Last year at this time, gas prices in my area were just over $4 per gallon. It sucked; even filling up a 2002 Honda CR-V was painful.
Then gas prices tumbled all the way down into the $1.20 range and filling up didn’t cost much more than stopping at Starbucks.
Today, with summer officially less than two weeks away, prices are inching closer to $3 per gallon, rising 41 cents just in the last month. It’s making me rethink a planned road trip from Washington state to Oklahoma in August. According to AAA’s fuel cost calculator, at today’s prices I’m looking at $385 round trip in gas. That’s not terrible, but if it gets close to $500, I might change my travel plans. Or stuff my family of four into my 2007 Suzuki SX4. (Sure, we’ll fight and be cramped, but hey, we’ll get close to 30 mpg!)
While I’m a firm believer in the gas-saving effects of proper maintenance, including new air filters and adequate tire pressure, I’m not a fan of tricks like traveling with the air conditioning off or drifting behind semi trucks.
If gas prices get so out of hand that I actually consider such insanity, my family’s road trip will turn into a jaunt to Seattle for 50 bucks rather than forking over $500 to see friends in Oklahoma City.
What’s the price point at which gas prices will start to affect your travel plans this summer?