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Road Trip Ready: How to Save Fuel and Money on Your Next Adventure

Published on May 1, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

Summer is around the corner which means that it's time to hit the open road for some adventure! From visiting friends and family to crossing kooky roadside attractions off your bucket list (World's Tallest Thermometer, anyone?), the reasons to go on a road trip are endless. But, with gas prices on the rise, drivers are left sweating over their summer vacation plans. Don't worry; we've got you covered! Here are some tips for saving fuel on your next road trip and keeping your cool.

Before You Start Your Trip

Make sure to take steps that can save you fuel even before you hit the road. Get your vehicle checked and undergo all necessary repairs, plan your route, and consider the load you'll be carrying. You can visit your local Kunes Service Center to get help with repairs and a comprehensive vehicle inspection to ensure that your car is ready for your road trip.


One of the best ways to save gas on your road trip is to maintain your vehicle correctly. Check your tire pressure, tire tread depth, battery, filters, fluids, windshield wipers, and other important parts to ensure that everything is in excellent condition. Make sure your tire pressure is always properly inflated since underinflated tires are one of the top causes of poor gas mileage.


Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

  • Tire pressure

  • Tire tread depth

  • Battery

  • Filters

  • Fluids

  • Windshield wipers


Things to Know Before You Go

Try to plan your route as much as possible to avoid traffic during peak hours in highly populated areas, as idling in standstill traffic wastes gas. You can also try timing your trip around rush hour or choosing alternate routes that are more efficient. Knowing your gas mileage and fuel capacity can help you plan your fuel stops. It's wise to research gas prices in the towns where you plan to stop to help estimate fuel costs for your road trip.


Remember that the heavier your car is, the more fuel it'll burn. Therefore, be mindful when packing your bags and avoid bringing more than you need. Only carry what's essential, and don't forget to lighten your load by unloading unnecessary items from your vehicle.


When you hit the road for a trip, you should plan your route in advance, so you know where to stop for gas. Be mindful that gas stations along the highways tend to charge more than those located in towns.


Running out of gas during your trip can be a hassle, so it's crucial to plan your fuel stops beforehand. Knowing your car's average gas mileage can be helpful in determining where and when you'll need to refuel. 


To get an idea of how far you can travel on a tank of gas, multiply your car's miles per gallon by its fuel capacity. But keep in mind, gas mileage can fluctuate, so aim to stop for gas when you're down to around a quarter of a tank. If you end up running out of gas, it can not only be an inconvenience but also harm your car. So, better to be safe than sorry!


Planning Checklist

  • Peak traffic hours: Avoid rush hour traffic by planning alternate routes.

  • Travel light: Packing only the essentials can help minimize the amount of gas your vehicle burns through.

  • Fuel stops: Calculate your vehicle’s gas mileage (see above paragraph), then research gas prices at stations along your route to save even more on fuel.


Once you're on the road, there are other ways to save fuel. When able, activate your cruise control to maintain a consistent speed and minimize fuel consumption. Driving at speeds above 50-60 mph decreases fuel mileage, and the faster you go, the more fuel you'll burn. Also, keep your windows up when driving at highway speeds since rolled-down windows create wind resistance, making your vehicle burn more fuel. Instead, opt for the A/C.


Lastly, carefully choose your gas stops to ensure that you don't spend more at the pump than necessary. Fuel stations along the highway tend to be more expensive, so use gas price comparison apps or websites to find the best deal. 


How to Save Fuel On the Road

  • Use cruise control when you’re able.

  • Keep windows rolled up to reduce wind resistance.

  • Use gas price comparison apps or websites to find the best deals on fuel.


Follow these tips, and you'll save fuel and money on your next road trip. Happy travels!

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