May 11 2011 by Bryson Forbes
The average price of one litre of regular unleaded gasoline in Toronto on October 25, 2010 was $1.04. Fast forward six months and that same litre is now $1.35. That's a whopping thirty percent increase!
Though there are many theories about why the price has risen so dramatically, relief does not appear to be in sight. In fact, prices are likely to rise as demand in North America tends to surge as more drivers hit the road in late spring and summer. The result is that we Canadians will be spending a lot more money at the pump. Gas prices will not only affect those who are driving, but fliers will also see the increase reflected in the cost of airfare. Either way, high gas prices means it will cost more to get to your destination.
Have no fear, my fellow travelers, as I have created a list of five ways you can recoup some of those funds:
- If "Staycation" was the buzz phrase of 2010, "One Tank Trip" is the winner for 2011. Can you complete a round-trip weekend getaway on just one tank? Depending on the size of your car (and your gas tank), you should be able to drive at least five hundred kilometres which will provide lots of great one-tank options. In fact, Best Western got its start as a referral network of hotels one gas tank away from one another.
- Though it'll cost more to get to your destination, look for ways to save when you're there. Hotels like Best Western provide no-charge amenities like free wireless Internet, and often parking and breakfast. Charges like these can add up and the bill you pay at check out can look quite different than the rate you reserved.
- Try to take advantage of fridge and/or microwaves that many hotels provide. Especially in the summer, a picnic in a park or on the beach will help offset any extra money you spend on gas. And if you're traveling as a family, be sure to take advantage of "Kids eat free" promotions.
- This is a good time to cash in some of those loyalty points you've been collecting. From free room nights to free flights to gas cards, lots of options are available from loyalty programs like Best Western Rewards. Also, be on the lookout for special deals and promotions which may save you even more.
- There are a number of ways to save on entertainment costs, as well. In Ontario, for instance, it's worth a stop at a Travel Information Centre which can provide not only ideas and advice, but also coupons, discount information and passes.
Are gas prices changing your summer travel plans? If so, how? Do you have any travel tips to help other readers save money along the way?