Now is the Time to Save on a Summer Road Trip

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Summer’s always a great time for a road trip, but with rising gas prices and the cost of other necessities, it can get expensive. Here are a few easy tips to help you plan your trip, and stretch your dollars.

Before you hit the road, always give your car a good tune up to avoid breakdowns and increase gas mileage. Check all the fluids, inspect belts and hoses for cracks and excessive wear, and make sure your tires are aligned, properly inflated and have adequate tread.

Food is expensive on the road, so always pack your own meals if possible. But if you have to dine out, always try to do lunch instead of dinner. Lunch menus are typically cheaper and if you stick with counter service only, you won’t have to spend an extra 15 to 20 percent more on tips.

If you’re going to be driving cross-country, consider getting a AAA membership if you haven’t got one already. The last thing you want is to be stranded in an unfamiliar place due to car trouble. With AAA you’ll get roadside assistance, hotel discounts and even towing services, depending on your membership level. It’s an investment, but it could potentially save you hundreds of dollars, not to mention precious time on your trip.

Lastly, if you’re going to be staying at hotels, try to book them at least 30 days in advance. Rates can fluctuate, and sales typically occur about one month before their high-traffic periods.

These are just a few savings tips to get you started – with a little planning and preparation, you’ll be hitting the open road, without the big spending.

Related: Ultimate Cheapskate’s 10 ways to save money on travel

 

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