If you have decided to ditch the lines and overpriced food at the airport this summer and instead are opting to head out on the open road, chances are you have a few road trip related things on your mind: What sort of snacks should I take? What songs should I include on my 2015 Road Trip! playlist? In addition to those important issues, you may also be looking for ways to save money.
So, before you gas up and hit the highways, take a moment to check out these summer road trip money saving tips.
1. No, No Speed Racer! With miles of empty highway stretched out before you on this road trip, you may be tempted to speed. In addition to being unsafe though, did you know that putting the pedal to the metal could hurt your wallet? Controlled, steady driving helps you to eke more miles out of each tank of gas. Also, when approaching a red light or stop sign, decelerate slowly as you approach rather than slamming on your brakes. Both of these fuel efficiency strategies will make your old driver’s ed teacher and your wallet happy.
2. Don’t Idle If you find yourself in traffic or waiting for a bridge or ferry on your road trip, consider turning off your car if you will be sitting for more than a few minutes. Not only is it better for the environment, but it saves gas also. Many people were taught that starting the car uses more gas than idling, but today’s more fuel efficient cars don’t use much gas to start up at all.
3. Scout out Deals When we think about shopping around for travel deals, we’re not usually talking about gas. Many otherwise thrifty consumers don’t know that, if you look, you may be able to find deals through hotels and travel organizations. While you are making hotel plans, inquire about gas coupons or discounts. Many hotels, especially those along major transit routes, offer these to entice their guests.
You can also use one of the many helpful gas-pricing apps to scout out cheaper prices along your route. One golden rule to keep in mind: gas is most expensive on the weekends and around holidays – if possible, fill your tank on the weekdays and non-holidays.
4. Tend Your Tires Keeping tires properly inflated is key when you are heading out on a road trip. You can help your car be as efficient as possible by maintaining the recommended tire pressure. This can usually be found posted near the driver’s side door.
5. Keep Things Light Avoid over packing and you may save on gas throughout your road trip. Of course, you’ll want to have everything you need to be comfortable on your trip, but taking out any extraneous and heavy things that you store in your car can go along way in lightening your load.
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