Travel Tips to Combat Fuel Cost

With gas prices skyrocketing this summer, the following links offer information on how to make the most of your money while traveling on a budget.

If you're flying, and flexible about your destination, sign up for weekly e-mails from carriers that alert you to last-minute low fares; cheapflights.com also offers this service.

If you're driving, Triple-A can calculate how much your gas will cost beforehand.

Before you fill up, check out gas saving Web sites, like gasbuddy.com and gaspricewatch.com. These sites map the stations along your route with the cheapest gas prices. You can even get cell phone updates, to limit unnecessary stops.

Also check out Gasbuddy.com's 'Top Ten Fuel Saving Tips.'

At speeds above 60 mph, fuel efficiency decreases rapidly. Fueleconomy.gov offers tips to make the most of your gasoline, by driving the speed limit, using cruise-control and avoiding idling.

Drive $marter Challege offers tips on fuel efficiency. They have an interactive calculator, which shows exactly how much a driver can save by following their six steps to smart driving and vehicle maintenance steps.

To avoid hotels, travel expert Tim Leffel suggests enrolling in a house-swapping program with people in another city. HomeExchange.com and HomeForSwap.com are places to start.

Leffel also suggests looking into cabin rentals, one-week apartment rentals, or renting directly from an owner instead of staying at a hotel. Homeaway.com is a good place to start. Don't forget to always ask for a discount!

You can also find more information at Tim Leffel's web site.

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