Easter Weekend Travel: How to Save Money at the Pump

Posted on 03/28/2012

The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend 11% more on Easter candy, clothes and merchandise this year, pushing sales to $16.8 billion. That doesn’t even take into consideration what people will pay to fill up their tanks as they hop out of town for the upcoming holiday weekend. If you’re walking on egg shells wondering how much damage your holiday travel plans will do to your budget, consider these ways to save money at the pump.

Unpack the Trunk That unused bag of cement you’ve been meaning to return to Home Depot or that box of books that needs to be donated is costing you cash in wasted fuel efficiency. Lighten your load and you’ll get more miles for your buck.

Use Fuel Rewards
Fill your Easter baskets with candy from grocery stores that offer Fuel Rewards programs like Schnucks. That way buying candy will actually help you cut costs at the pump. The more you buy the more you’ll earn in gas discounts.

Fill Up Smartly
Crossing state borders? Then do your research and find out the most economical places to fuel up. Use the National Gas Price Heat Map courtesy of gasbuddy.com to find out where the most affordable fuel is along your route. For instance, those traveling from Georgia to North Carolina will definitely want to stop for gas in South Carolina where they can save as much as $.30 a gallon.

Tune Your Engine
According to the US Department of Energy, hitting the road for Easter with a car that’s out of tune can lower the gas mileage by an average of 4%. More serious maintenance issues like faulty oxygen sensors can drop efficiency by as much as 40%. So while repairs cost money they’ll also save you cash at the pump.

Get Help From Hotels
This spring many hotels are offering guests fuel assistance to offset the increasing cost of transportation. Dozens of inns are giving price breaks or gas gift cards to visitors. Search for availability at bnbfinder.com.

Try to Avoid Traffic
While roads may be congested during the busy Easter holiday weekend, try to avoid peak travel hours. Every time you have to break or sit in a traffic jam you’re wasting fuel. Keep in mind that shorter routes may require more gas if you end up idling or stopping at more lights.

By Alison Storm

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