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Tips for saving money on the road

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Road-trip for less

Road trips are a blast, but the hit your wallet takes is no fun at all. These tips will help you save money on the road.

Piggy bank savings

Driving may sound like a cost-effective way to travel, but things tend to add up on the road. By the time you pay for gas, food and activities, you might as well have splurged for a plane ticket. It is possible to cut back on costs, though. These tips will help you tighten your budget while you travel.

Save on gas

One of the biggest road trip expenses is gas. There's really no way around that, but it's possible to make the cost a little less painful. The free GasBuddy app searches all of the gas stations around you and tells you which one has the best prices. It even tells you how to get there, so there's no wasting gas by trying to track down the best prices!

Be fuel efficient

Save the gas you have by using it more efficiently. Check your tire pressure, avoid sitting in traffic and maintain a constant speed to keep your gas needle moving at a slow pace. Also, try to pack as light as possible — extra weight from bags reduces the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.

Pack food and water

Fast-food stops make dining on the road easy, but they can kill your budget in no time at all. Pack snacks, drinks and maybe even a meal or two to help save on food costs while you travel.

Reduce your number of stops

You know how it goes. One person has to use the restroom, and the next thing you know, everyone in the car has a fresh drink and a new bag of chips. Every stop you make opens the door for impulse buys, so keep them to a minimum. When you do stop, make sure everyone uses the restroom so you're not stopping again in 30 minutes. Try and stretch your stops out so you're getting gas, food and restroom breaks all in one highway exit. That will help extend the time between stops and make impulse buys at each stop less likely.

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