If you're like the millions of Americans who are planning to pack up the car and the kids and hit the open road within the next couple of months, there are 10 things you can do before traveling that will help you stretch a tank of gas and with gas prices as high again as they are, every little bit of stretching helps, doesn't it?

  • 1

    Check Your Air Filter

    I'm totally guilty of not doing this, but did you know that if you've got a clogged air filter, you're forcing your engine to gasp for air? Yeah, that's bad. What's worse is that it means you're probably running on more gas and less air. So what's the solution? Replace your air filter.

  • 2

    Get Your Oil Changed

    I remember when I was a teen and my dad gave me a case of oil for Christmas. True story. I was so furious, but my dad was right when he said that dirty oil means the engine isn't running as efficient as it could be. If it's been a while since you had your oil changed, make sure you get it done and then continue to do it regularly.

  • 3

    Check Your Fan Belt

    Here's something that a lot of people don't know- if your fan belt is too tight, your engine will work too hard. But how do you know if your belt is too tight? When you apply pressure to it with your finger, it should give a little. If it doesn't, stop by a local garage and ask them to do it for you (it should only take a minute).

  • 4

    Replace Your Spark Plugs

    Worn out spark plugs can cost you as much as 2 mpg per trip. Enough said.

  • 5

    Lighten the Load

    You've been told that the more weight you have in your car, the more it’ll cost to run it.

  • 6

    Turn Down the Air Conditioner

    I'm a big lover of air conditioning and my ac is my favorite companion, especially on those hot and humid days, but running the air conditioner uses a lot of gas, so you should turn it off as often as you can.

  • 7

    Use Cruise Control

    Believe it or not, using cruise control can save gas. If you travel out on the open road a lot, staying at a constant speed will help you save fuel.

  • 8

    Plan to Leave For Trips Early

    When you're planning your trip, try to leave as early as you can when there isn't much traffic so that you don't have to stop and start. Oh, and if you need to stop for food, try to do when traffic is heavy so that you're not sitting in traffic and wasting gas.

  • 9

    Don't Rev Your Engine

    Avoid revving your engine and then quickly shutting it off because it wastes gas. What it also does is pump raw gas into the cylinder walls which can wash away a film of oil that protects the cylinders and that will increase the wear on your engine.

  • 10

    Check Your Tires

    Tires without enough air pressure can be a big gas sucker.