driving http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/292/all en-US 10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brother_and_sister_having_fun_in_water_park.jpg" alt="Brother and sister having fun in water park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning a summer vacation with the kids? While you hammer out the details, you'll need to plan&nbsp;on spending a pretty penny. According to an&nbsp;Allianz Travel Insurance study,&nbsp;the average family planned to spend $1,798 on travel last summer. That's no small chunk of change.</p> <p>Of course, summer travel is even more expensive if you fly your whole family to a faraway destination, or visit an expensive theme park like Disney World. Even if you&nbsp;use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card travel rewards</a>&nbsp;to pay for your airfare or hotel, you can expect to spend a bundle.</p> <p>But, what if you could have just as much fun without all those costs? Some of the nation's best water parks offer exceptional value within driving distance of a slew of major cities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids" target="_blank">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>If you want to skip airfare but still take the kids on a fun, warm-weather trip they'll never forget, consider one of these options.</p> <h2>1. Holiday World and Splashin' Safari &mdash;&nbsp;Santa Claus, Indiana</h2> <p><a href="https://www.holidayworld.com/" target="_blank">Holiday World and Splashin' Safari</a>&nbsp;is the ultimate stop for a few days of family fun. The park offers both roller coasters and an expansive water park all for one low price. As a bonus, both parks offer free sunscreen and free fountain drinks all day long.</p> <p>One-day admission to both parks starts at around $26 per person, although prices increase through peak months of July and August. Check out the giant Thunderbird roller coaster or the popular Raven coaster. Or, ride the park's giant water coasters with seating for six. Pitch a tent next door at the popular&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lakerudolph.com/" target="_blank">Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort</a>&nbsp;for affordable camping fun and proximity to the parks.</p> <h2>2. Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Texas</h2> <p><a href="http://www.schlitterbahn.com/south-padre-island/resort" target="_blank">Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Water Park</a>&nbsp;offers one of the largest water parks in southern Texas, along with an on-site hotel for ultimate convenience and comfort. Water park-only tickets start at just $51 for adults and $39 for kids. Kids age two and under are free.</p> <p>Once you arrive, you can float the day away in a lazy river dotted with rapids, boogie board in a wave pool, or thrill your way down more than a half-dozen water slides. Schlitterbahn also offers splash pads and small rides for the little ones, along with plenty of spots for shade and rest.</p> <h2>3. Kalahari Resorts &mdash; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin</h2> <p>Wisconsin Dells is a city known for its many, many water parks and outsized attractions.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kalahariresorts.com/wisconsin" target="_blank">Kalahari Resorts</a>&nbsp;offers one of the broadest selections of both indoor and outdoor water rides. Their indoor water park alone is 125,000 square feet, while the outdoor park features exciting water races, a meandering river, whirlpool spas, water slides that zip and turn, and so much more.</p> <p>With an on-site room booked, you might qualify for free water park passes. If you stay off-site, water park-only passes start at $34, and kids under the age of two are free.</p> <h2>4. Water Country USA &mdash;&nbsp;Williamsburg, Virginia</h2> <p><a href="https://watercountryusa.com/en/williamsburg/" target="_blank">Water Country USA</a>&nbsp;offers extreme value and fun in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. Families can experience a white water rafting adventure together on the Big Daddy Falls, slide through curving chutes on the Colossal Curl, or fly face-first down the Nitro Racer. For the little ones, there are tiny slides, splash zones, and plenty of shade.</p> <p>A one-day water park ticket starts at $60 at the gate, but you can scoop one up for as low as $40 online, depending on the date. You can also buy a combo ticket that includes admission to the adjacent Busch Gardens for $80 online or $120 at the door.</p> <h2>5. Legoland California Resort &mdash;&nbsp;Carlsbad, California</h2> <p>West Coast families can delight in numerous easy-to-reach water parks, including&nbsp;<a href="https://www.legoland.com/california/legoland-water-park/rides-and-attractions/" target="_blank">Legoland California Resort</a>. Here, you can build your own rafts incorporating giant Legos, get blasted by water cannons in the Joker Soaker, ride the Orange Rush through its twists and turns, and master an array of other water coasters built for kids and adults of all ages.</p> <p>You can get two-day admissions to both Legoland and its water park for $89 for kids under 13, and $95 for everyone else.</p> <h2>6. Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee</h2> <p>Families can enjoy mountain scenery and cool down in the waters of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dollywood.com/waterpark" target="_blank">Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park</a>.&nbsp;Race one another down the TailSpin Racer, take the Big Bear Plunge in a family floater made for five, or play with the little ones in their own special park within a park, Little Creek Falls.