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Thread: Gas

  1. Default Gas

    So . . . it's on everyone's mind . . . how are gas prices affecting y'all's plans? We were planning a month-long trip, but we budgeted for $2/gallon and now prices in our area are in the $3.70 range (and who knows how high they'll go?). We're driving a Honda Civic, so we're not going to find a less expensive transportation option.

    Options we're considering:
    -- Putting the trip off another year so we can have a larger budget.
    -- Cutting the mileage of the trip but not the length (so we'll spend more time in each place).
    -- Biting the bullet and paying the money; after all, our kids are "the right age" now -- they're old enough to endure long miles, but they're not old enough to have jobs/boyfriends that'll make them want to stay home.

    We're not looking at cutting back on hotel room quality; we have enough free rewards points from this and that place to get about half our month's hotel stays for free, and we'll use Priceline for most of the others -- this isn't going to be a huge cost regardless.
    We're already planning to eat many meals out of the cooler, but we won't cut one restaurant meal per day -- my husband is too grumpy if he doesn't get one good, solid real meal per day, and that's not a sacrafice we can make while we're sharing a Civic with four people.

    I don't know what we'll choose -- how are gas prices affecting y'all?

    Related topic: Two families in my neighborhood have huge RVs for sale in their driveways. I wish 'em luck, but those metal monsters've been out there for a looong time, and I haven't seen anyone looking. I don't see how anyone can afford that option with these gas prices!

  2. Default

    I've been thinking a bit about gas prices, too. I'm considering bringing bikes on our road trip so we can at least cut down on the in town driving, but since we'll have our pup, I'm not sure how that'll work. Maybe we can find a bike trailer. :-/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Keeping it rational

    Quote Originally Posted by MrsPete View Post
    So . . . it's on everyone's mind . . . how are gas prices affecting y'all's plans?
    There is no question that the rising cost of fuel is going to impact the money most of us have set aside for summer road trips, but not in the way you may think. The actual difference between $2.00/ gallon and $3.70 per gallon for a 1000 mile trip is only about $48.00. $48.00 is less than one night's lodging, or one admission to a theme park, or the cost of an average meal at a restaurant. (use our Fuel Cost Calculator and run some real #'s to check mine).

    The rising cost of fuel IS a factor because our normal commuting and daily work expenses will be higher and we will have less to spend on holiday. But the cost of fuel alone would have to reach ~$10.00/gal before it started having any significant effect on roadtripping.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default No change

    The extra $150-200 I figure gas might cost me this summer on a trip that is going to be, at minimum, about 3300 miles, isn't a make-or-break deal.

    We are, however, becoming more conscience of our regular driving here at home. Bundling more errands together so we spend less on gas on a regular basis, for example.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default part of the equation

    The cost of gas is certainly going to limit my roadtripping this summer. I expect to take far fewer trips, and the trips we take will likely be closer to home. But the reason is two-fold, as Mark mentioned, the cost of the actual trip would be a little higher, but more importantly, with the cost of commuting, we just don't have as much "extra" money for use on travel.

    If I didn't do a long distance trip on a given year, I'd typically take several long weekend trips that would be about 300-500 miles away. I really don't see doing anymore than one of those this year. To do a 1000 mile round trip using my SUV that gets a reasonable 20 mpg, it would cost nearly $200 just for fuel, as opposed to just 100 dollars when gas cost $2. An extra $100 added to a weekend camping trip, is a pretty significant difference when I would probably only have budgeted $200-300 total for the trip 2-3 years ago.

    But of course, the commuting is the real killer. The family transportation fuel bill is now pushing beyond $500 per month just for commuting. Add in the soaring cost of heating fuel - which I'll be paying for well into the summer months - and that takes up any extra money that I might otherwise use to obsorb the extra cost of taking a roadtrip.

    I'll also say that the incredibly low value of the US dollar is also playing a role in my roadtripping. In the past, I've tryed to get to Canada at least once every year or two. With US$1 equal or less than value to the Loonie, I'll probably be waiting awhile before traveling across the northern border.

