Gas companies and stations operate on a very simple principle, that of supply and demand. That means that any time there is an increased demand for fuel, the price rises because of a perceived "scarcity" of the product. While it is true that increased demand goes along with increased need for transportation, refinement, and employee pay, it's also a fine excuse to hike prices for a while and make some extra dough. Why make it easy for them? Next time you're on vacation, use some of these tips to stretch your gas dollar as far as you can get it to go, especially at those gas stations near the highway that charge a premium for what a station down the street charges less for!
First, use your technology. There are numerous different tools available to you that can help you save money on gas, and do you know that they aren't the kind of tools that you bolt onto your car? Nope! They're actually applications that you can install on your smartphone! These can range from GPS programs to fuel station locations and much more. Take a peek at just a few of the most popular, and you'll find that you'll be able to input just a few criteria, and be rewarded with exceptional fuel savings. Some of these might cost you a few dollars, but the end result will be great fuel economy. At the same time, you can use websites like gasbuddy.com when you’re in an unfamiliar area and need to find the best price for gas at a station that’s actually open when you drive through.
Secondly, maintain your vehicle - it should go without saying that proper maintenance is the key to great fuel economy, but immediately before a long car trip, it’s particularly important to ensure that your car or truck is up to the task and can transport you efficiently. To begin with, check your air filter to make certain it’s clean, and then spring for an oil change and have the vehicle chassis lubricated if you aren’t familiar with how to do it yourself. Further, try to reduce the vehicle’s weight by removing unnecessary articles from the trunk and rear seat, and air up the tires to the recommended pressure before you leave. This will ensure that you get the best fuel economy on the way!
Finally, plan your route ahead of time. Let’s say you’re traveling from Cleveland, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia. You have two options for interstate routes. One is I-77 that runs from Cleveland to Charlotte, where you then pick up 85 south to Atlanta. The second route is I-75 through Cincinnati. While it may seem like the two routes are more or less the same, the terrain can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s fuel economy. Where 77 winds through West Virginia, for instance, there are numerous elevation changes that task your engine and require your vehicle to work overtime. By contrast, the drive down 75 takes longer, but is a flatter, straighter ride, and allows you to use the cruise control more often- definitely a great way to save fuel under the right circumstances.
Saving cash on vacation, particularly when it comes to fuel economy, is a great way to ensure that you have enough money on hand to take care of the necessities of your vacation- entertainment! So, next time you head to the beach, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be sure to have plenty of coin on hand to keep your vacation going just the way you want!