Home » Travel » Travel Tips » Stockpiling Moms Top 10 Frugal Travel Checklist

Stockpiling Moms Top 10 Frugal Travel Checklist

I am sharing with you Stockpiling Moms Top 10 Frugal Travel Checklist to help provide your family a fun, distraction free family vacation.

Stockpiling Moms Top 10 Frugal Travel Checklist - If you are traveling with kids this is a lifesaver!

We love to drive on vacation, our motto is avoiding the airport and paying for our luggage. We normally drive 12 or more hours to the beach and have been since our son was born (he is 5). In order to keep those long trips fun and distraction free I want to share my Top 10 Tips with you. Of course, they are frugal tips as I am a frugal blogger!

Stockpiling Moms Top 10 Frugal Travel Checklist:

10. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks from your stockpile when you travel so that you don’t have to stop and make expensive pit stops. I like to pack a cooler with lunch too!

9. Pack a tote for each child. Include 20 items (one new item for every hour of your drive). These could include books, coloring books and crayons, etch a sketch, small toys, new video game or a new DVD just to name a few. A frugal tip is to buy these items throughout the year when you find them on sale/clearance.

8. Though I am not an advocate of watching DVDs for the entire trip I do suggest packing a portable DVD player and several of your child’s favorite and new DVD’s. A frugal tip is to check out DVDs from the library, buy them a local consignment store or borrow from a friend.

7. Load your iPod with your child’s favorite music. We love to sing together while we drive. It passes the time, and your child will enjoy dancing in their seat to the music. If you don’t have an iPod, check out CDs from your local library.

6. Take time to educate your children on where they are going and what they are going to do while they are there. I often bring a travel guide and show my son pictures of where we are headed.

5. Talk about subjects that you normally don’t have time to talk about. I always ask my son what his most memorable moment was at the end of every day. Journal these memories in a notebook. You could keep one notebook as your travel journal and add these memories from year to year.

4. Use flashcards with your children. This is a great time to work on colors, shapes, addition, subtraction, Spanish…you can pick these up at your local Dollar Tree or create your own on index cards.

3.  Play Are We There Yet? Travel Activity Ring by Simply Fun.  It is only $9.00 and will pass hours of time while you get to know the members of your family better.  It is the best investment I have ever made!

2. Play games while you drive. We love to play “I spy”, Slug a Bug and Bruiser Cruiser (PT Cruiser), Finding something that starts from A-Z as we drive.

1. Enjoy your time together! Create memories of your family time together!  There is no better time and enjoy every minute of it!

Travel Articles:

Disney Travel Tips

How to save money at Kings Island 

Tips for budget travel

How to Save Money at Disney & Tips for Planning

Frugal Camping Tips

Tips for Saving Money on Air Travel

5 Tips to Save On Gasoline

DIY Travel Art Center

Stockpiling Moms can be found in all your favorite places. Hop on over to Instagram and follow the fun. We love posting memes, family fun, travel, and whatever we are feeling that day. Pinterest is also an amazing place to visit Stockpiling Moms. This is where you can pin all your favorite articles from our Food, Travel & Lifestyle Blog.



Similar Posts


  1. Stop regularly at rest stops to let little legs stretch and drivers to wake up. This is a great time to pull out that packed cooler that saves you money from having to do drive thru fast foods.

  2. We also travel by car as well. This summer I drove 20 hours with 3 kids ages 5, 3, and 1, to KY from CO. Then from CO I drove to SC. Thank the Lord my kids are some great travelers! My hubby is deployed so I has to drive solo.

  3. We also do most of our traveling by car. To pass the time we like to play travel games, I usually always pack notebooks, and coloring books and crayons.

  4. What great tips! We always played the license plate or alphabet game in the car. It made roadtrips more fun when I was little and distracted us from the time!

  5. We just got back from a road trip to New York with our seven kids! A little crazy at times but so much fun!

  6. I am a huge fan of packing snacks also. We used to waste so much $ stopping for drinks and snacks. Fun games you guys play. Great ideas!

  7. we have portable dvd player/tv and we also bring games and the ipad to keep the kids happy in the back

  8. I am new to your blog and just joined the saving money train. I loved these travel tips you have provided. My son is still little so I hope to remember these in the future. He’s just starting to play with toys so I some toys that he hasn’t played with yet that I use just for road trips. Reading stories also works well if he’s tired and fighting sleep.

  9. Play the license plate game! I played it with my grandparents all the time when I was a kid. My grandma kept printed checklists of the states in the car visor at all times so it was easy to play and check off the states you’ve spotted on a whim.

  10. The new toy/item for every hour you travel is a wonderful idea! I’ll definitely try this one!

  11. Since a lot of our trips are made pulling a large horse trailer, its a lot easier (and cheaper) for us to pack food in a cooler to bring with us. Imagine pulling a four horse trailer through McDonalds…no thank you! Its also much healthier to bring your own snacks, and since our dog needs twice daily insulin shots, its perfect for keeping her insulin cool, too!

  12. We love to play the alphabet game, looking for the alphabet in order on license plates or road signs, lots and lots of fun

  13. We pack a cooler with bottled water & some snacks to save money on the trip. We also carry a case of bottled water to save money once we get to our destination.

