If you are planning a summer vacation, don’t let the Gas Price Surge affect your plans for a family road trip! If you own a vehicle, you’re more than aware that gas prices have skyrocketed through the roof. As of Monday, the national average price for unleaded gasoline was $4 a gallon and will continue to rise, according to experts. In fact, experts predict gas will cost as much as $5 a gallon by the summer time. While the price surge may seem to put a damper on your family’s planned road trip, there are simple ways that you can save money on gas. To ensure that your money is spent on fun and not fuel, follow these tips below.
The easiest way to save on gas is to make sure that you do not get lost and drive aimlessly. So make sure to plan ahead and choose the perfect route. But do not only depend too heavily on Google Maps and GPS to do all the work for you. Often, these navigational tools can send you on a longer, sometimes even more complicated route. So make sure that you research all of the different route options and compare and contrast. It’s a good idea to take a good look at a traditional road map as well.
One of the quickest ways to burn fuel is to race to your destination. So drive the speed limit. If you encounter some traffic along your route, it’s equally important that you don’t tailgate. This is because accelerating and then pumping the break pad eats up your gas as equally as fast. Instead, if you can see from a distance that there is a traffic jam, release your foot of the gas and let your car naturally decelerate.
This might be a little difficult for those who have very large families, but always try to pack as lightly as you can. This is because it takes more gasoline to speed up a heavier carload. So don’t over pack, especially for those who have smaller vehicle.
Once you start to run low on fuel, always make sure that you shop around for the cheapest gas first. Often the first gas station you see after a long stretch is typically the most expensive. For example, if you happen to leave a national park, the closest gas station generally gets the best business since everyone leaving the park fills up there—but guarantee the prices will be much higher than other gas stations. Think of it as a “convenience fee.” So hold out a little longer if you can and check out the next gas station.
In fact, sometimes it’s better to avoid interstate gas stations all together. Meaning, take an exit or use a business route and drive into town. Generally you will find way cheaper gas. Just make sure that you don’t hold out too long. If you are on “E,” it’s important that you know how many miles you have left. Use TankonEmpty to get a good estimate of your gas mileage.
Another way to find cheap gas is to use some special apps designed for iPhone and Android users. Cheap Gas, Gas Buddy and Cheap Gas Finder help drivers locate the cheapest gas in your immediate area.
Lastly, you always want to make sure that you have cash. This is because some gas stations will have exceptional deals on gas but accept cash only. Others may require you to purchase a cash card to receive the discounted price displayed on the billboard.