* Rent a gas-efficient car. A big SUV is spacious, but given today's high gas prices, you can extend your trip in a smaller car since you won't have to put all of your money into your gas tank.
* Have a plan. Build excitement for your trip by letting your passengers know what activities you have in mind.
* Bring entertainment. Stock the car with fun games and reading materials to keep passengers entertained when the conversation lulls.
* Document the trip. The trouble with vacation is that it always goes by too fast. Be sure to keep a camera or camcorder close by so that you can capture the memories throughout the trip. If you use a Sony DVD Handycam camcorder, you can even record directly onto a DVD; passengers can then watch it on a portable DVD player during the drive home. Be sure to make copies so that you can share the memories with friends and family.
* Don't get lost. To make the most of your trip, take advantage of all of the travel technologies available today. Make sure to get a Global Positioning System tracking unit so you can figure out where you're going. It's especially useful when you veer off your charted course.
Follow these tips to ensure that you and your family enjoy a cost-effective vacation with memories built to last.