I’m probably not the only one who is dreading more and more the trip to the gas station. While traveling locally can be hard enough, long road trips have become exceedingly expensive. While we’ve had pockets of relief in the U.S., the fuel prices continue to climb higher and higher. Quick research reveals that the average U.S. gas price has increased roughly one-dollar per gallon over the last two years 1 . That means a road trip of 490 miles in an average family sedan getting 18 miles per gallon would cost roughly $216 today vs. $160 one year ago (round trip). Finding the best gas prices locally You can enter your zip code and find the best gas prices prior to any local travel using this online tool provided integrated into the Christian PF website. This provides the best local gas prices in a map format within about a five mile radius within the past 48 hours. GasBuddy also offers a more updated report, displaying the best gas prices within the past 4 hours using a list format with the option to map to that specific location. Bookmarking this tool could help you stay within your budget as I was able to find gas prices .19 cents lower in just in my own neighborhood. Finding the best gas prices when traveling To help when budgeting for travel, you can access GasBuddy’s Trip Cost Calculator or a similar tool offered by Road Trip America prior to your departure. While gas prices change very frequently, it will help you from a planning and budgeting perspective. If you have Internet access when traveling you can reference GasBuddy’s online map to obtain the best prices nearby or download their free Mobile App for your iPhone, Android, Blackberry. If you don’t have one of these phones, you can this website from any phone that has Internet access. What are other ways to save on gas prices? Loyalty Cards – Many fuel dealers offer a decent savings by signing up and using their loyalty card. Typically, you earn points as you use the card, which translate into various fuel discounts. My family has a loyalty card offered by our local grocer, so we rack up points on both fuel and grocery purchases. The discounts can be as high as twenty cents per gallon. Drive to maximize fuel economy – Most cars are will see optimum fuel economy around 55mph 1 . Driving near this speed can offer as much as 20 percent fuel efficiency. In addition, you can pick routes that minimize stop and go driving where we tend to accelerate and brake too aggressively. Here are 75 more gas saving tips . Combine trips – Most of us have become pretty accustomed to coming and going as we want. Because of this when we get on the road we are usually heading to one destination. A little bit of planning will allow you to think through all of the destinations you need to hit in a day, and then plan the most fuel efficient route. For example, we combine commutes to school, after school activities and grocery shopping so we accomplish three errands with one route. In the past, we would make two or three separate trips to accomplish the same objective. Buy a more fuel efficient car – AutoGuide.com provides the EPA’s top 10 most fuel efficient cars listing the Mitsubishi I, the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Transit Connect Electric as the top three for 2012. Buy gas Thursday before 10am 2 – Supply and demand are always a key component of pricing. Gas suppliers know that most people gas up toward week’s end for a road trip or more travel in general in-turn will raise prices. 1- Source: GasBuddy.com, link: http://www.gasbuddy.com/GB_Fuel_Save.aspx 2- Source: Yahoo Finance, link: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_article_103216.html Related Articles: Gas prices causing Americans to drive less 11 Ways to Cope With Rising Gasoline Prices Should You Sell Your Gas Hog? Find the cheapest gas in town Chris McDaniel is the Chief Business Development Officer for DELTA Ministries International (DELTA) and author of Igniting a Life of Generosity . Chris loves to spend time with this wife, bumping the volleyball with his daughter, playing catch with his son, serving the “least of these”, pizza, snowboarding, running half marathons, and seeing followers of Christ become generous givers.
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Find the Best Gas Prices when Traveling