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Cost Cutting Tips for Summer Travel and Vacations

Despite soaring gas prices, most people aren't ready to sacrifice vacations filled with Americana souvenirs, photos snapped with the world's largest roadside attractions ( and, most importantly, the quality family bonding time only a true Road trip can offer. According to the recent study conducted by USA Today and CNN, 53% to 46% of Americans polled say that high gas prices won't stifle their summer vacation plans. Even those who are discouraged can benefit from a little creativity to beat the system this summer. Try the following cost-cutting tips.

Boost the efficiency of your gas milage - Try a performance air intake filter to help increase your car's gas mileage on the road. A minimum up-front investment means less trips to the gas station, money saved and more time stopping at points of interest - not debt! Many manufacturers have specialized intakes out on the market, so getting a good deal is just a matter of research. Try one from K&N ( or the aftermarket automotive experts at DUB Magazine (

Get the kids involved with trip preparation - Let them do research on attractions and give them a voice in planning the route. Instead of shelling out money to a gas station, a trip is a great opportunity to teach your kids how to check the oil, tire pressure, washer fluid-so your car will be in tip-top shape before hitting the road.

Save money on car care - It's very important to keep vehicle maintenance a top priority, especially before embarking on a long journey that is likely to inflict stress on all vehicle systems - inside and out. Being budget conscious doesn't mean you have to skimp on taking care of your vehicle. Remember to bring your car in for its scheduled service visits, but save money on the "extras" for you're likely to be charged a pretty penny. Try Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash, a device that makes quick work of vehicles' exteriors, large and small - so you can do it at home instead. The car will dry spot-free on its own, enabling you to skip the time-consuming hand drying step.

Don't fear freebies! - Look into your hotel chain's travel club or even triple A (AAA) for deals. Mr. Clean is also helping consumers hit the road this summer with less expense with the Summer Road Trip Sweepstakes offering over $2,000 towards gas, lodging and other road trip essentials. Visit for details.

Stay on the right track with GPS - A few wrong turns can make a big dent in your gas tank. After being out in the consumer marketplace for a while, manufacturers of GPS systems have lowered their prices to stay competitive. For Father's Day, invest in a gift sure to give back to the whole family time and time again, down the road! Cnet recommends one from Magellan, the RoadMate 360, for under $500 (