One summer, my father and mother decided it would be a great idea to rent an RV and take our ragtag family on a road trip. This boiled down to 7 people in an RV going all the way to Richmond, Virginia. That’s 793.2 miles… or 11 hours and 40 minutes. Did I mention one of the people in the RV was 3 years old?
The rental company assured us there was plenty of space in that RV. Not. There was a kitchen, living room and bathroom, but it was small beyond small. Did I mention one of the people in the RV was 3 years old?
To add to the pile, my father and my brother decided NOT to take the class that teaches you how to actually operate the RV. My brother — imagine Uncle Eddie from Christmas Vacation in his robe but with more tattoos — plus my niece, decide to have motion sickness. That was just the start of it.
We have a lot of laughs now about that summer spent in that tiny RV. There were skunks, “egg water” that backed up in the shower (don’t ask about the egg water), the mattress that slid off the bed platform, the spatula that handled almost anything, and of course the baked beans. I guarantee you none of us have ever rented an RV again; I could write a book about how NOT to rent an RV.
The point of all of this is that if you want to travel and have great experiences: there should be some planning behind it. You’ll travel safe, have more fun on your trip, and save money.
How to save for travel
First, establish a travel savings account. You can easily take the loose change you have lying around and toss it in a jar. Start a swear jar with your roommates. Dig to the bottom of the washing machine (past the gum and dirty socks.) After a year you’ll probably have a few hundred bucks for a snazzy souvenir! Hey, maybe a financial advisor can help you put together some travel savings plans too.
Contact a travel agent and get travel insurance
I’m speaking from experience on this one, it’s worth it. They know what travel deals you might be able to snag, and the locations that are safest. Every time we’d used a travel agent, we haven’t had any of those snafus. Also consider picking up travel insurance; your travel agent may be able to help you with this.
Leverage frequent flyer miles and other rewards programs
Get one of those debit cards that round your purchases up to the next dollar and throws the difference in another account. Again, you’d be surprised how quickly that adds up. Kind of like the digital version of the change jar; yet another way to save for travel.
Do your research, too
There are a ton of websites and ideas out there to get you packing. Do your research and let me know what travel tips you find. I’d also love to hear about any of your best travel snafus ? I’ll share the best one next time, and maybe even the deets on some of my other infamous family outings:
- Who is the Key West Pooper?
- The Customs Lineup in Canada
- An Awkward Massage in Cabo San Lucas
- And… Montana.
Hit me up at @crmarotz with your worst travel stories!