</p> <p>Driving distance from many places in the South, Dollywood also offers a theme park perfect for family affairs. One-day admission to the theme park starts at $67 for adults and $54 for kids ages four to 11. Water park admission is $49 for adults, $44 for kids.</p> <h2>7. Roaring Springs Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Meridian, Idaho</h2> <p><a href="http://www.roaringsprings.com/" target="_blank">Roaring Springs</a>&nbsp;is a sprawling water park in southern Idaho that offers fun for the whole family. Ride the new Corkscrew Cavern looping water slide, relax in a private cabana, speed down the nearly vertical Cliffhanger, or float in the wave simulator all day long. Of course, there are plenty of dining options available, too, from pizza to salads.</p> <p>Full-day admission for adults is $32, while kids under 48&quot; are $27. Children ages three and under are free.</p> <h2>8. Water-Zoo &mdash;&nbsp;Clinton, Oklahoma</h2> <p>Oklahoma's <a href="http://www.water-zoo.com/" target="_blank">Water-Zoo</a>&nbsp;offers an array of indoor water slides and rides that will delight even the pickiest young traveler. Inside, you'll find more than 300,000 gallons of water, 500 feet of water slides, a wave pool, a lazy and crazy river, and a small slide for little kids, too.</p> <p>Admission is $23.49 for guests under 48&quot;, and $34.99 for everyone else. Children ages three and under are free.</p> <h2>9. Six Flags White Water &mdash;&nbsp;Atlanta, Georgia</h2> <p><a href="https://www.sixflags.com/whitewater" target="_blank">Six Flags of Atlanta</a>&nbsp;offers a water park filled with fun and crazy rides to keep the kids entertained. The Wahoo Racer lets you zip past your family and friends in a six-lane water race. You can also swoosh down the Bahama Bob slide, or ride the waves in the 700,000-gallon Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool. There are nearly two-dozen water attractions for guests of all ages (and sizes) to enjoy.</p> <p>You'll save big here, too. Advance purchase tickets are $40, and children ages two and under are free.</p> <h2>10. Wild Waves Theme &amp; Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Federal Way, Washington</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wildwaves.com/" target="_blank">Wild Waves</a>&nbsp;offers both roller coasters and water rides in a single, inspiring setting. The water park features eight wet and wacky attractions, including a giant wave pool, relaxing river, warming tubs, and thrilling water coasters for the daredevils in your crew.</p> <p>Summer entrance is surprisingly cheap for families, especially if you prepay online. You can get advance purchase starting at $17 for adults and children. Adult tickets go up to $30 later in the season. Kids ages three and younger are always free.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Affordable%2520Water%2520Parks%2520You%2520Can%2520Drive%2520To.jpg&amp;description=10%20Affordable%20Water%20Parks%20You%20Can%20Drive%20To"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Affordable%20Water%20Parks%20You%20Can%20Drive%20To.jpg" alt="10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us">Beyond Disney: 8 Affordable Family Destinations in the US</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable driving family kids pools road trip summer swimming vacation water parks Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Holly Johnson 1957456 at http://www.wisebread.com You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-507846204.jpg" alt="going from a one-car family to two cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having only one car seemed like a great idea, at first. It would save money, and surely you could all work out your schedules so that you could pass the car around, or drop each other off, or whatever.</p> <p>But then she got a new job across town, or you started working a lot of overtime. Maybe the car broke down and no one could get anywhere for three days, or your social schedules didn't overlap so well. Maybe sharing the car was causing so much friction that it was making the entire marriage feel hard.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, sometimes being a one-car family just doesn't work, or doesn't work anymore. Guess what? That's not the end of the world. Sure, it's more expensive to have two cars, but if that's what you need to do, then that's what you need to do. Here are some ideas to help you think through getting a second car and minimizing the impact on your finances.</p> <h2>Check the Problem</h2> <p>Is the car really the problem? And is getting another car the best solution to the problem?</p> <p>If you're fighting a lot and most of your fights are over the car, try to determine whether you're actually fighting over the car. Maybe, instead, one of you feels controlled by the other, or you're taking another frustration out on the car situation. Getting another car will only help if the car is actually the central problem.</p> <p>And if the distance to work is changing, consider whether moving might be a better option. Would you be happier, overall, if you had a shorter commute? Or, is there any way for one of you to use public transit, at least some of the time?</p> <p>Many times, getting a second car is the answer. But make absolutely sure it's the answer for you before you buy.</p> <h2>Consider Your Needs</h2> <p>Okay, so you definitely need a second car. But what kind of car, and how much car, do you need?