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Save Gas on Your Christmas Trip

Christmas is soon here and many of us will be traveling to spend the holidays with family or friends.

If you are going to take the car you can as well think about how to get the best mileage out of your Chrismas trip… there’s enough bills to pay anyway even if you didn’t have to pay for the gas.

To help you I have put together my top 7 Christmas Mileage Tips for saving gas on you Christmas travels.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #1: No speeding, no stress

Going above 60mph (100km/h) will use considerably more fuel while not getting you anywhere as much faster ahed as you might wish.

Plan your trip to begin early enough so you don’t need to panic in case there is problems on the way. You might have to get around a traffic accident or you may get lost in case they have done reconstruction on some major intersection since you last traveled. (See Christmas Mileage Tip Nr 2)

It’s also a good idea to be carefull on the roads around Christmas as an accident will certainly ruin your celebrations.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #2: Plan Your Route

One of the secrets to saving fuel on long trips is of cource to take the shortest route while still avoiding the smallest roads where you can’t keep your schedule.

First of all plan the shortest route you could take using the major highways. It’s usually easy to find your way from A to B on the highway. Then consider you skills with map or GPS and see if you can find a shorter route by using smaller rural roads for shortcuts.

Do not only measure the length of the route. Also favor road with speed limits of 50 to 60mph with no known road contruction work going on and with less traffic. Also avoid entering a major city on a smaller road, you will easily get lost.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #3: Make a Good Schedule

Don’t just go. Plan when well in advance what day to gom what time to go and when you will be at different waypoints on your route. This way you can avoid rush hour traffic on certain parts of your trip, possibly saving your hours of stress and gallons of fuel.

Avoid getting near any major city during rush hour, if you notice you will you can allways taka break and a meal at that point to adjust your schedule. 

If you’re alone or if your family can stand it you can drive during the night hours to avoid other traffic that could force your to drive less economically.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #4: Update your Maps And GPS

Make sure you have a recent map in case they have changed roads or intersections and get the latest map updates for your GPS unit. Especially if you follow the directions from your GPS it could take you inte trouble and a longer trip in case the roads has changed.

If your GPS jave real time traffic information it can also inform you of road work and accidents so your can take the quickest route around bottlenecks.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #5: Check Tire Pressure and Fluids

Having too low tire pressure will decrease your gas mileage with up to 5mpg depending on your vehicle. Make sure to check and fill your tires before going on a longer Christmas trip and you could save some gas for Santa.

Also check the other fluids, like the oil level, coolant level and cleaning fluid for the windows. You won’t save much gas by doing this but you might save your engine and make sure you have a peacefull Christmas.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #6: No Roof Racks, Ski Boxes or Trailers

Anything you attach to the outside of your car will increase aerodynamic drag and also fuel consumption. If you don’t need them for your trip, make sure to remove any roof rack or ski boxes before you go, it can make a difference of several mpg.

Towing a trailer will also make your car use a lot more fuel per mile so avoid it at all cost, and if you have to choose a ski box is better than a big trailer.

Chrismas Mileage Tip #7: Fill up Where It’s Cheap

If you’re going to drive some considerable distance you can plan in advance where to fill up by using an online service like gasbuddy. They have gas prices for every state in the USA and Canada and if you travel through several states the price difference can be huge between different locations.

Just don’t deviate from your planned route to save a few cents, find a gas station along your route and fill up well before the tank is empty to make sure you’re not forced to take anything they have.

Tools for Planning Your Trip

To get an estimate of how much fuel is going to be needed you can use this trip gas mileage calculator, to find the best gas prices in the US and Canada go to gasbuddy and finally you can use this tool to find the best tire pressure for your vehicle.

If you have additional tips on how to save gas during Christmas please add it in a comment to this blog post so everyone can benefit from your knowledge. 

Hava a Merry Christmas and save a lot of gas on your trip,

Simon Byholm

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