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5 Tips for Saving Money on the Road

Know How to Save on Gas

Unless you're carpooling cross country in a Prius, the gas pump is going to give you a headache on your road trip. That sloshing noise? It's the sound of your bank account (or credit card) pouring into your tank.

Here are some tips that will help ease pump pain:

  • Don't wait until the weekend to gas up -- prices are higher on weekends and holidays.
  • If you insist on paying for staying, find hotels that offer gas discounts -- usually in exchange for joining their frequent stay programs.
  • Make sure your GPS is set for the shortest route, not necessarily the quickest.
  • There's an app for that. Get FuelFrog, GasBuddy, or a similar app that compares nearby fuel prices. Also, make sure your navigation app shows traffic. There's nothing like sitting still in a traffic jam, while your engine burns through your wallet.
  • Tune up before you go -- replace the air and fuel filters and make sure your tires are properly inflated. A tuned car is a gas-efficient car.
  • If you insist on eating fast food, park and go inside -- standing in line wastes much less gas than idling in line.
  • Don't top off the tank. Every year in the United States, 147 million gallons of fuel evaporate from overfilled gas tanks [source: Travel+Leisure].