    Anyway, Like I said, gas prices are not going to stop me from traveling, but I will be taking fewer trips and I will be doing much more of my exploring closer to home. However, if I had been planning a major trip, I certainly wouldn't let it stop me. We've been telling people for many months now to budget for at least $4 per gallon this summer, and I can't imagine that getting better by waiting for another year. If I was starting to plan for a summer roadtrip in 2009, I'd be using $5/gallon for my budget calculations.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    The actual difference between $2.00/ gallon and $3.70 per gallon for a 1000 mile trip is only about $48.00. $48.00 is less than one night's lodging, or one admission to a theme park, or the cost of an average meal at a restaurant.
    You know, I hadn't looked at it that way. I've already budgeted for $2/gallon (and that money's already sitting in the bank), so it's not a matter of paying the whole $4 or $5 -- it's just the difference between $2 and the increased price.

    Looking at it this way, I see that if gas is $4/gallon, our trip estimate will increase by $345. If gas is $5/gallon, our trip estimate will increase by $511.

    What's really bothering me is the unknown. If I could KNOW that it'll be $4 or $5, I could do the math and make decisions. I like facts and figures with which I can plan.
    Last edited by MrsPete; 05-11-2008 at 05:13 PM.

  7. Default My Two Cents (or $4.00/gallon)

    Biting the bullet and paying the money; after all, our kids are "the right age" now -- they're old enough to endure long miles, but they're not old enough to have jobs/boyfriends that'll make them want to stay home.
    In 5 years what will you remember if you do take this trip - that 'perfect' trip because the kids were just the right age, or the fact that you had to spend a little more for gas? My parents passed a lot of wisdom to me, but the one thing that really stuck in my mind was to think a few years out and see what's really important to you. It really puts a lot into perspective. I made the time and scraped together enough money to take my daughter to Europe. I knew it would be the last few years she'd be truly interested in taking a trip with her mother. And those memories are some of the greatest for both of us. And to this day, I don't remember how much I spent!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-18-2008 at 08:44 AM. Reason: fixed quote

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default my $10 worth [think england]

    interesting comments as here in the u.k thats roughly [$10] what a gallon of fuel will cost your over here in the u.k.
    some of you have mentioned cutting down on fuel usage due to costs and that is what our government keep telling us is the reason we are being taxed on it so heavily, to cut down on usage and pollutants,yet they fail to offer any cheaper alternative that runs effectively and reliably.

    this gives an example although our pump prices are around £1.14 a ltr at the mo [aprox £5.13p]
    United Kingdom

    From 2007-10-01 the main road fuel (petrol and diesel) duty rate in the UK is GBP£0.5035 per litre. The rate for biodiesel and bioethanol is £0.3035.[1] Value Added Tax (VAT), currently at 17.5%, is also charged on the price of the fuel and on the duty. At a pump price of 100p/litre (typical for unleaded as at November 2007), this would put the combined tax at 65.24p/litre, or approximately USD$4.84 per gallon. Thus without tax, the retail price would be 34.76p per litre, making a combined tax rate of 188%.

    [edit] North America

    Fuel taxes in the United States vary by state. For the first quarter of 2008, the average state gasoline tax is 28.6 cents per gallon, plus 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax making the total 47 cents per gallon. For diesel, the average state tax is 29.2 cents per gallon plus an additional 24.4 cents per gallon federal tax making the total 53.6 cents per gallon.[3]

    a combined tax rate of 188% for us, grrrrrrrrrrr!!!! [and i think it's gone up since]

    sorry for the rant and back to the original question.
    as long as you don't put your yourselves in real financial difficulties then bite the bullet and try and have the holiday you want.
    to do our trips with the rising costs we tend to cut back on mileage and treats before and after the holiday to ensure we have the best possible time whilst out there. have a great trip

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Somewhat affected by prices

    Our plans were already being affected by employment changes even before the gas prices started back on their sharp rise. Over the past two years the significant other and I have both seen substantial changes in our employment situations, both for good and ill.

    As for any other plans for trips this Summer: We only have, at this point, one trip planned (in a couple of weeks). Outside of that, we are limiting ourselves to local trips when time allows. This, again, has more to do with employment than the cost of fuel. Scheduling issues have dictated that the times we do have available to us are few and far between.

    I don't know that fuel, as a percentage of a trip's cost, will necessarily be higher than it has been in the past. But that's simply because I'd wager that the overall cost of a typical trip will be higher than it has been in the past.

    Anyway, I would still take the trip if I were you. Your children are certain to remember it, and someday, sooner or later, you will be able to reminisce about the experience, and that alone will be worth far more than what you spent on the trip.

  10. Default

    Well, from my point of view the gas price affects almost everybody who's planning a road trip. I was thinking about driving to Chicago but with those prices, I might postpone it.

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