Here’s how you can still take road trips

Gas prices are on the rise, but that doesn’t mean road trips are a thing of the past – here’s how to budget for the upcoming summer season.

It’s a change that everyone who owns a car has felt recently: rising gas prices as the spring season opens up to travel adventures. While the next three seasons are some of the most popular for road trips, many are looking at them with doubt and concern due to rising gas prices. While emptying your bank account for a road trip might seem inevitable, there are certainly ways to cut costs when it comes to fueling up.

With a few simple tips and a bit of know-how, we can’t completely soothe the cost burn of a road trip. However, we can do what we can to lessen the effect this has on how and when we can travel.

Start enjoying these discounts on cards and rewards points

What many people don’t realize is that many stores – especially supermarkets – offer rewards points to use at certain gas stations. Across New England, for example, Price Chopper and Market 32 ​​stores offer points every time one uses their membership card. These points can either be redeemed to pay for rides or used at Sunoco gas stations. Every 100 points is worth a dollar, so it can add up pretty quickly for those who do a lot of grocery shopping.

  • Point: Membership cards are free at these stores, so it’s a great loyalty benefit!

In terms of gas discounts, points work a little differently. Every $100 spent at Price Chopper or Market 32 ​​will reward members with five cents on a gallon of gas. It may seem insignificant, but in a world with these kinds of gas prices, everything helps.

This measure of gas savings versus money spent is quite common in most fuel loyalty programs. Those who use the BPme mobile app for BP and Amoco gas stations will also earn five cents on a gallon for every $100 spent. Another option to consider is the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ program, which provides drivers with 3 points per gallon purchased and two points for each in-store purchase and service. When 100 points are reached, drivers will get a dollar off the next time they stop for gas.

Related: Here’s How $50 A Day Can Be Stretched In New York

Use apps in conjunction with smart destination planning

Luckily, we live in a world where it’s pretty easy to log into any gas station locator app and see what the prices are like. While most people use these apps to find out where the nearest gas station is, travelers can hack it and use it to find the nearest gas station as well. the cheapest service stations. This is great advice to use in conjunction with planning a road trip based on lower gas prices. It might sound super restrictive, but it doesn’t have to be – it’s also a great way to explore a new place that you wouldn’t usually do.

Some apps to download:

  • gas buddy
  • Mobile AAA
  • gas guru
  • Waze
  • Geico

In terms of destinations, those in the northern United States might consider vacationing further south. The further down the east coast you go, the more affordable gas prices become. Gas prices in major cities can also put a destination out of the running.

  • Point: Give up the personal vehicle in favor of pedestrian cities or public transport.

Another way to budget for gas prices while traveling by car is to avoid gas stations off major highways. It is common sense that these gas stations will have slightly higher prices due to the convenience of their location. Drivers crossing are unlikely to be familiar with the roads and will be too uncomfortable to actively search for a gas station – thus, yielding to the option of the gas station that is just off the main road .

  • Point: Consider using the aforementioned gas station apps to locate nearby services, which would be more affordable than highway gas stations.

Additional Tips to Save Money on Fuel During Road Trips

  • Fully adopt the cruise control setting to maintain a constant speed, eliminating the increase and decrease in fuel consumption when accelerating.
  • Find other ways to reduce the overall road trip budget – whether that’s through accommodations, opting to rent a car instead of a resort, or using loyalty programs to get discounts at hotels. other areas of travel.
  • Consider a staycation or “nearcation” – a location that is not far from one’s hometown and therefore won’t sink the gas budget.
  • Double up and drive with a friend or family members who also won’t mind splitting a budget for anything car and travel related.

Road trips in the near future may seem like money-suckers, but they do need to be planned with a bit of care. These tips and tricks will help keep the budget down, while allowing travelers to embrace the road – and not pay an arm and a leg for it.

Next: Amtrak Rewards: When They’re Worth (and Not) Worth Tracking

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