6 on Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Road Trip Tips

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Whether it’s to the beach, the mountains, or across the country, 90 percent of Americans have Summer travel plans.

If you plan to have a road trip, here are some ways you can save money and be safe.

If you’re looking forward to a road trip, Consumer Reports says getting there can still be half the fun – even with sky-high gas prices!

"When you’re filling up in an unfamiliar places, apps and websites like Gas Guru and Waze can help with real-time prices at nearby gas stations," Alex Knizek, Consumer Reports Auto Editor said.

And Consumer Reports says you should also think about how you’ll pay for that gas.

"While many gas stations will offer a lower price if you pay with cash, a credit card with cash-back rewards on gas could actually be a better deal, especially if paying more on gas than you typically would a month," Knizek said.

And while you won’t be charged to "check-a bag" when road tripping, it is still a good idea to pack light so your car isn’t heavier—and therefore less fuel efficient—than it needs to be.

"And you can make your car more fuel efficient by reducing aerodynamic drag! You can take off your roof rack or bike rack if you’re not using them. And don’t hate me, but if you just stick to the speed limit you’ll save fuel," Knizek said.

Consumer Reports’ tests show that cruising at 75 mph instead of 65 mph can cost 6 mpg or more. And driving the speed limit is also safer.

Speaking of safety, if you have mechanical trouble or a flat tire far from home, you’ll appreciate having roadside assistance and it may save you money! Paying out of pocket for long-haul towing can run in the hundreds of dollars, while most roadside assistance plans cost around 35 to 120-dollars per year.

Some newer cars come with roadside assistance for a period, and a few credit cards and auto insurance policies include it. Just make sure you’re covered before you hit the road.