UNITED STATES—Summer has officially kicked off, but the question of the hour is rather, you’re ready for the long road trip, the trip to the airport and/or all the expenses that come with going out of town? Or travel in general? For most Americans, the answer is simple: NOPE. We do not plan accordingly, and as a result we end up paying the price one way or another. For me I will admit, the days of the road trip are long in the past.

I cannot be in a car for hours on end; it is just something that doesn’t work well for me. I mean 3 to 5 hours is probably the max. As a kid, the road trips could be 8, 10, 12, 18 or in some cases 24 hours or longer. We as a family did road trips all the time and this was back in the 80s and 90s before the invention of the iPad and those other devices that could keep the kiddies occupied.  If you are indeed taking a road trip, you better have a good idea of who your kids are. What makes them tick, what calms them down and what annoys them to the core. There is nothing like a screaming baby or a whiny child in a car for hours on end.

The only good thing about the road trip is you save on gas/transportation expenses. You’re likely filling up the gas tank several times, but it is a lot cheaper than having to pay for a flight. Gosh, flights in 2022 were ridiculous and they are just as bad in 2023 with the rising costs of travel thanks to inflation people. I mean we as a family had been planning a trip to Hawaii for a potential family reunion in 2022, but that was scrapped when the costs of a flight went from like $1,000 to nearly $2,500. That is a $1,500 difference and that’s a lot of money people.

What does that mean? You have to choose when you fly out. It is NEVER wise to fly or travel on a weekend or the start of the week (hi, Monday). If anything traveling on a plane mid-week is the best approach to save some money people. In addition, you have to choose not to fly/travel or plan a vacation around the holidays. You are going to pay more around Memorial Day, the Fourth of Day, Labor Day, or any big holidays because the airlines know everyone is traveling and the price will be higher as a result. Then you have the issues with flights being delayed, people not understanding how to board a plane, crying kids, people kicking your seats or lowering back those seats with no disregard to those around them. Annoying yes because people need to have a bit of tact and awareness, but so many could care less.

After you have travel taken care of, you have to worry about lodging. I mean the cost of hotels depending on where you go can be ridiculous, especially if you’re staying at a resort. I mean if you’ve never traveled to Las Vegas, piece of advice, you will be paying for resort fees, this means the use of the gym, the spa, the pool or any amenities and so much more. Guess what even if you don’t use those things you’re still stuck with that resort fee that is charged DAILY! I mean a 3 day stay that should be $200 buck, easily becomes $500 after those resort fees.

I’m sorry, but I believe if you don’t utilize those things, you should be compensated or have those fees you paid returned back to you. If you’re done with travel and lodging you have to now consider, food. That is going to be brutal because you’re not cooking, you’re likely eating out and you’re doing it 3 times a day not even considering snacks people. For a family of four, depending on what part of the country you have traveled to you could be looking at $100 to $200 per meal, and now multiply that by three.

We didn’t even get to the world of experiences and extracurricular activities that the family might indulge in, that is even more money. If I haven’t already worried you enough, the blunt truth is to travel is costly, especially with a family. If you’re doing a solo or couple getaway the punch in your wallet is not as brutal, but it still stings. Simply put you have to plan that trip several months in advance to truly be prepared America.

Written By Jason Jones