Poll: Are Gas Prices Changing Your Driving Habits or Vacation Plans?

Gas prices are certainly one of the hottest topics right now, and for good reason. Many places are now seeing $4.00 a gallon or higher. This is certainly expensive, and it is also a psychological barrier. We had these same discussions when gas was expected to break $2 a gallon, and $3, so this time is no different. Each time we hit a new dollar mark, it really starts to sink in just how costly gas has become.

With all the discussion surrounding higher prices, a lot of people have suggested they will be doing less traveling this summer. In fact, numbers from the Department of Transportation earlier this week suggested that this was in fact true, and people drove much less over this holiday weekend. So, have you made changes in your driving habits to curtail the higher prices?

I fall somewhere in the middle. While we’re not flat out canceling any plans, we also try to make the best use of our driving time. Streamline trips, consolidate errands, and avoid going out of our way for something if possible. But other than that, even though gas prices are high, the actual cost is not enough to derail any major plans. For example, gas prices today are about 75 cents more per gallon than one year ago. With our car, a 300 mile trip takes about one 11 gallon tank of gas. That is only $8.25 more than this time last year. So when push comes to shove, if the driving is to take some time off, relax, or visit friends and family, the 8-10 bucks extra it will likely cost won’t be enough to forgo those type of trips for us.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.

8 comments
Kirk
Kirk

I am making the big trip this summer so gas isn't stopping me, but it may keep me from spending as much on the vacation. I might not eat out as often or buy that useless vacation t-shirt.

So it affects my plans, but not as far as using gas.

zpinzane
zpinzane

Question: When are the interstate speed limits going to be lowered to 55mph? What is anyone actually doing about all of this besides getting upside down on unsellable gas guzzlers and crying?
Nice post. :)

Sara
Sara

I definitely shop less, since even window shopping has a price now. But for travel? Like you said, I'm not going to skip out on family and friends over it.

ammbd
ammbd

since the gas prices now seem to be increasing a nickel between each morning & evening, we are cutting back on any driving unrelated to work or groceries. when it takes $30 to fill my little Honda Civic, pricing has gotten nuts.

and please don't tell my family to just bike, walk, bus or move. here in the Valley of the Sun, none of those are practical or cheaper.

Stephen
Stephen

Yeah I lied. I do own a vehicle, but moved to a city where I never drive it. Public transit here is almost too convenient, which is awesome since I don't have to pay for gas anymore.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Good catch, yes, that should be minimizing.

foobar
foobar

You mean "minimizing", and not "maximizing", right?

Traciatim
Traciatim

Americans are very spoiled with their ultra low gas prices. "Suck it up buttercup" is all I have to say to any of them.

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