Make Your Summer Road Trip Cheaper and More Fun

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Posted on 07/14/2009

So you’ve decided to head out on the open road this summer. There’s nothing quite like the freedom from flight departure schedules and baggage weight limits. Before hitting the highway, check out these ways to make your summer road trip cheaper and more fun.

Choose Your Car Wisely - Wondering which family vehicle you should take—or if renting a car might be a better option? Figure out the cost of fuel during your road trip using the calculator at FuelCostCalculator.com. Input the year, make and model of each vehicle. It will tell you how much to budget for gas and give you an easy comparison for which car is going to be cheaper over the long haul.

Find the Best Gas Stations - Since fuel is going to be a big part of your budget, finding the cheapest gas is important. Just driving around your own town you can see that the cost of gas can vary significantly between stations that are less than a mile apart. Use GasBuddy.com to map out the cheapest gas near your hotels or along your route.

Bring Your Own Food - Fast food can get old and expensive pretty quickly. Pack a cooler with drinks, snacks and treats. Your wallet—and your waistband—will thank you.

Find Alternative Lodging - Save on lodging by visiting family and friends along your route. For an even bigger adventure, consider using the services of a member of CouchSurfing.org. You can stay somewhere comfortable and safe free of charge. Another option is earning your stay on a farm through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or WWOOF. In exchange for working on a farm you can get free room and board.

Play Free Games - One of the best parts of road trips are the games, I Spy, Alphabet Memory, and Rock, Paper Scissors are all classics. Check out RadRoadTrips.com for free games, songs and activities that will make your summer road trip one to remember. Also, print out these free Car Bingo Cards from Disney Family Fun. Whoever spots a cow, convertible with the top down or yellow light first may just be the winner.

Visit Free Attractions - Be sure to check out RoadsideAmerica.com to add some weird and wacky pit stops onto your road trip adventure. We know you’ve always wanted to see the world’s biggest ball of twine.

By Alison Storm

Barnes & Noble - Grab a travel book that'll help you find interesting stuff to do along the way and at your destination! Save 10% on one item with coupon code D3A7V3V. Expires 08/03/2009.

OfficeMax - Don't know about you, but we can't function with our kids on a road trip without bringing LOTS of crayons, markers, and paper. Through 07/18/2009, when you buy 2 Crayola items at OfficeMax, you can get a third for just a penny!

Speedo - Gotta have a great quality swimsuit for all those lakes, rivers, and pools you'll encounter on a road trip, right? Save 25% off 1 item through 08/03/2009 with coupon code SPFAV11.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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