final location!

3. Put It on the Schedule

Decide whether or not you will be able to take a long weekend off from your job. For example, it may be the Fourth of July or the Labor Day weekend in September. We fit in a road trip during the holiday weekend since we were off work for a more extended amount of time. 

On the other hand, it is not required to take place on a public holiday. To avoid the crowds, avoid going on a holiday weekend. We need three or four days to travel for a long weekend. Get away from it all and spend time with your family without having to take a lot of “time off” from work.

4. Review Your Budget

The amount of money will limit your travel plans at your disposal. When we recently went to the Tetons, we spent a little over $600 on a four-day vacation. This trip was budget-friendly because we camped most of the time, ate at home rather than out, and took advantage of the many cost-free activities like hiking and fishing. Decide how much you’re willing to spend ahead of time and make your travel arrangements appropriately.

5. Figure Out Where You Want to Stay

Camping is an excellent option if you’re seeking the most affordable lodging. Always remember that depending on where you travel, you may need to make reservations in advance to guarantee that you have a campsite. If you’ve never taken your family camping but want to learn how to do it safely and affordably, read our tips on camping with kids.

To save money on meals, you may also reserve an apartment via Airbnb, which has a wide range of economic alternatives for families (you can set your budget) and typically includes a kitchen to cook in. Another option is home swapping, where you trade places with another person for a certain amount of time. But we’d love to give it a whirl!

Road trips don’t need a lot of time or money to organize. You won’t have to go very far to see some breathtaking sights. It will surprise you what you uncover if you take the time to look into your situation more thoroughly. It is not where you go, but instead who you travel with and the experiences you get along the way as a family that is most important to consider.

Also, Read: San Diego Budget Travel Guide