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March 03, 2010

Tips for a Budget Road Trip

When planning a family vacation, how can travelers stretch their budgets and maximize just a few vacation days? The answer for an increasing number of families is: Take a road trip close to home! Roadtrip

Here are some common-sense tips for saving even more while on a camping vacation:

Tune up for the Trip. Vehicles that are well maintained reduce fuel consumption. While you're on the road, conserve fuel by driving at a steady speed, ensuring that tires are properly inflated and reducing the use of your air conditioner.

Kiss the Cook. Plan to cook many of your own meals rather than always dining at restaurants. Not only does this strategy save money, but it also allows children to participate. Use this as an opportunity to come up with some creative campfire recipes that are fun for all.

• Pack the Pet. Most campgrounds welcome four-legged friends and even offer designated "dog walk" areas. Pets are part of the family, and bringing them along saves on boarding costs. Keep your pet's safety in mind while on the road, and be sure not to leave pets unattended or inside hot vehicles.

• Take a Hike. Rather than pay for costly entertainment, stop at a state park or national monument. Ask the experts to recommend a day hike that matches your interests and fitness level. Get your entertainment and your exercise!

• Rent an RV. This is an excellent suggestion for those who don't own RVs but may enjoy this method of travel. Many of North America's resort areas are accessible by RV and can be enjoyed at a lesser per-night cost.

Click here for more advice and tips from Road & Travel Magazine.

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