I hope the blogs this month have got you in a positive mood and have taken your mind off the nonsense we’ve been dealing with lately! This week we will discuss the best ways to do road trips!
Now, as many of you know, the Grover family beats a regular path to Canada to see our son play hockey, and over the last number of years, we’ve learned a thing or two about road-tripping. The most important things you can do are prepare your car ahead of time and be smart about gas!
Preparing You & Your Car
We’ve learned the hard way that if you fail to prepare your car, your car will fail you. And, while it is tempting to think of your hotel or Air BNB as your home away from home, your car is actually a more accurate definition. Of course, now that I have an electric car, part of my preparation includes mapping out where I will stop to recharge and ensuring I’m fully charged before leaving. If you don’t have an electric car, you’ll want to plan about a month ahead for any unexpected repairs. Here are the things we typically check and adjust as needed on our non-electric cars:
- Tire Pressure
- Spare Tire
- Belts, caps, hoses, and filters
- Lights, signals, all wiper blades, and windshield wiper fluid
It’s as important for you to be prepared for your road trip as it is for you to prepare your car. So, make sure you tell people where you are going and get a good night’s sleep before you set out. You’ll want to check your phone range and cell towers to make sure that you can at least make emergency calls if there are “dead” areas along your route. Checking the weather at different points along your route if you are taking a particularly long drive is also a smart idea. And of course, wear comfortable traveling clothes! I drove from the office in a suit to see a hockey game in Canada, and I assure you I will NEVER do that again!
Here are the necessities “Team Grover” takes with us on a trip:
- First aid kit
- Water and snacks
- Blankets and pillows
- Jumper cables and flares
- Tool kit and cutting tool
- Chains or something for traction for winter driving.
- Waterproof matches
Getting the Most at the Pump
Perhaps the biggest expense on a road trip is the gas, which has been an especially sharp pain point these last couple of years. According to SafeMotorist.com, here are some good ways to squeeze the most mileage out of each tank of gas.
- Slow down your acceleration. For example, when going from 0–60 mph, slow down your acceleration time to 15 seconds, and you can save 30% on gas mileage.
- Try to purchase your gas at the coolest time of day. Gas is densest at these times.
- Maintain a moderate speed. If you travel at 55 mph, you will save close to 21% more on your gas mileage versus traveling 10-15 miles over.
- Keep windows closed while traveling at high speeds. Having open windows can reduce your gas mileage by up to 10%, the same as air conditioning.
- Avoid driving on rough roads: they can decrease your gas mileage by 30%.
- Cool down automatic transmissions by placing them in neutral at long traffic lights or traffic standstill.
- Remove excess weight from your car — that can also reduce gas mileage
- Make sure tires are pressurized to the maximum limit provided by the manufacturer.
- Know the estimated cost of fuel for your trip: visit a Fuel Cost Calculator.
In recent years, apps that show you where the best gas prices are or give you discounts at the pump have become popular. Two of our favorites are Upside and GasBuddy.
And with that, I wish you a safe and happy road trip should one be in your summer plans! Don’t forget to tune in next week when we discuss the best tips for cruise vacations.
Until next time…
One last thought, I believe an educated investor is an empowered investor. If you like what you’ve read and think your friends and family can benefit as well, please share.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested in directly.
All investing involves risk, including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
Dollar-cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuation in the price levels of such securities. An investor should consider their ability to continue purchasing through fluctuating price levels. Such a plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.