Summer break road trip ideas and money saving tips

Summer break gives you a chance to get away from course work and deadlines. It’s a time to try something new. You can fly to Europe or look at summer road trip ideas, work on a dude ranch or catch up on your reading. Whatever your plans, there are plenty of ways to keep your spending in check. Here are a few tips on saving money when you take your summer break.

Make the most of your summer break by planning a fun road trip. (Credit: HuffPost)

Make the most of your summer break by planning a fun road trip. (Credit: HuffPost)

DIY travel ideas for summer break

Even a simple road trip can cost you a lot of money if you haven’t planned ahead of time. Just think about how you’re going to take your most important items with you. What about your tech devices? Kate Pruitt from explained how to wrangle those pesky plugs and wires that can easily get lost in your luggage in her August 17, 2011, post, “DIY Project: Vintage Book Travel-Tech Organizer.”

“Rather than spend another plane trip rummaging through my catch-all carry-on bag searching for my headphones, bumping my head on the seat in front of me every time, I decided to make a small tech-accessory organizer using elastic ribbon and an old vintage book cover,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt’s project involves a bit of sewing. You’ll take the cover off an old book and customize the inside of the cover with rubberized fabric, elastic ribbon, photo tape and glue. At last you’ll be able to store your tech accessories in one unique and easy to use container.

How to pack your kit

Travel on a budget often means being flexible about time and accommodations. Traveling light is essential. In a March 4, 2014, post for, contributor Sverve offered simple advice and suggestions for a “DIY Travel Kit.”

  • With makeup, keep it light: Use store samples instead of full containers. Or you could put your makeup into small containers that pack lighter and take up less space.
  • Make your own travel bags: You could start with an old wash cloth and sew pockets onto it for each of your bottles of lotion, shampoo and what-not.
  • If you can’t sew, heat with fabric tape, safety pins or hot glue: “When everything’s packed, roll one side of the fabric into the other and tie with a beautiful ribbon,” Sverve advised.

What if you’re grounded?

Miriam B. Weiner showed how you can save money during your summer break travel in her April 24, 2014, post for, “8 Tricks to Cheap Student Travel.”

Tip #4 in how to save money is to keep your feet on the ground and try planes, trains and automobiles. In Europe, trains are an affordable choice of travel and they’re quick, too! Even if you’re staying in the U.S. think about checking out train schedules and pricing. You might be pleasantly surprised.

“Travelers sticking to a strict budget should also consider bus and train travel. Bus companies—like Megabus, Boltbus, RedCoach, and Lux Bus America—provide inexpensive and efficient service to many major cities throughout the United States,” Weiner added.

More tips on saving money

Do a little research and you can save a lot on your summer break. In a June 29, 2013, article for, “5 Tips That Will Get You Closer To Your Dream Vacation,” Laura Brothers lists smart moves that will save you big bucks.

  • Plan to travel before or after the first two weeks of August as that is peak travel time when prices are higher.
  • Rather than staying in your destination city, stay in a less expensive hotel in a city nearby. Brothers suggests staying in Baltimore when you visit Washington, D.C. or in Oakland when your goal is San Francisco.
  • Bring food with you on the plane and save on baggage fees by traveling light.
  • Get the best prices by booking in advance.

Finally, Brothers suggested that you go against the crowd by traveling off-season. “Southwestern states see more tourism in the winter, but it can be equally as enjoyable during the summer –– and lot more affordable. Book a hotel with a pool to cool off and enjoy the lower flight and hotel costs,” Brothers said.

What are your plans for summer break? Tell us in the comments.

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