Minimizing Gas Costs On Summer Road Trips

By Amanda C. Haury | July 20, 2012 AAA
Minimizing Gas Costs On Summer Road Trips

The warm summer weather has arrived and many people are ready to hit the road for an enjoyable family vacation. A road trip can be an enjoyable and low budget way to break free of the ordinary, and these trips allow your family to see new sights. However, there is a drawback to traveling by car. If you're not careful, soaring gas prices can put a wrench in your vacation budget. Rather than allowing high gas prices to halt your summer plans, find a way to save money on gas before you hit the road. Here is a look at how you can save money at the pump this summer without sacrificing your family vacation.

SEE: What Determines Gas Prices?


Rent a Fuel-Efficient Car
Rather than taking the family car on vacation with you, rent a fuel-efficient car from a car rental company. Instead of putting extra miles on your vehicle and paying a considerable amount more in gas, opting for a rental car could be a wise choice. Often, a fuel-efficient rental car can save a considerable amount of money at the gas station, particularly if there is a gas guzzler sitting in your garage.

Choose a Destination Where Walking Is an Option
You can help save money on gas by selecting a vacation destination where walking is a viable option. There are plenty of vacation spots where you can enjoy activities with your family within walking distance of your hotel. Rather than hopping in the car and wasting gas, explore your vacation destination on foot. Not only does this allow you to get a real feel for your vacation spot, it is also the healthy option for your family.

A Little Help from an App
Rather than searching the highways while you are driving for the cheapest prices for gasoline, use a smart phone app such as "Gas Buddy." This app provides you with the names and addresses of the cheapest gas stations within a specific mile radius in the United States and Canada. Apps like this take the guess work out of finding the best price of gasoline so that you don't have to hunt down a lower price yourself. There are plenty of other apps that are similar to "Gas Buddy." Select the one that is right for you and begin saving on gas now.

Taking the Route with the Shortest Distance
GPS devices give several routes that you can take to get to your vacation destination. To save money on gas, take the route with the shortest distance. The less distance that you need to cover generally means that you won't have to spend as much money on gas. Additionally, taking the shortest route to your vacation destination means less time in the car, which generally equates to a much happier family.

The Bottom Line
While gas prices remain high, don't let that spoil your family vacation this summer. It is easy to find ways to cut your costs at the gas pump without cutting back on your summer fun. Plan wisely to maximize your savings and you can easily save money on gas. By incorporating common sense with a little financial know-how, you can easily stretch your money and minimize gas costs while on the road this summer.

SEE: How Gas Prices Affect The Economy

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