Simply Brianna Joy

Frugal living tips from family to fun!

Road Tripping With My Stockpile #RoadTrip #Florida

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Last fall, my husband and I decided to make a trip to Florida happen for our boys as their Christmas present. They had so much fun, they thought we should do it again this year!

They first brought it up in early October. I had to explain to them, it wasn’t something we could do every year. It’s something we have to plan and save up for. A couple weeks later, they asked again.

And again I had to explain to them why we wouldn’t be going. Then the gas prices started to drop. It started to get me thinking, maybe we could do it again. The next time they asked, my husband and I discussed it. There would be some details to work out, but we should be able to make it work!

Now what’s the cheapest way to road trip from Wisconsin to Florida? If you have a stockpile like me, you pack it up and take it with you! Even if you don’t, buying your snacks ahead of time will save money and gas because you won’t need to make unnecessary side trips to get food.

I have so much food in our basement, I did not want to be buying anything from grocery stores. Especially without coupons! I pulled out 4 of my huge totes and started packing. In it went peanut butter, jelly, crackers, cereal, applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, chips, bottles of water, tons more snacks and tons more food.(You don’t really want me to bore you with a detailed list do you?)

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I also made sure to pack enough for our trip home. It’s easy to forget that 2 day part of the trip when you are planning everything you need to start with and food you’ll need while visiting.


Once we were on the road, I kept my eyes peeled. I was watching the signs for all the hotels to see which one was advertising the cheapest rate. If you go with a chain, their rates should be fairly consistent and you could be able to score a room for about $50 a night with continental breakfast and wifi included.

Luckily, once we arrived in Florida, my wonderful cousin and her husband welcomed us into their home! We made sure to bring a big bag of goodies as a thank you. They insist it’s unnecessary, but I insist it is!

Free things to do in Florida:

Go to the beach….

There are so many beaches, we went the first day! Our favorite one is on Anna Maria Island. The boys loved playing in the ocean, finding sand dollar pieces and shells. They had so much fun playing with their younger cousin! Last year, we saw dolphins jumping out of the water!

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If you have time, stay to watch the sunset. It goes down quick, so be ready! It is absolutely beautiful!!

View wild Manatees…

From November 1- April 15, you can view wild manatees gathering in the warmer waters near Tampa Electric power plant. Viewing hours are from 10-5 daily (closed Thanksgiving, at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Easter). There were at least 100 manatees there the day we went. Watching them floating around the water, coming up for air every few minutes, was so cool! We even saw a baby one! There are also educational activities for the kids.

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Check out local parks…

One of the local parks we had gone to, had wild swans and storks. They gathered there to swim in the pond. It was such a beautiful sight! I’ll admit though, storks are not as cute as Vlasic makes them look. They are fairly ugly in my opinion.

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Head to Downtown Disney…

You can go to Downtown Disney, which is a bunch of shops where you can buy pretty much everything Disney. You can go into the Lego store and let your kids play with Legos. They have a padded play area outside the store as you enter and one inside the store.


(Eyes closed or tongue sticking out….He wouldn’t stand still for these pics. He was too excited about seeing the Hulk!)

There were also people walking around Downtown Disney, with rolls of stickers, handing them out to kids as they passed by. We did a lot of window shopping. It may be very tempting for your kids to want everything, but luckily, my boys don’t beg for anything. They know I won’t give in and begging leads to no where with me.(I did allow them to each pick a Lego building set at the Lego store, but I gave them their price limit and they stuck to it.)

{Enter city name here} Visitors Center…

Google the visitor center for the city you plan to travel. You should be able to stop there(or send an email) and speak with some local people who know a ton of great things to do in the area that are free or really cheap! They might even be able to provide you with tickets or discounts to some of the less known places to go. I just did a Google search and found tons of places I want to visit within the next few years.

These are just a few of my suggestions. What are your best ways to save a little cash while traveling?

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