Family travel: Road-tripping on $250 a day

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Amy Graff is a thirty-something mother undertaking a quintessential American adventure: the long road trip. Graff hit the road with her husband and two kids for a 2,400 mile drive, and she's been writing about it on her blog

So far, she seems to have found it was difficult to stick to her planned budget of $250 a day. When she went over budget, she made up for it by cost-cutting for the next couple days. On the few occasions that she was under budget, she carried the money over to help her out later.

Highlights of her trip have included cruising the historic Route 66, tooling around Flagstaff, Ariz., and attempting to teach her daughter about art at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Given that the hotel chain Best Western is sponsoring her trip, Amy naturally visited one of the oldest Best Western properties in Springfield, Mo. and had good things to say about them. She'll soon be reaching her destination in Chicago.

Here are a few of Amy's tips for road-tripping with kids:

1) Don’t have a fuel-efficient ride? Rent one.

2) Stop every two hours when you are road tripping with kids to keep them from getting bored (and from driving you crazy). Bring a hula-hoop or a jump rope so they’ll have something to do once they’re out of the car.

3) Start up an easy-to-play game like I-Spy, 20 Questions, or Name that Tune. (Find info on these games at special pages on and You can also borrow Books on Tape from your public library.


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