By Tricia Romano

Pack your bags — you’re going on a road trip! Summertime means taking as many vacations and having as many outings as possible. The cheapest way to cut loose this summer is to take a road trip to a nearby locale. No airports or flights to deal with, just a little bit of gas — cheaper than it’s been in six years — and a little bit of food for the trip.

Items you should bring with you for every trip: 

  • A good GPS: Whether it’s a physical device like a Garmin Portable GPS or the Google Maps app on your phone, a GPS will make sure you don’t get lost.
  • Snacks for the drive: Granola bars, cubed cheese, fruit, and bottles of water will keep you satiated and stop you from spending money on unhealthy fast food.
  • Entertainment: If you’ve got kiddies and the drive is long, get a headrest mount for tablets and smartphones, strap it to the back of your seat and push play. Don’t forget to load your favorite tunes on your phone or MP3 player. Shop Best Buy through DubLi and get 1% Cashback for free members and 7% for VIP’s!

[title text=”Destination: Lake Vacation — Lake Tahoe”]

Items you’ll need to pack: It depends on what you want to do, but in general, pack a light sweater for the chillier summer evenings, sneakers (for walking or hiking) and plenty of sunscreen. Along with hauling their bicycles, avid cyclists should bring bike racksShop Kohl’s through DubLi: free members get 2.4%, V.I.P.’s 8.4%.

Scenic Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. During the winter months, the California attraction is a hot spot for skiers and snowboarders. Summertime brings a bevy of travelers seeking fun in the sun. If you’re going for the weekend, you can take advantage of a number of activities, from golfing and kayaking to biking, hiking and relaxing near the lake. While Tahoe features a number of luxury resorts, there are a myriad of cheaper options to stay nearby to maximize your money. Decide what you’d most like to do in Tahoe, then pack accordingly.

Few places can match the beauty of Lake Tahoe in the summer

Few places can match the beauty of Lake Tahoe in the summer

[title text=”Destination: Weekend Camping Trip — Big Sur”]

Items you’ll need to pack: Boffo camping tent, air pad or foam mattress, sleeping bag, portable grill, bug spray, snacks and nuts. Shop Sports Authority through DubLi: free members get 2.4% Cashback; V.I.P.’s get 8.4%!  Receive another $20 when you spend $75 or more and enjoy free shipping with no minimum!

This Central California region is an oasis near the coast that boasts a thriving population of redwoods, the most massive trees on earth. You’ll drive over the stunning Bixby Bridge before making your way into the woods, where you can find a seemingly endless array of camping options. You can camp near bluffs or deep inside the forest, rent cabins, or rough it. Either way The Big Sur website even helpfully gives you a car camping checklist.

Bixby Creek Bridge is one of the breathtaking landmarks in Big Sur

Bixby Creek Bridge is one of the breathtaking landmarks in Big Sur

[title text=”Destination: Day Trip to the Big City — Chicago”]

Items you’ll need to pack: comfortable walking shoes for daytime; an overnight bag with a cute black dress (or suit) for a night on the town. Shop at Target through DubLi; Free members get 1% Cashback, V.I.P.’s 7%.

Chicago has something for everyone. If you want a day at the “beach,” head to the shores of Lake Michigan; to recreate a famous scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, head up to the Willis Tower Skydeck in Sears Tower (1,353 feet up!); baseball fans (and Ferris fans too) need to take in a Cubs day game at legendary Wrigley Field. When the sun goes down, check out Chicago’s rich music scene in the Wicker Park neighborhood and the up-and-coming Logan Square, which features eateries and cocktail bars galore.

No summer trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to venerable Wrigley Field

No summer trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to venerable Wrigley Field

[title text=”Destination: Day Hike — Mount Rainier”]

Items you’ll need to pack: a good pair of hiking sneakers, a large-brimmed hat to keep you in the shade, trail mix, a water bottle, and sunscreen. Shop at L.L. Bean through DubLi — free members earn 2.6% Cashback and V.I.P.’s 8.6%!

The highest peak in the Cascade Range, Mount Rainier is only 85 miles from Seattle — and about an hour’s drive – and two hours and change from Portland. One of the most spectacular mountains in the world to hike, Rainier features several levels of difficulty based on duration of the hike and escalation of the hills. Keep that in mind as you choose your hiking route.

 

Only 85 miles from Seattle, Mount Rainier (14,409 feet) is the highest peak in Washington State

Only 85 miles from Seattle, Mount Rainier (14,409 feet) is the highest peak in Washington State

[title text=”Destination: Beach Day — Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach”]

Items you’ll need to pack: beach blanket, umbrella, chairs, swimsuit, flip-flops, sunscreen. When you shop at Walmart through DubLi, free members get 1% Cashback and V.I.P.’s get 7%! Bonus: free shipping on orders over $50.

From the ferris wheel and amusement park in Santa Monica to Muscle Beach on Venice, there’s plenty of people-watching to be had on the 2.5-mile long strip. Start at one end in Venice, where it’s a bit more psychedelic (this was the former home of Jim Morrison and the Doors, after all), and then head toward the more family-friendly Santa Monica pier and take a whirl on the ferris wheel. In between, lounge on the beach and relax. After all, you are in California, maaan.

Santa Monica is the perfect place to people watch and take in a beautiful summer sunset

Santa Monica is the perfect place to people watch and take in a beautiful summer sunset

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