Are you headed on a road trip this summer? Try these 10 easy tips to save fuel and money as you travel.

  1. Pack light. If you have the space, it might be tempting to bring your entire wardrobe, but it will cost you at the pump. Every 100 pounds extra in your car decreases your fuel efficiency by 2 percent. Although it may not seem like much, the extra fuel cost can really add up after hundreds of miles.
  2. Get a tune-up. Before you hit the road, take your car to your mechanic. Ensuring that it's in tip-top shape could help you get better gas mileage and hopefully avoid any car troubles on your trip.
  3. Inflate your tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and you'll save up to $0.13 per gallon. In most cases you'll find the proper tire pressure listed on a sticker in the driver's side door of your car.
  4. Keep your speed in check. On long stretches of lonely highway, it's easy to rev up into a higher speed. While it might get you to your destination a little faster, it also wastes gas. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends you only go 50 mph, when you can do so safely. For every 5 mph more, you'll spend an extra $0.24 per gallon. If you have a 20-gallon tank and travel 70 mph, that adds up to an extra $19 in wasted money.
  5. Use cruise control. The easiest way to maintain a consistent, energy-saving speed is to turn on your cruise control. There is, however, one exception. In areas with lots of hills or mountains, using the cruise control can actually cost you more money. That's because your car is working extra hard to maintain your speed on steep inclines, which you wouldn't typically do if you were in control of the pedals.
  6. Don't get frustrated. If you get stuck in traffic, or are simply irritable from sitting in the car, don't take it out on the road. Driving aggressively is the biggest fuel waster of them all. If you can avoid rapid acceleration, hard breaking and speeding, you could improve your fuel economy by as much as 33 percent.
  7. Know how to keep cool. Using the air conditioner is a must in the summer, but it shouldn't be on all the time. When you're at lower speeds, roll down your window to keep cool. At higher speeds, crank up the AC. Having the windows down on the highway creates a drag that will decrease your fuel economy.
  8. Recycle air. Instead of cooling hot air from outside, recirculate the cool air that's already inside the car. This will keep your car from doing extra work so you'll save a little money. Plus it can minimize your exposure to any stinky smells you might encounter along the way.
  9. Don't idle. If you're going to use gas, you should be putting miles on your car. Running your car in a parking lot will only make your trip more expensive. Turn your car off completely when you stop at a gas station or pull over for a little break.
  10. Find the cheapest gas. Don't just stop at the most convenient gas station on the road. These stations typically charge a little more for gasoline. Instead look around for the cheapest prices. An app, such as GasBuddy, can help you find the cheapest gas stations near you. With a little careful planning you can map out your gas stops before you even hit the road.