Friday, May 12, 2006

Wanna save on gas? Ditch your Starbucks.

If you’ve given up the idea of summer vacation road trip, think again. Regardless of the gas prices, fuel is typically only the forth largest expense on a trip behind lodging, food, and vehicle cost and maintenance says author Carol White of Live Your Trip Dream. “It’s really a much smaller expense than people think and it’s certainly not worth canceling your dream vacation over.”

Still, it’s going to cost more this year than it has in years prior to hit the road. White suggests pouring the Starbucks and other non-essentials in your tank instead, “You’d be amazed how much we all spend on the extras we don’t really need. The small invisible stuff really adds up but if a family really wants to take a road trip and needs to budget extra for gas, there are a few great ways they can do this.”

If you’ve always dreamed of hitting the road for a family road trip here are a few quick non-essentials you can easily cut:

  • Forgo the daily Starbucks latte, have a regular coffee instead
  • Plan eating in more, make dining out a treat, not a daily occurrence
  • Come on now, be honest. Are you really using all those cable channels? Cutting just one of them could get you a tank of gas a month. Wait till Big Love comes out on DVD and rent it
  • Be adventurous! Get your hotels on Priceline or Hotwire, you might be surprised what you get! Many of their rooms are four star hotels.

According to a study done by PKF for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), fuel prices would need to triple to make that option more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel. Of course, you don’t have to have an RV to do a road trip, but they are a great choice for those summer vacations.

Whether you decide to cut one expense or all of them, White says don’t let high gas prices keep you from spending time on vacation. U.S. workers are notorious for not taking the vacations they are entitled to, don’t let the gas pump steal what’s rightfully yours: some time away.”