Summer Road Trip!



This summer we decided to take a summer road trip. We recently made a permanent change of station near Dallas, TX for a special assignment working with another government agency. There is so much to do around here! 


We were excited that our summer vacation budget would get a little rest and we could save up for our big trip next year. Still, we would need some funding. This past spring our neighborhood had a huge garage sale. I decided the money from it would be our road trip funds. That is how I convinced my husband and girls to participate. Go Mom!


There are many ways to save on your road trip. Below I’ve provided you tips to save on your vehicle expenses, your lodging, and of course the activities that you’ll do along the way. Feel free to add your tips so we call can share!



  • Get a gas app – USAA Member Community Manager Briana Hartzell says her favorite is Gas Buddy. I checked it out and was impressed with the fact I could “find gas near me” or search by city or ZIP code and get a list of gas stations sorted by price.
  • Save on your rental car – USAA members can save on rental cars from Avis®, Budget®, and Hertz®.
  • Don’t be pack rats - An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your mileage by up to 2 percent.
  • For other ways to save on fuel economy - slowing down, checking tire pressure, etc. – visit the official resource



  • Almost every hotel chain – and even most camp sites - has a “government rate” of which you can take advantage. You can also take advantage of military community lodging resources at DOD Lodging
  • It’s a small military world so make sure you scope out military friends along your road trip route that you might be able to pay a visit for the night. After all, getting to see an old friend and having a free place to land is always a good deal.



  • Do a simple search of the internet using keywords “free activities (area where you’re visiting)” and see a long list of activities in any area of the country and overseas.
  • Visit your installation travel office. They offer lists and brochures on many local attractions.
  • Find the different military installations along your route (here’s a map of them all) and visit/call them to see what offers they have in the area.
  • Pay a visit to Guide to Military Travel  where Navy wife and travel professional Erica Vest has a great list of discounts for military from Anheuser-Busch’s Waves of Honor® to Disney® and more!
  • Peruse the list of Blue Star Museums all offering free admission to military families.
  • Looking for space available travel deals or resort vacation packages? Look no further than Armed Forces Vacation Club.
  • Take advantage of apps like Living Social® or Groupon® for savings on activities. You can even search the regions along your route.


There are so many ways to save for military families we shouldn’t be paying full price for anything on our road trips. All it takes is a little prior proper planning and our road trip will be set with perfect performance!



What creative ways have you earned money for a vacation?

What tips do you have to save at the pump?

Where do you find discounts for lodging or activities?