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Save on Gas for Summer Road Trips!
by Courtney Caldwell

Save money on gasIt doesn't take a genius to figure out it's summertime. According to AAA, 37.5 million Americans began their summer vacations and hit the highways this July — a nine-year record. As air travel will be down 2 percent from last year, approximately 500,000 travelers expect to go by other modes of transportation as compared to 400,000 in 2002.

With gas prices lower than this time last year, road trips can certainly help save vacation money in a tight economy. As families pile into their PT Cruiser "Woody Wagons," turn on the Eagles tunes and begin creating memories only a Griswold could rival, they should keep the good times following these simple tips for getting the most out of every gallon of gas:

  • Avoid high speeds/use cruise control — increasing your speed uses more fuel. Avoid unnecessary idling — it wastes fuel.

  • Avoid jackrabbit starts and sudden stops.

  • Remove excess weight from the trunk — extra weight decreases gas mileage.

  • Keep your tires properly inflated — under inflated tires can reduce fuel efficiency.

  • Use overdrive gears if you have them — reduces engine speed and improves fuel consumption.

  • Use your air conditioner sparingly — increases gasoline consumption.

  • Check and replace air filters regularly — clean air filters keep impurities in the air from damaging the engine and can improve fuel economy.

  • Get a tune-up and change your oil regularly and right before a long trip.

  • Use gasoline formulated to give better mileage

Some oil companies, like Shell, recently announced its new better-mileage fuel, which is specially formulated to improve fuel economy by reducing friction in the engine. The new Shell formula, which is offered in all three grades — regular, plus and premium — can add up to 125 miles per year for a customer driving 12,500 miles per year. And as we all know, every little bit helps in today's economy.

For more information on Shell's new formula please visit: or