Holiday Travelers Getting Hit at the Pump

If you were planning on skipping on airfare this holiday and using your car instead, be aware that gas prices are on the rise.

Although the oil supplies are plentiful and gasoline demand has gone down since September, retail gas prices are rising because oil prices are at the highest levels since October 2008. Over the last week, gasoline prices have gone up $0.10 to $2.95/gallon for the national average. The national average is expected to hit $3.00/gallon as we go into January.

So what can holiday travelers do to cut down on gas spending?

Double Check Last Minute Airfare Rates – If you’re traveling a long distance, make sure to compare your car costs versus taking a plane to where you’re traveling. If it’s cheaper to go by air, book that plane and let your car stay home for the holidays.

Try to Carpool – Whether you’re driving for an hour to grandma’s house or taking a long distance trip, try to plan your holiday travel with other family members and carpool to save money. Not only will it give you more quality time with your relatives but it will save on gas.

Change the Way You Drive – Most cars are set to achieve optimal fuel economy at around 55 mph. If you stick to the speed limit and make fewer adjustments while you’re cruising down the highway, then you’re sure to burn less gas. Don’t push the gas pedal or brake too hard because that can also burn more gas.

Check the Gas Prices Before You Fill Up – Gas prices can vary depending on whether or not you’re in the suburbs or traveling in the city. Make sure to get an idea of what the gas prices are in the areas that you’re driving so you can research and find gas stations that are running lower prices. is one of my favorite sites for checking prices.

Use Cash at the Pump – Many gas stations will offer discounts for using cash at the pump, so put away your credit card and use cash when you’re filling up.

If you have any other ideas on how to save on gas this holiday season, please add your gas saving tips to the comments section!

About the Author

The following post is from Kathryn Katz, a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who works for Consolidated Credit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Their non-profit agency helps families through financial crisis using credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education.