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Are you planning to hit the road for the holiday season? If so, you’re not alone, considering AAA estimates that around 55.4 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving alone. In that case, saving money at the gas pump is your best bet if you want to arrive at your destination with some holiday money. Check out the 10 gas-saving tips below before embarking on your holiday journey.

1.Travel through states with cheaper gas prices

Arizona gas, fuel pump nozzle, gas pump
Gas pump | Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Times have changed, and breaking out the fold-out map is a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan your cross-country trip online. Sites like Gas Buddy and Toll Guru allow you to plan your road trip while calculating the gas costs along the way.

Renee Horne, Chase Auto’s Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, notes, “With a bit of planning and foresight, you can potentially route your trip to go through states where gas prices tend to be lower than the national average.”

2. Cruise on highways and interstates more than surface streets

The most popular Subaru SUV, the Subaru Crosstrek, driving in a canyon.
2024 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

Any car (except for most hybrids) will get better mileage when cruising on the highway than on city streets. Take the freeway as much as possible while on a road trip to get the most miles per gallon.

3. Refuel farther from the highway

Gas prices are typically higher the closer the station is to the highway. If you need to fill up, go to a gas station farther from the highway to get a better price on fuel.

4. Don’t fill up on expensive gas

A person removes the nozel from a pump at a gas station on July 29, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

If you have to pump gas into your car and can’t reach a farther station for cheaper gas, don’t fill up at a pricier station. Instead, pump enough fuel into your car to make it to a cheaper station. Doing so can save you some money in the long run.

5. Find the best deals on gas by using apps

There are plenty of mobile apps that can find the cheapest gas prices across the nation. A couple of apps include Gas Buddy and Upside. If you need help saving money for your epic road trip, Chase Bank has an Auto Save app to automatically transfer money into a savings account to hit your budgeting goals.

6. Get maintenance done before going on the trip

It’s important to ensure your car is running properly before heading out on a long road trip. We recommend checking the tire tread and pressures, the fluids, brakes, and the windshield wipers for peace of mind.

7. Travel light

The luggage loaded in the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime
2023 Toyota Prius Prime | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

A lighter car is a more fuel-efficient car. As such, travel light if possible. This means excluding any excess luggage or other heavy items that could weigh down the car. Also, only use the roof rails for extra storage when needed. The added weight on the roof and the shape of the cargo could dampen the car’s aerodynamics and thus use more gas.

8. Take advantage of credit card rewards and programs

Some credit cards have fuel rewards programs and discounts. If you can, use these rewards to save money on gas during your trip.

9. Choose the right car for the trip

A front corner view of the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime next to trees
2023 Toyota Prius Prime | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

If you plan to rent or borrow a car, make sure it’s the right one. That means not borrowing your friend’s old gas-guzzling Ford Bronco and maybe renting a Toyota Prius instead. (Although, the Bronco is still a cool road trip car).

10. Use public transportation

If your destination is a major city with adequate public transportation, consider parking your car as much as possible and taking a bus or train to get around instead. Using your car will use up more gas and cost you more money.

Saving money during a holiday road trip is easier than you think

If you’re planning to hit the open road this holiday season, it never hurts to save money on gas. By following these tips, you can save money on the trip and use it for more important things like a turkey or gifts for your loved ones.