30 Day Road Trip: Fort Collins/Denver, Days 1-3

Stop one: Fort Collins/Denver, CO!

Our time in Fort Collins/Denver and tips for making road tripping more affordable with smart accommodations!

Fort Collins and Denver

If you are new, let me catch you up, I decided to take my kids on a 30 day road trip across the US. My 4 kids, myself, and my sister (backup), are all in my mini-van traveling over 6000 miles in about 30 days to see some of the country. We have a full itinerary, and tons of fun planned. Our first stop was Fort Collins, Colorado.

And oh my gosh you guys! We had so much fun. We chose this spot because I have some amazing blogging friends who live there, and I just had to go visit them. While we were there we enjoyed some of the great outdoors Colorado has to offer with some boating, and time at a lake in Denver. We went to a drive-in movie, ate at some really yummy restaurants, and spent time with friends!


Paddle Boats at the Lake!

That leads me to my first tip for saving money on lodging when road tripping: Stay with people you know! 

Okay, I know that is not earth shattering, or even that big of an idea. But let me tell you, it helped us save a lot!  Not only did my awesome friends feed us, and give us a free place to lay our heads, but they also helped us have a ton of fun! Low cost fun!

We stayed with 2 different friends, Sarah from HighHeelsAndGrills.com and Sandra from ADashOfSanity.com and even got to spend a couple days at one of those friend’s family properties that has a lake on it. We had a blast. And since it was a friend’s place, we did not have to spend much money to have fun.

Tubing on the lake!

Tubing on the lake!

My second tip: Do Some Camping!

We packed a tent and camping supplies, and we camped in Denver at the lake. But that is not the only place we camped during our trip. Camping on a road trip is a lot of work with set up and take down. But it is also a great way to save a bundle.

By purchasing a $300 cargo carrier that sits on top of my car, I have room for camping gear, and can save hundreds over the course of our 30 day trip. Plus we now own a cool cargo carrier!

Camping is cheap. And not as uncomfortable as it may seem. With a little research I found plenty of campgrounds with bathrooms and shower houses (running water), as well as electricity for charging phones, iPods, etc. for as little as $10/night! With a group of 6, that is dirt cheap!

Paddleboarding at the Lake

Paddleboarding at the Lake

My next tip is: Find accommodations with extras!

Of course we also stayed in some hotels. I booked cheap hotels where I could along the route, but in some cities, like New York, or Chicago, that is just not possible. For these I looked at AirBnB.com for places to stay. And got some great deals.

When I needed a centrally located hotel, and couldn’t find an AirBnB that fit the bill, I tried to find hotels with a complimentary breakfast, because not buying breakfast saves a lot of money when you have 6 people, and can help offset the cost of the stay. In addition, I looked for Free Parking, complimentary laundry, pools (to entertain my kids), and free WiFi.

Speaking of free WiFi, I wrote this post with it! So thank you for that.

Anyway, 3 days of friends, spending time on the lake, and eating was a great way to start our 30 days on the road. Be sure to check back for how we spent the rest of our trip!


About Rachael

I am Rachael, I have a passion for all things travel. I have an incurable wanderlust, and a need to see and do. I have four littles that call me "mom" and I am currently wading through the ever changing tides of parenting. I am figuring out what works, and what doesn't. And, I have a passion for food. In fact, I have an entire website dedicated to food www.eazypeazymealz.com. I love to eat, cook, and try new things.

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