How Can A Traveler Estimate The Amount Of Money They Need For Gas?

How can a traveler estimate the amount of money they need for gas? Every vacation has a budget to adhere to and planning a road trip requires expenses for attractions, fun, accommodations, food and fuel.

Every vacation has a budget to adhere to and planning a road trip requires expenses for attractions, fun, accommodations, food and fuel. While some of these expenses are variable, fuel costs and having enough of the budget set aside, is essential to the success of the trip. In fact, the road trip cannot take place without fuel and the monies to match.


Mr. Brian Chase, Service Manager at Brandfon Honda, indicates, "Peoples fuel mileage will vary with their driving habits and the road conditions." An estimate of fuel needed and the cost will have to suffice before leaving on the adventure. Over estimating is key; after all, having monies remaining at the end of a road trip will most likely lead to vacation-success stories while the lack of monies, while numerous stories may evolve, may destroy the fun.




Mr. Chase recommends, "calculating your mileage prior to the trip and use this figure to calculate fuel expenses." Utilize maps and online services to estimate the miles to be driven, including sidetracks, attraction stops and those off-the-beaten-path adventures that might be worked into the trip. Overestimating mileage will not hurt.

Next, estimate the miles per gallon that the vehicle should achieve. Tracking the vehicles actual mileage through user knowledge and usage is best; this represents a better mileage per gallon by taking into account the user's driving habits. Mr. Chase indicated, "The mileage on your vehicle's window sticker is used for comparison shopping and may not accurately reflect your actual mileage. Often actual mileage varies by ten to fifteen percent." If accurate miles per gallon tracking is not available, use the window sticker or owner's manual miles per gallon as a guide.

Lastly, the average price per gallon for fuel will be needed. Keep in the mind that geographic areas reflect large swings in fuel prices. A little research via the Internet or newspaper will reveal the highest prices for fuel along the road trip route. Utilize the highest fuel price per gallon that might be paid along the route to keep the budget in check.

With these figures in hand, mathematics and calculations will estimate the fuel expense needed. Simple divide the estimate trip mileage by the average miles per gallon the vehicle affords; multiply this figure by the average price per gallon to achieve an estimate of the fuel budget needed. Example: A 2,000 mile trip in a vehicle that averages 30 miles per gallon will need at least 66 gallons of fuel. Multiple the 66 gallons by the average fuel cost of $2.50 and the fuel budget for the trip should be at least $165.00. Again, over-budgeting can only help.

Internet and other on-line travel services, such as AAA, can assist with the fuel estimate calculations as well as the latest highway fuel economy ratings. Input the starting city, the destination, the make, model and year of the vehicle to be driven and the fuel calculation will be completed in an instant. This service can be helpful along the route should side trips, traffic or a change of plans work into the schedule to affect the budget.

© High Speed Ventures 2011