Here’s how to avoid spending a small fortune.
- Road trips are a great way to explore the country and save money on airfare.
- With gasoline costs rising, it’s important to be strategic about your approach to driving and fueling up your car.
If you’re planning to head out this spring, you may be in good company. Many people are itching to travel after spending much of 2020 and 2021 stuck at or near home.
You have options when it comes to travel. You could board a flight, or you could cut your travel costs by jumping in the car and taking a road trip. To be clear, driving won’t always cost less than flying, but in many cases it will, especially once you factor in additional expenses like paying for checked bags and traveling to and from airports.
At the same time, however, gasoline has become more expensive, partly due to general inflation and also due to the Ukraine crisis. While the Biden administration is taking steps to address higher gasoline costs, it could still end up spending a fair amount of money at the pump this spring.
But rising gas prices don’t have to put a damper on your road trip plans. Here are four things you can do to get some savings.
1. Do not travel alone
Some people like to hit the road alone. But if you’re willing to invite friends or loved ones along for the ride, you’ll have people to split the cost of gas with. That alone could be a huge money saver.
Also, once you arrive at your destination, you may have to pay for accommodation. Splitting a hotel room with someone else could free up a lot of space in your budget.
2. Watch your speed
Speeding down the highway could lead to lower fuel efficiency and higher gas costs. As such, it pays to keep speed to a moderate level. Doing so could also help you avoid a junk ticket and the headache that could follow.
3. Use the right credit cards
Some credit cards offer generous levels of cash back at the gas station. If your current credit cards don’t, be sure to apply for a new one that offers cash bonuses for reloading.
4. Be on the lookout for cash discounts
As convenient as it can be to use a credit card to fill up your car, many gas stations offer a substantial discount when you pay with cash. If you’re going to hit the road, be sure to visit the bank first and take out some cash for that option over the course of your travels.
While using cash will mean giving up credit card rewards on your top-ups, it will often be worth giving up that benefit. Or, to put it another way, if you can save $3 in the course of filling up your car and paying cash, that makes more sense than using a credit card to earn $1.50 in cash.
Now that warmer weather is setting in across the country, it’s a great time to jump in the car and explore a new city or get off the beaten track. Just be sure to use these tips to make your trips less expensive at a time when gas costs are rising.
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