How to Save Gas While You Travel

The latest forecasts for gas prices estimate $6 per gallon by the end of May. That’s enough to put a real crimp in many family’s travel plans. But a “staycation” isn’t your only option when gas reaches exorbitant prices. There are some other ways you can trim the bill for this travel necessity on your road trip. Here are a few ideas:

  • Travel light. Instead of hitching a trailer to your car to carry all your stuff or using a luggage rack, pare your packing down to the essentials. Like the old Hoest Toasties comic used to say “If we’re trying to get away from it all, why are we taking it all with us?”
  • Take advantage of sites like Gas Buddy that direct you toward the cheapest refueling stations along your route. Map out your fill up spots in advance rather than during your trip. This takes some of the guess work out of buying gas on the road. You won’t be wondering “Is it going to drop another 5 cents in the next tiny town?”
  • Stock up on reward points. I use my Kroger card frequently for groceries for two reasons. First, the store is within walking distance of my home (and I actually do walk there to save gas). Second, they give me 10 cents off gas at participating Shell stations.
  • If you have a real gas guzzler like an SUV, consider renting a more fuel efficient car for your trip. Yes, this will mean less leg room. But you really should be taking frequent breaks along the way to stretch your legs and keep your circulation going.
  • Stay cool without the A/C if you can. This may involve parking in the shade, rolling down the windows (if you aren’t on the freeway), or using the fan without the A/C when the weather outside is nice.
Tags: Travel