Cost-cutting tips for road trips

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Americans will hit the road over the next few weeks for summer vacation and they’ll spend big bucks on travel. I’m Rose Raymond with your Personal Finance Minute.

The route between your home and destination is a minefield of unnecessary costs – including pricy gas, high priced food and more.

The first is gas. Your gas mileage will decrease rapidly after you hit 60 miles per hour and boost your cost to fill up. Driving at lower speeds can help you save as much as 33 percent at the pump.

When you fill up, check out stations at discount stores and near shopping centers rather than near the highway. If you have a Smartphone, apps such as Gas Buddy can help you find stations closer to town that offer lower fuel prices.

And before you leave on your trip, stock up on snacks and drinks, and stash them in a cooler to munch on while driving. If you sit down for a restaurant meal, do it earlier in the day. Breakfast and lunch are always cheaper than dinner, and you can find coupons online for chain restaurants to defray costs.

For more money saving tips, go to I’m Rose Raymond.