SOURCE: Best Western

July 04, 2011 05:00 ET

Travel Tips From the Ultimate Road Warrior From Best Western

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jul 4, 2011) - (Family Features) Popular Sprint Cup Series NASCAR driver David Reutimann spends more than 30 weeks a year on the road in a different city each week chasing the Sprint Cup with his race team, Michael Waltrip Racing. His team is sponsored by Best Western International and the team sleeps in hotels more than half of the year.

Needless to say, David and his team know a lot about road trips, whether it's driving between Daytona and Dallas or around (and around) the track. As you hit the road this year, either for the annual family vacation or for a business trip, David, the "Ultimate Road Warrior," has the following tips and tricks to keep you safe, sane and saving money.

Before You Hit The Road:

  • Avoid the gas guzzler - If you've got two cars, take the one that gets better gas mileage even if it means a bit less leg room. If all you have is the aging SUV, consider renting a smaller car that gets better mileage.
  • Pack light - According to www.fueleconomy.gov, an extra 100 pounds in your trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent, while a loaded roof rack brings it down by 5 percent.
  • Check your tires - Keeping your tires inflated will make your car safer, reduce wear and tear and give your vehicle better gas mileage by up to 3 percent.

While on the Road:

  • Ease off the gas - According to www.fueleconomy.gov, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas, while rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway. Remember, your trip isn't an audition for the race track (that's my job!), so slow down while you're on the road.
  • Use your smart phone - Download useful travel apps like AAA's TripTik, which provides gas prices, maps and directions; or the INRIX traffic app, which will give you live traffic updates. Some hotel chain apps, like "Best Western To Go," allow you to find and book hotels in your area.
  • Use regular unless required - Just because your car "recommends" premium gas doesn't mean you necessarily need to shell out extra at the pump. According to www.cars.com, most modern cars that call for premium fuel can run on regular gasoline without knocking or long-term effects.

When You're Ready to Check-In:

  • Join a hotel loyalty program - Most of these programs are free and are an easy way to score upgrades, discounted rates and free room nights. Some brands even have special programs, such as Best Western Speed Rewards - a loyalty program that gives special discounts just for race fans. Find out more at www.bestwesternrewards.com.
  • Go for hotel freebies - Bed down at hotels that offer great value like free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. If you've got kids, a pool can be a fun, cost-effective source of entertainment.
  • Keep an eye out for dining discounts - Once you check-in, look for coupons in the local newspaper or on the local convention or visitor's bureau website. If you find a spot you like, check their Facebook page to see if they're offering any specials.

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