Long car trips are never much fun. Irrelevant of where you’re going or why, you’ll find yourself wishing the trip was over after an hour or more. If you’re driving, you’ll soon feel the burn. Even if not, endless stretches of roads and vehicles will send you loopy. And, things only get worse when you have a precious cargo of kids onboard.

You don’t need us to tell you about the joys of the ‘are we there yet’ chorus. Kids deal with long road trips worse than we do. It’s no surprise, given that youngsters have much shorter attention spans. Still, your children’s protests are sure to make the experience worse for you. In extreme cases, you may feel the need to stop off at every services you come across to keep them quiet. The only trouble is, the expense of stops like these can soon add up. Service station prices are through the roof. Worse, your kids are sure to want a snack or drink each time you stop.

Of course, expecting children to sit still for hours on end isn’t fair. They need a chance to stretch their legs and take a break as much as you do. But, that doesn’t have to happen at those expensive services anymore. You could stop off as many times as you like during long journeys without spending a penny. And, we’re going to look at how.

Plan your stops
When you rely on services, the chances are that you wait on road signs to let you know when a break is coming. But, when you turn away from services, you don’t need to wait on those markers. Instead, plan stops ahead of time. That way, you can make sure you see some of the best sites along the way, without having to pay for the privilege.

Invest in a rain or shine set up
One benefit of stopping at a services is that they allow you to stretch your legs while protecting you from the elements. Stopping in any old field just won’t seem appealing during torrential rain. But, by investing in an awning like those at 4WD Supacentre, you can create your own rain or shine set up. With one of these on board, you can stop off and get settled during any stage of your journey. And, you won’t have to pay a penny to do it.

Take an in-car picnic cooler
Every child looks forward to snacks the most during these stops. Anything to break up the boredom, right? As such, you’re sure to have some unhappy youngsters on your hands if each break consists of nothing more than a field. Instead, complete your DIY service experience by investing in an in-car picnic cooler. Here, you can pack whole picnics if you fancy, or keep it simple with easy snacks. Admittedly, this won’t be cost-free. Still, you'll be able to more than half the amount you would spend on road trip food otherwise. That’s a saving worth making.