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Road Trip Tips
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind for your next road trip.

Before leaving....

  • Visit the Internet to find out where you can find the best gas bargains. 
  • Estimate your fuel costs before leaving. AAA has a hand site that offers a Fuel Cost Calculator or try Roadtrip America's Fuel Cost Calculator.
  • Get a minor tune-up. Check belts, hoses, fluid levels, filters and have the oil changed. Also check wiper blades and all lights.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication.
  • Consider renting a hybrid vehicle or other type of fuel efficent car.
  • Consider getting steel-belted radial tires since they can pay for themselves over time. They can increase gas mileage up to 10%.

To maximize fuel efficiency when on the road...

  • Pack light. Heavier cars use more fuel.
  • Drive the speed limit. Most cars are less efficient at higher speeds.
  • Use cruise control. Stable speeds mean less gas is used.
  • Avoid frequent starts and stops. When the light does turn green, take off slowly and smoothly.
  • Use over-drive gears. The gears will slow you down and you will use less gas.
  • Keep tire air pressure full. Softer tires are harder on the car and increase gas use.
  • Stay on well-maintained roads and car-only lanes for less wear and tear on your car. 
  • Avoid buying higher octane gas than your car requires.
  • Buy gas when it is cooler during the day (early morning or night) to reduce gas evaporation.
  • Don't idle for long periods. It takes less gas to start the engine again that it does to idle longer than that.

Other road trip tips...

  • Shop at the local grocery stores for snacks and meals. You can save quite a bit when you consider the inflated fast-food prices at highway rest stops.
  • Truck stops are also good bets for decently priced meals.
  • Planning ahead on accommodations and car rentals will also help to avoid inflated summer rates.
  • Map out the most direct way to your destination. This will save on travel time, fuel costs and help you avoid construction delays. Visit a local highway report website before leaving.
  • Make sure your spare tire is in good shape before leaving.

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