There is nothing more exciting than planning a road trip. From squishing the luggage into the vehicle to ensuring that you have enough drinks and snacks to last the entire drive. We are so focused on the excitement that we forget about the small things that will help make your trip better.
Since the recession hit, most families have realised that they need to downscale their holidaying and instead of planning overseas trips, more and more people now focus on exploring their own country. So when on the long road, how do save money?
The answer to that is in your driving style, while no one is suggesting you do crazy things like turn the car off on down hills and only allow passengers to bring what can fit on their laps, there are ways to improve your consumption without any major changes required.
Here are five tips for driving more economically on the long road:
Number One – Slow Down
While no one wants to drive at a snail’s pace, ensure that you stick to the speed limit and do not exceed this limit. A vehicle is most fuel economical when driving at 100kmph (63mph), so ensure that you stick to this speed.
Number Two – Change Gears Early
Ensure that you change gears at the optimal time, while you do not want to change to early – this labours the engine and courses you to use more fuel – there is no need to over rev the motor either. Remember, change to a higher gear once the vehicle is up to speed and ensure that you make smooth gears changes. This will ensure that you do not wear out the vehicles clutch and gearbox.
Number Three – Avoid Excess Baggage
Know your vehicle maximum baggage allowance and then limit passengers accordingly. Pack the essential items – food and clothing – first and leave the non-essential items for last. This way if you reach your vehicles packing limit, you can easily sort out the items that can stay at home.
Number Four – Fill Up When Necessary
While no one is advocating that you drive until the empty light on the fuel gauge starts flashing – as this can cause damage to your vehicle – ensure that you do not fill up at every fuelling station. Having a full tank of petrol will put your mind at ease, but bear in mind that every litre of petrol weighs around one kilogram. A fuel tank of petrol is equivalent to carrying an extra person.
Number Five – Avoid The Traffic
While some traffic is always predicted, particularly on long weekends, ensure that you pick travel time outside of the norm. Leave a day early and come back a day early or leave early in the morning. While you will not escape all the traffic, if you are able to leave before some of the cars, then you will be able to dictate your own traveling speed and ultimately your petrol consumption.
Use these five fuel saving tips and ensure that you get the most out of your travels. Remember to have your vehicle checked out before the trip to ensure that everything is in proper working order.
I am Greg Jones, a travel lover, packing master and car snacks expert. I recently bought the new isuzu kb and cannot wait to take this bad boy on the long road – including the many off-road paths I can find – and see what it can do. Something my dad always said to be careful on the long road, as whatever happens on the road can make or break your vacation. So use these words and ensure that you travel safely.