  14. These are all great tips! Most of them we try to do as well. It is way easier to have snacks and drinks packed with you rather than stop a lot during the trip and you spend way less money too. Road trips are so much fun…I think its about time to take another one!

  15. We drive everywhere too, so lots of time in the car driving half cross country since out kids were infants. At rest stops we make the kids run. Pick out a tree farther away and make them run around it and back, do 10 jumping jacks and other fun energy moving things!

  16. I like the talking about subjects you don’t normally talk about tip. This is agreat idea and I hope I remember to do it next time we are on vacation!

  17. My family and I just got back from a weekend vacation. It was about 3 hours long and we spent the time watching a DVD and just playing the normal road games.
    In a few weeks we will be going on a 20+ hour long trip to Illinois to see some family and definitely plan a lot more things for 3 kids to do. Now that we have a van there is more room to bring extra things for a long car ride. We will definitely bring snacks and drinks to dive into as well as more games, movies books and paper. The kids love to play finish my story. Where they take turns beginning and ending each others stories. We also frequently call family and friends to let them know how far we have made it. My 6yr old daughter loves to write her friends and tell them about everything she will see while out of state. Gives her practice on writing skills as well!

  18. I like bringing the flavor packs to add to drink bottles… it saves us money when we do have to buy a drink

  19. I always make a list of things I’m bringing…clothes, toiletries, electronics etc. It helps you keep track of what you need to pack but also doubles as a checklist to make sure you bring everything you brought back home.

  20. Where would we be without coolers? They definitley save us money all the way around. I never thought of using out of the stockpile though, i like that idea.

  21. I wish our daughter didn’t hate her car seat so much! It makes traveling more than 3 hours very stressful because that’s when she wakes up and has a meltdown for the rest of the trip!

  22. These are awesome tips, I am a snacker and so are my kids… so we always have them handy. I put free games on my cell phone and download free songs that they like and they get to play– the only downfall the battery life is almost always depleted but they have such a great time its worth the extra charging time! 🙂

  23. Love these tips, and I remember playing I Spy. We also use to play a game called Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, sort of along the lines of 20 questions.

  24. Jiff to go is great. I have used it many times. Using this for dipping apples is is just great!…… Take the Jiff to go on a family trip to the zoo bring your precut apples and you are ready for a good healthy snack.

  25. I love playing games in the car. We always sang songs and tried to find every states license plate on passing cars. What fun!

  26. I usually travel with my daughters ( ages 19, 12, & 7) and my granddaughter (age 2). With such an age difference I NEVER forget a pair of headphones for each of them! With those few moments of silence it gives my oldest daughter and I time to talk and visit.

  27. I love #5. I love telling my girls how we chose their names and about my pregnacies with each one. Everytime we go on a road trip they start asking me to tell them again!

  28. Very helpful! I have a 2 year old and we have not taken a trip, but plan to take a small one this month so we can see how she’ll do before we venture onto a cross country trek 🙂
    Thanks for the tips!

  29. I do all of these, except, I don’t have an “Are WE There Yet?” game. Guess I gotta get one. Thanks for the tip.

  30. I love all the tips. There is one thing that I take on all our car trips, ziplock bags and baby wipes. My daughter used to get car sick, so we bring the ziplock bags so they don’t get sick in the car and they keep the smell in until we can stop to throw them away. They clean their face in the baby wipes and throw them in the bag and zip shut. It also works for diapers.

  31. We love o drive as well when we trael, adn I have been doing many of these same things with our three kids for the past 15 years. I also travel a lot with groups of scouts, so I have a go to game box full of card games that we grab and take. They are great on the road as well as inthe hotel room. We also leave time for impromtu sight seeing as we travel, if it looks fun and is free I try to take time to stop and have our picnic lunce or break there.

  32. Love your tips. Parents don’t always see things in perspective of the child and how boring a trip can be for them. I like your suggestion to have something different for them every hour. It is always great to take “new toys” along as well as the favorite stuffed animal/doll as new things really excite them and keep their minds working and occupied. Plus they sleep better when they are happy about a new toy.

  33. Stockpiling Moms Top 10 Frugal Travel Checklist

    These were great tips and I am sending them out to my nieces who are both young mothers.

  34. I like to make sure I have a bunch of healthier snacks with me…because I know that I will have the munchies on long trips and if I start snacking on bad food…well, that’ll make for a much less happy stomach later!

  35. I love taking time to educate my daughter on where we are going when we do travel. Usually we only go local places, but she loves knowing more about the area before we get there.

  36. You can always try playing the Alphabet game. If the child knows his or her ABC. You can work on it as a family or in teams. You have to read signs and license plates to find each letter of the alphabet in order. Piece of advice though this game can take a long time to finish because J, Q, V, X, Y and Z can be hard to find.

    Another thing that I do when I travel. I eat my big meal out at lunch time. The prices and the portions are more in line with the budget AND the calorie budget. I have snacks, fruits, veggies and drinks in the car as well as sandwich fixings for the evening meal. I own a battery/electric refrigerater that I keep in the car when I’m traveling. Check your local big box stores at the end of the summer season. Mine was clearanced at Target to 30 dollars about 4 years ago. Don’t forget to pack a paring knife and a little cutting board so you can prep veggies if you need to restock.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.