Don't let unplanned expenses derail your road trip budget - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Don't let unplanned expenses derail your road trip budget

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Apps like Road Ninja or Gas Buddy can locate the best gas prices along the way. (Source: CNN) Apps like Road Ninja or Gas Buddy can locate the best gas prices along the way. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - With no tickets, no change fees and no security lines, Americans love the flexibility of a road trip. But extra costs of hitting the highways can really add up.

Trae Bodge of RetailMeNot says one major road trip expense can hit a waistline and a bottom line - food.

“You get away from home and all those good health habits you may have been attending to during the winter all go by the wayside. So it's really important to try stick to your diet and how you normally eat if you can. Because those are really, they're wallet busters for everyone out there,” Bodge said.

Plan ahead and choose restaurants you'll look forward to on a route. For the time in between, pre-pack snacks.

Another overlooked expense is parking, especially in big cities. Research garages ahead of time to find the best deal.

The same goes for hotels. A smartphone can help, even with unexpected overnight stays.

“Don't just stop at a hotel and hope that you're going to get a great deal, do a little digging. You can do it while, you know, as a passenger in the car. Do a little research and don't just pop into the next place that you can find, because you may tend to overspend there also,” Bodge said.

The other glaring expense on the road this summer is filling up the tank. Apps like Road Ninja or Gas Buddy can locate the best gas prices along the way.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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