SHHH! Don’t tell my kids – but this summer we have decided to take a whopper of a road trip and hit the highlights revolving around the founding of our nation and it’s presidents. I am seriously SO excited – I can hardly wait to tell the kids!
We had planned on road tripping it out to the New England area when the kids were in their early teens so they could see all of the famous beginning birthplaces of our country but things came up this year and presented us an opportunity to splurge and take the kids now! My middle son will be 6 years old and is just absolutely obsessed with presidents and oddly enough has been begging to visit the White House.
Guess how we’re telling the kids? The morning of our road trip I’ll have laid out a HUGE poster with a cryptic message using my die cuts from Ellison Education telling them to grab their stuff to visit the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and more!
Our current plans are for the middle to end of July spending about 1-3 days in each location depending on our budget. I know, it won’t be enough time at each place but we work with what we have! Here are a few of the highlights we will be hitting as long as we get our baby’s passport back in time (if we don’t we’ll be driving through Michigan and Ohio instead of going further north through Canada):
Leaving from Iowa roundtrip we will be hitting Niagara Falls, Boston (Freedom Trail, Plymouth, whale watching), NYC (Statue of Liberty, USS Intrepid, Central Park Zoo, Ripley’s), Philadelphia (Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell), and Washington D.C. (the White House, Bureau of Engraving, Smithsonian, Lincoln Memorial, the National Zoo etc.)
There is SO much more we would love to see but we’re squeezing in as much as we possibly can in just 2 weeks. (yes – 2 weeks for the whole trip!) Thanks to packing this around a business trip as well as using free credit card reward points for hotels we’ll be spending under $1000 for everything for 2 weeks. That includes all hotels, food, gas, souvenirs, attractions, etc.
Although it’s definitely a vacation we also look at this particular trip as an investment with the sole purpose being a learning and educational experience for the kids.
Ways we are SAVING Money:
*FREE 5 Hotel Nights through our Choice Hotels Credit Card reward points we’ve been saving
*CHEAP “Hotel” Nights through AirBnB (get $25 OFF $75 here!)
*Pre-buying souvenirs (more on that below)
*FREE (or cheap) attractions (White House, Liberty Bell, Mint, Smithsonian, etc.)
*Groupon – Saves money on food, hotels, and attractions
*Packing our own food/snacks/drinks when possible
*Our $20/month vacation plan (see our blog post and chart here)
I am a HUGE promoter of pre-buying souvenirs when possible to save money. Don’t get me wrong – it’s definitely fun for the kids to pick out souvenirs when you’re on the road, but pre-buying some are not only a great way to get the kids excited about the trip but can save you a bundle of money in the long run. (We also always do pressed pennies for souvenirs anywhere we travel.)
I try to start looking for souvenirs as soon as we have a road trip in the works to maximize our savings so I’ve been collecting items here and there for several months already. I am also creating die cut Presidential Learning Facts Trading Flash Cards thanks to Ellison Education to go along with my Presidential Bookmarks and Printables.
Here are a few awesome ideas that I have either already purchased or am considering purchasing for this presidential road trip:
Presidential PEZ Candy Dispensers
President Rubber Duckies
“L is for Liberty” Children’s Book
Safari LTD President’s TOOB
Abraham Lincoln Bandages
Presidential Bobble Heads
President Fact Bracelets
President Stick Photo Prop Cut Outs
Air Force One Playset
LEGO White House
LEGO Lincoln Memorial
Statue of Liberty Headband
Schylling NYC Taxi Cab Pull Back Car
Statue of Liberty Sunglasses
George Washington’s Teeth Children’s Book
(Did you know that the White House has a gift shop??)
If you have any great family-friendly tips for our locations let me know below! There are SO many more things that I want to see but unfortunately we can’t squeeze it all in…..although a month long trip would be awesome! 🙂