Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips

Whether you're heading for your vacation rental on the beach or to grandma's house by car for Thanksgiving, check out these tips for getting there on time, saving on gas and traveling safe.

Be ready for any kind of weather. Watch the weather forecasts before leaving, but no matter what the forecast says, plan for bad weather so you're not surprised. Thanksgiving weekend gets it share of inclement weather, and winter conditions can arise when they're not expected.

Try to leave on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. The busiest travel day of the year is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and that includes the roads too, not just airports. If you plan it right, you can include a fun stop along the way if you have the time. Leaving a little early will also give you plenty of time if you run into bad weather. 

If you're traveling in warmer parts of the country, keep the windows rolled up while driving on the highway. Open windows and sun roofs create drag and wastes more gas than running the AC.

Take it easy on the gas. Driving at the posted speed limits can save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying about 21 cents per gallon more for gas.

Check your tire inflation. Properly inflated tires give you maximum fuel efficiency.

Turkey overload. If you're driving a long distance after a big meal, remember that big meals make you sleepy and lethargic. Be sure you're awake and aware before you get behind the wheel.