How to Calculate the Gas Cost of a Road Trip

hand holding gas pump handle into car

For many people looking at cost-efficient ways to travel, going on a road trip is typically the go-to. While it may be easy to assume that a road trip is the cheaper route — costs add up.

If you plan on taking a road trip with your family or friends this summer, here are several costs to consider when planning your trip:

  • Calculate your gas mileage
    To determine how many miles your car can travel per gallon of fuel, you can simply look up your car’s year, make and model, or you can write down the reading on your odometer each time you fill up your car.

  • Research the travel distance
    You can do this by simply entering your start and finish point, along with any rest stops you plan on taking, into Google Maps or any GPS device that you use. Then make a note of the number of miles your trip will cover.

  • Look up current gas prices
    While gas prices vary in different locations, knowing the current average cost of gas should give you a good idea of the total fuel cost for your trip. You may not be right on the money with the total dollar amount, but you should be in the ballpark.

  • Add up your trip cost
    Once you have your gas mileage, travel distance and gas price, it’s time to do a little math. To calculate the total gas cost of your trip, simply take the mileage of the total distance of your trip and divide it by your miles per gallon. This will give you the number of gallons of gas you will need on your trip. Multiply that figure by the current price of gas and you have the total estimated cost of gas for your road trip. Bon voyage!

  • Other expenses
    And of course, you should also factor in other costs of your road trip, which may include tolls, lodging, meals, etc. If you’re traveling with a group, you can always divvy up the gas costs to make it a little easier on everyone’s pockets.

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