A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Amy Graff, Best Western’s family travel expert who recently returned from a two and a half week summer road trip in which they spent only $150 on average per day (including lodging).  This week’s post focuses on the entertainment and attractions that her family were able to see on their strict budget.

Amy admits that they were unable to visit certain attractions, such as Graceland, due to their budget, but that doesn’t mean they just stayed in their car the entire time.  Instead, they focused on free and low cost activities, such as local fairs, parks and festivals, as well as parades.

To find local events, the Graff’s relied on hotel staff and local newspapers.  However, they often just happened upon fun events, like a tractor parade they attended.  In addition, instead of taking a tourist boat across the river, they decided to travel on a commuter ferry boat, which still provided them the same views!

To keep the kids entertained in the car, they borrowed books on CD at their local library, and also printed coloring sheets, games, and other printables from websites such as http://www.lilsugar.com.  Prior to their vacation, the Graff’s purchased clipboards for each child so they’d have a flat surface for activities in the car.  They also took frequent breaks, approximately every 2 hours, to stretch their legs and recharge.

Next week, I’ll focus on how the Graff’s found great values with lodging.

Read part one here and part two here.