Summer road trips costly. Here’s how much and how to save

Plan on about $57 to drive to the South Padre beach and back to SA

SAN ANTONIO – The price of gas dropped two cents a gallon this week, but at an average of $4.65 gallon, it’s still in record territory, making those summer road trips more expensive than ever.

“I might go to Austin or something like that, but that’s as far as I’m going to go,” said Langston Clark. “This is bad.”

And, it’s worse in other parts of the country.

So how much will it cost to load up the family SUV for a summer vacation? Using AAA trip calculator for a mid-sized SUV that gets 25 miles to the gallon, here are a few calculations:

  • To Disney World in Orlando and back: $432.
  • To the Grand Canyon in Arizona and back: $449.
  • And, to the beach of South Padre: about $57.

So to save on gas and money, it helps to use apps like GasBuddy, Gas Guru, or Waze to find the cheapest gas near you.

“While many gas stations will offer a lower price if you pay with cash, a credit card with cash-back could actually be a better deal, especially if paying more on gas than you typically would in a month,” said Consumer Reports Auto Editor Alex Knizek.

Packing light can help, too. Removing unnecessary roof racks or bike racks can reduce drag and improve mileage.

And, sticking to the speed limit will save fuel, too. Consumer Reports tests show that cruising at 75 miles an hour instead of 65 miles an hour can cost you six miles per gallon, or even more.

As for Clark, that short trip to Austin and back will cost him about $28 just in gas.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.