Going on a road trip? It used to be the least expensive way to travel, hands down. But with gas prices soaring, a cross-country drive can quickly turn costly. If you’ve decided to hit the open road for your next vacation, here are some easy tips to make sure you’re getting the most from your gas money!
1. Choose the Right Gas Station
When it’s time to fill up on gas, drive a little farther off the highway exit before choosing a station. The gas stations closest to the highway will often charge more per gallon than the ones located a bit out of your way. Simply making sure you fill up each time you’re away from the highway on your trip (while you’re visiting a local tourist destination, for example) can save you a lot. And remember: only 5 percent of cars actually run better on premium gas as opposed to regular. So make sure to check your owner’s manual and stick with regular if that’s what it recommends.
2. Become a Fuel Cost Insider
If you have a smartphone, a must-have for your road trip is the GasBuddy app. GasBuddy gives you the costs of gas at stations near you (in convenient map form), which can often vary by 10 cents or more per gallon! Using GasBuddy makes it even easier to know where to go when you get off the highway for more gas–or if you should wait until the next exit before you refuel. It’s worth noting that starting this summer, the RVND(TM) 7720 LM RV GPS device will pull similar gas data, and display it directly on the screen so you can locate an optimal gas station straight from your GPS device.
3. Get Rid of Excess Weight and Drag
You’re traveling by car, so why not take your dumbbell set with you? Unfortunately, excess weight will decrease your car’s fuel efficiency by about 2 percent for every 100 pounds. So make sure you’re only taking the essentials with you. When you’re driving on the highway, it’s also important to minimize the amount of drag on your vehicle–so remove your car-top luggage rack if you’re not using it. Leaving your windows down will also greatly increase the drag on your car. When you’re going over 55 miles per hour, it’s actually more fuel-efficient to run your car’s air conditioner instead! You may lose that wind-through-your-hair feeling, but you’ll save money in the end.
4. Make Your Tires More Fuel Efficient
One easy way to save on gas is simply to keep your tires inflated. It’s much harder for the engine to get your car to move when your tires are even a little flat. Invest in a gauge so you can test your tire pressure along the way, and make sure to keep them as inflated as possible without over-inflating.
5. Make Sure Your Air Filter is Clean
A clean air filter can improve your car’s mileage by up to 10 percent, so you can save big by replacing it before you go. You should get a new one at least every 8,000 miles, but if you live in a sandy or highly polluted area, you should change it more often.
Do you have any tips for saving money on gas during a road trip? Please share them in the comments section below!
Find more great money-saving tips in the bestselling Who Knew? book series, the site WhoKnewTips.com, and on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/whoknewtips/vacation-tips.