Reducing Road Trip Costs & Headaches

July 7, 2011

Whether you're a “road warrior” whose job involves many hours of driving or a commuter who takes the occasional driving trip for business, it’s more important than ever to keep traveling costs down given the state of the economy.

This is an excellent time to cut back on time-wasting costs by planning ahead, searching for deals and maximizing your gas mileage. Here are some suggestions:

Plan pre-route travel
Driving in an unknown city can bring about an unwanted headache without planning ahead. Use a navigation system or the internet-based traffic service Traffic.com to avoid traffic jams, detours, construction delays and time lost to being lost. Traffic.com offers real-time information on current traffic conditions in most regions of the country. Didn’t have time to hop online before you left the house? Traffic.com information can be accessed from your cell phone by calling (866) MY-TRAFC (866-698-7232).

If you have a GPS device, be sure it’s up-to-date with the latest maps. Updating your device’s maps at www.navteq.com/store helps you to identify the best route to your destination, gets you around detours and can even help you find a gas station, ATM or convenience store, helping you manage your already busy schedule.

Sign up for repeat-usage deals
Many national hotel chains offer frequent-stay programs, which allow a business traveler to build up points that turn into overnight stays for no charge. Several hotel brands will group together under one program, providing more options and making the deal even better. Some hotel chains will also offer frequent flier miles with a stay, allowing a traveler to get a two-for-one deal. To sign up for these programs, contact the hotel chain or ask at the front desk the next time you are visiting.

Keep your car driving efficiently
When you’re on the road, don’t let your car cost you more gas than it already uses to run. Check your tire pressure and make sure it matches the manufacturer’s recommendations. Inspect your air filter and replace it regularly. Also keep your car clean, because the more litter and dirt accumulated in the vehicle adds additional weight, causing you to burn more gas.

Courtesy of ARAcontent