5 Tips to Help Curb the Cost of Driving Home This Thanksgiving

A road with trees in the background

Description automatically generated

Credit: Marta Wave Via: Pexels

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. For many, it’s a special opportunity to get together with friends, family, and loved ones after a busy summer. Time will be spent around the table enjoying great food, catching up, and appreciating the shifting of the seasons.

It’s easy to embrace and cherish the fun parts of any holiday away from home. What’s not so exciting is thinking ahead and planning how to get there. This is especially true if money is tight, you’re making a long trip home from school, or you’re driving to a different province.

Fortunately, with some foresight, you can set yourself up for a cost-effective road trip. Here’s how.

1. Pinpoint Gas Stations

The price of gas can differ sporadically between pumps, so it’s always worth checking prices the morning of your trip until you find the best stops for value along your route.

2. Keep at a Steady Speed

Studies have shown that irregular acceleration uses more fuel. Climbing to 85 km per hour and dropping to 75 km every 18 seconds can increase your fuel usage by a whopping 20 percent.  

It’s also been found that driving at 80 miles an hour can use up to 10 percent more fuel than cruising at 70. By keeping your speed steady and not having a heavy foot, you’re already taking steps to keep that gas bill low!

3. Check Your Tire Pressure

The correct tire pressure reduces friction and resistance on the road; this not only cuts your fuel costs but will also increase your tires’ lifespan.

4. Off-Load Non-Essentials

The overall weight of your vehicle contributes to your gas usage. Unload unessential gear — like camping equipment and empty roof racks — before you set off. This will save fuel costs while providing ample room for Thanksgiving leftovers for the journey back!

5. Get a Tune-Up

Yes, this might seem counterintuitive — but sometimes you must spend money to save money. Making sure everything is in good working order before you leave can save you costs incurred from unexpected breakdowns and visits to small-town mechanics on your way to Thanksgiving festivities.

Have a Plan

Even the best-laid plans can go awry. Carve out some extra cash for an emergency breakdown and repair fund just in case the worst-case scenario presents itself while you’re on the road. 

If it’s too late to put money aside, a Canadian line of credit might be able to help with emergency auto-repairs. Here, you can apply online for an emergency loan if your savings are empty, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — a huge perk on holiday weekends when brick-and-mortar banks are likely closed.

Some More Cost-Saving Travel Tips

In addition to the cost-saving suggestions above, why not implement these tips?

  • Turn off the air conditioning. Using your A/C may increase your fuel consumption by 20 percent.
  • Use virtual maps; they will reroute you if there are costly delays ahead.
  • Don’t idle. If you were to idle for 30 minutes a day for two winter months, you would burn through a whole tank of gas.
  • Bring a packed lunch. Stopping at service stations and coffee shops adds up fast.
  • Carpool when you can.

Bottom Line

These cost-saving tips can save you money and ensure you show up to Thanksgiving on time this year. Schedule that tune-up and plan out your route today!

Leave a Comment