smart spending

7 tips for a frugal, hassle-free road trip

Map your route
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When plotting your trip, decide first on the farthest point you want to go, says John King, travel research coordinator for AAA in Bellevue, Wash.

"I like to return on a different route than the one I took," says King. "That way you ... can enjoy the flavor of the geography and the people."

Decide how many miles you'll cover each day and plot your route accordingly.

To avoid major road construction or traffic problems, consult AAA maps if you're a member, consult state department of transportation sites or rely on the phone number 511 (available in most states) for information on what you'll encounter on the road.

To avoid traffic delays in large cities, don't drive between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and use bypass routes, if possible.




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