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Save on your summer road trip adventure

Nathaniel Sillin | 7/12/2017, midnight
Are you packing up your car and hitting the road this summer? You're not alone. According to a survey conducted ...

Are you packing up your car and hitting the road this summer? You're not alone. According to a survey conducted by AAA, road trips are the most popular type of vacation for families in the U.S. in 2017. In fact, 10 percent more families are expected to take road trips this year than last.

From driving to the tip of Cape Cod, to seeing the Great Lakes all the way to a drive through the Yosemite Valley in California, there are limitless ways to explore on the road. Whether you're going to visit family or taking off on an epic

adventure, a road trip can be a great way to make travel about the journey rather than the destination.

Before you hit the road, make sure your car can handle the trip. Before you pack up your car, it's a good idea to take your car to a mechanic and ensure that it's ready for the drive. Having your car inspected and serviced by a mechanic before a road

trip can be a worthwhile investment that could both save you money and prevent an untimely breakdown. Looking into a rental car is an alternative you may want to

consider if you're hoping to avoid wear and tear that might depreciate your car's value. Consider your options carefully and choose what makes most financial sense for you.

Pack for bumps along the way. A flat tire or dead battery can put a serious damper on your road trip, especially if you're not prepared. Keeping a spare tire in your

car and checking your tire pressure and tread should be on your pre-trip checklist. Along with your bags, bring a few items for preventive maintenance measures on the road. Having jumper cables, coolant and engine oil handy can save you time and money.

Map out your trip ahead of time. While just jumping in the car and driving without a set destination can be an enticing idea, the spontaneity will likely result in more expenses. Knowing when and where you'll stop ahead of time, especially for hotels and outings, will help you stick to a budget. If you still crave the more adventurous aspects of a road trip, you can make a general plan for your major

excursions and routes, while stopping for unexpected attractions and views as you go.

Comparison shop to keep hotel prices under control. Booking ahead of time and using comparison shopping websites will save you from driving around to find the best hotel deal when you're already tired from a long drive. If you do have to book last-minute, consider using hotel coupon books, hotel-booking apps, group coupon sites or reward points to save a little more. Camping could be another alternative to booking a hotel, which can be particularly cheap if you already have gear like tents and sleeping bags.

Managing your mileage could add up to major savings. Though fuel prices may generally be down, the cost of filling up your tank can still add up. To make this cost more manageable, you can take advantage of apps that help you find the best gas prices in your area. In certain cases, you may also want to consider renting a more fuel-efficient car. You can save even more by mapping your trip ahead of time to avoid road tollways and construction that might slow you down.