Travelling for the Holidays? Here’s how to save…
- Top off your tires. Underinflated tires not only create extra wear but cost you as much as 10-20% in gas savings so be sure to fill up the tank and fill up the tires before setting out.
- Pack snacks and meals for the road. You’ll save time, money and calories by loading up on healthy meals and snacks for that holiday journey to Grandma’s house.
- Shop and ship. Shop the mall but buy and ship online. You can often find better savings for those must have gifts when you buy online. And many retails provide free shipping and don’t charge sales tax. You’ll also save the hassle of having to figure out how to cram all of your holiday purchases amongst the overstuffed bags your family has packed.
- Be Smart on Gas. Use a mobile gas price app like Gas Buddy to plan your fill-ups before you leave on your trip. Driving home the other night I noticed a difference in gas prices of as much as $.50 a gallon in a 5 mile stretch of road. Imagine the variations when travelling across state lines.
- Save on lodging too. If your plans involve spending one or more nights in a motel or hotel then plan ahead by calling the property locally to see the best rate you can get and then comparing that to the best rate available on the corporate site or travel sites like kayak.com. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save with a few clicks and calls.
- Consider renting rather than driving your own car. If you own an older model gas guzzler then you might be better off renting a late model gas sipper instead. For example, a round trip to Chicago from Denver (2000 highway miles) costs $400 in gas alone driving our 15 mpg, 10 year old SUV while a late model getting 35 mpg costs about the same when you calculate gas costs and rental fees. Plus you save wear and tear on the old clunker.
Finally, don’t forget your afca member savings. Travellers save on everything from tires and car maintenance to meals, lodging and holiday gift shopping when they use their afca savings benefits.