Summer road trip plans; don’t let gas prices slow you down

If you’re starting to think about that Summer road trip and how much it is going to cost, take another look at gas prices. At about 96 cents above average prices last year, experts say prices could beat July 2008’s record $4.11 as Summer driving season demand, speculators and political uncertainty in Libya and the Middle East drive crude oil prices up.

“We’re going to see some more increases, but $4 gas is enough to cut demand,” Peter Beutel, president of energy risk manager Cameron Hanover told USAToday. “Once you get to a place where everyone is paying $4, the pain threshold is universally shared.”

Here are a few tips that can help save fuel:

  • Get off the highway to buy gas. The highest prices around will be on the interstate or turnpike. Look for well-marked exits that have multiple gas stations listed
  • Bring an extra friend to help share the cost. If the price of gas goes up 25% (which would be like a buck a gallon- not likely), adding a third or fourth friend along to share the cost can make a big difference.
  • Keep a log or journal. If you have done this before you know that things can get kind of blurry after driving 15 or 18 hours straight. Keeping a log of where you are when you buy gas, how much it was and how far that got you.
  • Have a plan on where you are going. It’s no problem to say “I want to see the country” but America is a pretty big place. Waking up in Kansas City to say “Next stop:Miami!” is more of a long-term goal. There will be a lot of stops between Kansas City and Miami.

Also see Gadling’s 20 tips for surviving a summer road trip, courtesy of touring musicians and for more information.

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