Summer travel hacks: How to plan and save for your next trip

Expert advice on making your fuel last during a road trip and what to consider when booking a vacation

ROANOKE, Va. – Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer travel.

If you are taking a road trip this holiday weekend be prepared, we’re currently experiencing the most expensive gas prices or a Memorial Day Weekend since 2014, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

10 News is working for you to make sure when you do fuel up, your tank will last.

Consumer Reports’ deputy auto editor Jeff Bartlett said the key to preserving gas is driving smoothly and going the speed limit; when you drive faster, you use more fuel.

Another pointer, keep your car in shape.

“This can start with just simple things as checking your tire pressure. Tires can lose about one PSI a month, so simply check your pressures once a month, this will also improve safety and grip of vehicle,” said Bartlett.

Consumer Reports’ data shows air conditioning can be another way to preserve the gas in your tank. It can be a 1 to 4 mile per gallon penalty to your fuel economy. Bartlett mentions depending on a person and the weather, limiting A/C may not be worth it. The cool air can make you comfortable and keep you alert which keeps you safe.

Another big factor is aerodynamics, it changes when you have a roof or bike rack on your car.

“That’s going to attract a huge fuel economy penalty. Now in testing we found that this could be anywhere from 5 miles per gallon to over 10 miles per gallon, so we certainly encourage people to get out and have fun. The key thing is to take off the rack when you’re not using it,” Bartlett said.

AAA Mid-Atlantic doesn’t expect a gas shortage during the three-day weekend but warns there may be low fuel at gas stations in popular travel destinations.

They predict more than one million Virginians will travel during the weekend, 96% of that will be by car. It’s a big contrast to 2020 and just the beginning of the summer travel surge.

Martin Travel in Roanoke said the top destinations are the Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe, river cruises, Alaska and Asia, specifically Thailand.

With all the rescheduling from last year, travel advisors warn space is already limited for 2022 cruises.

Restrictions are changing but Martin Travel’s leisure office manager Michelle Chambers said there’s still plenty to keep in mind, every state and country is different. That’s why investing in travel insurance and a travel advisor is highly recommended.

“We let you know what is required for that destination, what is needed whether you have to have a COVID test, whether you have to be vaccinated to even go there. Some countries and cruise lines will not let you enter or board unless you’re vaccinated,” said Chambers.

Keep in mind travel advisors aren’t just for big trips, they handle hotel bookings, road and train travel too.

AAA Mid Atlantic’s prediction is that the number of Virginians flying in 2021 will be almost six times what it was in 2020.

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