With the kids taking a long break from school and the weather turning from wet and cold to hot and humid, many of us dream of being able to pack up our bags and see what adventures the American road has to offer. Unfortunately, more and more families are denying themselves the traditional summer road trip in an effort to cut down on gas expenses.
With the rising cost of fuel and a worrisome job market, average families are more worried about spiking electrical bills then their children missing the experience of the open road. To the question of whether you can still afford to take the family out this summer, we give an emphatic YES!
Summer has and will always be the perfect time to get away and bond with your family. To avoid taking the fun out of this season, we have compiled 5 of the most cost effective ways to enjoy your summer vacation without emptying your savings account.
1 Go techy
The recent advances in technology have allowed us to better maximize our resources. The GPS, for instance, helps motorists find the fastest route which means that you no longer have to waste valuable fuel looking for the next exit. Additionally, a number of iPhone and Android applications allow users to search and zero in on the cheapest gasoline stations wherever, whenever.
Take the easiest way out – with tools such as Google Maps Navigation, you can easily map out the fastest and easiest route to get you out of traffic which means less fuel consumption for you.
2 Pass the buck
In 2008, the term “staycation” made its way into our local lingo to mean staying at home for a vacation. With many families opting to save rather than spend their money in fancy destinations, a number of hotels and resorts suffered great losses. To remedy this problem, a growing number of summer destinations are offering gas incentives for their guests, from 20% discounts to full transportation coverage, in an effort to save their industry. When planning your trip, always ask for available gas incentives and offers to save you from having to shoulder these costs.
3 Rent a car for less
When scouring for rental cars, make sure to always be on the lookout for special discounts that can help pay off a percentage of your gasoline expenses. Fortunately, the Internet is teeming with websites like Autoslash.com, Hotwire.com and Priceline.com that allow you to search for rental discounts in any area.
Combine that with rental that gets much better gas mileage and you’ve got a win.
4 Swipe it
The next time you use your credit card to pay for your gas, make sure to go for the one that offers the best incentive for your purchase. A number of credit card companies offer rebates and rewards for fuel purchases (some as much as 3-5%) which in turn will provide you with additional savings.
5 Lighten your load
Finally, pack light. When going on your trip, try to do away with your bulky stuff that can reduce your mileage.
With these tips, you can still give your children a road trip experience with all the fun, sun and sand you want this summer season.