You can save money on your road trip by planning ahead for hotel stays, food, attractions and more. Here are five tips to help you save on your vacation on the road:
Get a tuneup and cut weight
Preventive car care before a summer road trip can help you save on gas and make it less likely you will spend part of your summer in the sweltering sun on the shoulder, waiting for roadside assistance. MyBargainBuddy.com estimates that gas mileage can be improved by up to 3.3 percent by having your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
If you’re renting a car, avoid airport outposts and seek out deals online. Choose the smallest car that meets your travel needs. Not only will you save on the rental, but you will save on gas, too.
Stock up before hitting the road
Retailers like Sam’s Club and Costco offer food and fuel savings in a single stop. Take your cooler there to stock up on bulk yogurts, cheese snacks and lunch meats for the road.
Use mobile apps to save on gas
Sites and apps like GasBuddy include features that can help you calculate fuel costs for a trip or compare prices at nearby gas stations. For example, a recent search of stations in Los Angeles found per-gallon prices ranging from $2.77 at warehouse stores to $3.19 at several stations throughout the city.
Call and book hotels directly
Sites like Expedia, Hotwire and Priceline all have search features specifically devoted to finding last-minute deals on hotel rooms and other travel products, but their results don’t always represent the best offers. Once you have found the hotel you want and the best rate online, call the hotel directly to see if they can beat the rate — or at least match and upgrade your room.