Over two-thirds of all Americans are planning a road trip this summer, according to Tripadvisor. That's a lot of people out on the road. If you plan to be one of them, we have some quick tips to help you save money as you venture out in search of new scenery and experiences.
Save Money at the Pump
If you already drive an electric vehicle, good for you. You won't be buying gas on your trip. But for the rest of us, saving money on fuel starts with the right vehicle. Choose to drive a car that sips fuel instead of guzzling it. Depending on your miles per gallon (MPG), an increase of just 5 miles per gallon could save you more than $20 each time you refuel.
Another way to save money on fuel is maintenance. Follow manufacturer suggested services and your car will run more efficiently. Keeping your tires properly inflated also saves you money with improved fuel efficiency. When your tires are under-inflated, your engine works harder. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if your car is 10 PSI (pounds per square inch) lower than recommended, it can reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.
Make Sure the Spare Tire is Inflated
If you don't have a spare or a way to temporarily repair a flat, it could jeopardize your vacation plans and cost you money for towing. Additionally, check that you have a jack and lug wrench that fits the lugs on your vehicle. Other items you might need include: a towel to protect you from hot pavement, as well as flares or orange cones to alert drivers.
Check Your Tires
Nothing can ruin your plans and cost you time and money more than an accident. The NHTSA reports that 9% of all auto accidents are caused by bad tires. Tires without proper tread can affect your handling, stopping, and overall control.
What you bring along on your road trip matters — especially if your vehicle is weighted down. Too much weight in the back or on top of your vehicle makes your engine work harder reducing fuel efficiency. If you exceed your vehicle's load-carrying capacity, it can negatively affect other parts of your vehicle. Pack as light as possible and you'll save money on fuel and maintenance costs down the road. While packing, add in a jug of water in case you need it for an overheating engine, you don't want to get stuck in the desert without some extra water.
You don't have to maintain the speed limit at all times, but driving prudently can help you conserve fuel. Depending on what you drive, it can also prolong the life of your engine and other parts of your vehicle.
Plan Your Route
If you know where you'll be going, you can plan with affordable hotels and restaurants along the way. If you're really ambitious, bring along a cooler and pack it with snacks.
There's an App for That
Before you head out on your big adventure, load up your smartphone with travel apps for an easier journey. There are apps for everything from finding discount accommodations to locating the cheapest gas near your current location. Suggested apps to get you started: Freecampsite, Roadtrippers, Google Maps, Waze, and GasBuddy.
Update Your Contact Information Before You Go
Anytime you leave your general area, the credit union is alerted when your One Nevada debit or credit card gets used. This is to help protect you from fraud. To avoid disruptions, log in to your account and make sure the phone number listed is current so we can reach you if we detect suspicious activity.