Road Trip?

Posted on July 12th, 2011, by iMinerva


If you’re planning a road trip this summer, the price of gas will be a major consideration.  Add the cost of gas, hotels, food, nerve damage, and your time, and it may be cheaper to fly – unless of course, there’s a gaggle of you going.

To help minimize the trip fuel costs – and take note of your carbon footprint, checkout  The Trip Cost Calculator allows you to enter a starting point zip code, destination zip code and your vehicle information for a list of best fueling prices from here to there.  It’s a pretty amazing guide.

I tested the site for a phantom trip to visit Cousin JoAnn in Long Beach, California.  It appears the 2003.1-mile trip would require 99.15 gallons of gas and, if I refueled at GasBuddy’s six recommended best-price stations in Altoona, IA; Elm Creek, NE; Denver, CO; Green River, UT; Las Vegas, NV, and Seal Beach, CA, I could save $59.45 with a total trip fuel cost of $368.05 for the one-way adventure.  Incidentally, my “carbon footprint” would be 2405.9 lbs (that’s just about equal to my current weight today after a few cookies).

Of course, I need a round-trip journey:  $736.10 for fuel , probably 3 nights of hotels each way at average cost of $100/night or $600/roundtrip, plus meals  for 4 days each way at average of $25/day or $200 roundtrip.  Easily, my roundtrip cost would be $1,336.10 plus about eight days of travel time roundtrip.  Gadzooks!  I can fly JetBlue roundtrip Chicago/Long Beach  for as low as $323 or $508 on the high side depending on my travel days – including one free bag (besides me).  For a single person or a couple traveling out to see Cousin JoAnn, the road trip is a long, expensive adventure.

GasBuddy is a good resource even for just driving around town.  Check it out for the best gas prices in your neighborhood.  Those of you living in Tucson, Arizona, congratulations, you have the lowest prices in the country, currently at $3.299.  Chicago, we have the highest – $4.022.



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