Summer vacation is almost here, and around the country people are dreaming of getting in the cars and hitting the road. From short day trips to see the local sights to longer vacations that cross multiple states and highways, trips on the open road just seem to have a way to inspire and excite us.
In order to make this summer’s road trip as eco-friendly as possible, consider the following tips and advice:
Decide ahead of time where you are going
Sure, it’s fun to get in the car and just meander for miles. But planning ahead of time where you are headed will help save on costly fuel, as well as unnecessary wear and tear on the car. To boost mileage even more, Made Just Right suggests using cruise control as often as possible and, if you can stand it, go easy on the A/C.
Make sure your vehicle is in good shape
As Smart Traveling Tips notes, cars that are in need of a tune up use more gasoline and tend to belch out more exhaust. In addition, low air pressure in your tires will have a negative impact on your fuel usage. Examine them before you leave, and use the information on the sidewalls (or better yet, on the sticker in the door panel) to learn the proper PSI for your tires. If you notice that one or more are losing tread or otherwise look ready to replace, consider purchasing new BF Goodrich Tires or another brand from a company like Tire Buyer.
Avoid Rush Hour Traffic
Stop-and-go traffic can be maddening, and it’s also hard on the environment. Try to plan your travel time so you are not going through main thoroughfares during the busiest times of the day. Unless you have to head into a town as part of your journey, stick to the main highways and byways as much as you can.
Pack as light as possible
Although it can be tempting to over pack, try to keep your suitcase as light as possible. Also, refrain from loading up your car with a lot of equipment and other gear that you probably won’t have time to use during your trip. A lighter car will get better gas mileage, and will also be more comfortable to travel in. After all, trying to relax while being poked in the back by the world’s largest suitcase is not a lot of fun.
Prepare a picnic lunch
Instead of stopping at McDonald’s or Taco Bell along the way for lunch, consider packing a nice picnic meal for the whole gang. Be on the lookout for a nice scenic rest stop and enjoy a relaxing meal in the shade. When you are done eating, be sure to pick up all of your trash and dispose of it in the rest area’s trash cans, or bring it with you in the car to toss later on. If you find yourself having a hankering for a hamburger but are not in the mood for a chain restaurant, download some of the apps. For example, the SHFT Food Tripping app helps hungry travelers find tasty alternatives to fast food wherever they are on the road.