With Labor Day fast approaching it’s estimated that 33 million people will take to the roads to enjoy time off work, visit friends and family and attend events and festivals. But with gas prices now over 4 USD a gallon, many are looking for simple ways to cut their vacation bills this fall.
Follow our simple tips and advice for saving money on your Labor Day travel plans;
• Consider swapping the roadtrip for a flight instead as airfares are down at the moment. You might just snap up a last minute bargain if you’re quick!
• The major cities will be bursting with tourists this fall so consider getting off the beaten track to avoid the crowds.
• If you are one of the 33 million people taking to the roads this weekend, make sure your vehicle is roadworthy. Make sure your tires are pumped up adequately and your car has been serviced and has the relevant insurance and tax certificates.
• Save money on gas by removing excess baggage from your roof rack and trunk and watch how you drive as well, think less braking and gentle accelerating. Also using your cruise control function and thinking ahead will save fuel. Try to anticipate the upcoming lights and stop signs and avoid stopping if you can.
• Consider staying with friends and relatives to save money on accommodation and for greater flexibility. Or try a homeswap to avoid hotel costs completely.
• Make sure you have an up to date map and/or GPS navigation. Getting lost will ruin your plans and cost you in excess gas.
• Close your windows and cut the air conditioning to make your car engine more efficient.
• Consider renting a smaller car, diesel vehicle or maybe even a hybrid car. Or to truly appreciate the open road, hire a motorcycle or scooter.
• Shop around (online only obviously) to get the best local gas prices, but generally if you avoid the gas stations on the major highways you’ll get a lower price. There are also credit cards and reward schemes out there that have flat fees and percentages off at gas stations.
• Gas can actually evaporate from your tank so make sure your fuel cap fits correctly, is sealed and doesn’t leak. Also park in the shade wherever possible all year round to avoid evaporation and reduce the need for air con.
By Julie Bowman