</p> <p>If your second car is mainly going to be a commuter car, you can probably get something that is smaller and older, and therefore cheaper, than the cost of a new car. Sure, you still want to make sure it is reliable and in good working order, but you may not have to spend as much as you had first thought.</p> <h2>Re-Budget</h2> <p>Before you get a second car, consider all of the costs involved. There's not only the initial purchase of the car (or the down payment and regular monthly payments, if you go that route), but increased costs for maintenance, gas, and insurance, as well as any money you might invest in upgrading your vehicle (rims, speakers, stereo, etc.).</p> <p>Make sure your budget has room for these things before you buy, so you aren't blindsided when they come up. Having your money in order will make you feel more confident about this new decision.</p> <h2>Think of the Children</h2> <p>If you have kids or are planning to have them, consider car seats and their placement before you buy a second car. Will you need both cars to be able to transport the children? Will you want to swap car seats in and out or have separate seats for each car? Do your current seats fit in your new vehicle, with enough room for you to help buckle, unbuckle, etc.?</p> <p>These may seem like silly questions, but they can save you money later. If you buy a vehicle now that will meet your needs not only now but also in the future, you won't have to go through the hassle of selling a car and getting another one if things don't fit later on.</p> <h2>Plan Ahead</h2> <p>Before you go car shopping, decide which one of you will drive the new car and which one will keep using the old one. This may be a choice of personal preference, but there could also be good reasons why one or the other of you should have the new vehicle. Consider gas mileage, distance driven each week, commute time, comfort, and more.</p> <p>While you both should help choose the new car, recognize that some aspects of it will come down to who is going to drive it more and what they need and prefer. This can help in the selection process and may help make the ultimate choice of vehicle more straightforward.</p> <h2>Find Discount Gasoline</h2> <p>When you're driving two cars, you may be surprised at the cost of gasoline. If you can, try to find a discount program in your area. Many people find that they save by buying gas from Costco or Sam's Club, though you have to have a membership to use those stations.</p> <p>Other people get their fuel through a grocery store program. Kroger's is good, and they have stores throughout much of the United States. Albertson's also has one, though their stations are difficult to find in some parts of the country.</p> <p>Finally, most states have discount gas stations &mdash; places where they just charge less. In my area of the country, Sinclair and Valero tend to be cheap. They're usually a little out of the way, but aren't hard to hit if you know where they are and work them into your daily routine. You can save hundreds of dollars a year this way, depending on where you live and how much you drive.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-put-away-a-million-dollars-by-driving-a-used-car">Could You Put Away a Million Dollars by Driving a Used Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-your-car-payment-is-easier-than-you-think">Cutting Your Car Payment Is Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation commuting compromising driving new cars one car family two car family vehicles Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:30:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1845596 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_car_mechanic_82873065.jpg" alt="Man buying car parts that are safe to buy used" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can save a lot of money buying used car parts instead of new for vehicle repairs. Options range from scavenging parts at junkyards, through buying rebuilt parts that have been reconditioned and tested to meet original performance specifications. eBay, Craigslist, auto repair shops, and junkyards are all places where you can find used parts.</p> <p>Even though used parts are less expensive than new, not all <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you" target="_blank">used car parts</a> make sense to install. Some tend to wear significantly with use and age, and may even be unsafe to use as replacements. Which used car parts are worth buying to save some money? These are your best bets.</p> <h2>1. Rims</h2> <p>The chrome rims on my son's 13-year-old car were leaking air due to corrosion and peeling finish. Since it was time to get new tires anyway, I decided to replace the rims with good old steel rims. My shop recommended contacting the local junkyard to find some good steel rims for cheap. If you want fancy alloy rims, sometimes you can find these on wrecked cars for a fraction of the cost of new. Just make sure the used rims are not bent or corroded.</p> <h2>2. Spare Tires</h2> <p>My old car was missing its spare tire, but I didn't want to pay $150 for a new one. The solution to my problem was a $50 spare tire from a junkyard &mdash; this included the &quot;doughnut&quot; spare tire rim and an unused spare tire. The spare tire I found was four years newer than my car, so it was better than the original spare that I was missing.</p> <h2>3. Mirrors</h2> <p>You wouldn't think a broken side mirror would be very expensive to replace, but a heated mirror can cost over $150 if you go with a new one. Rear view mirrors can be expensive to replace too, especially if it has a compass display, lighting, or other special features. Used mirrors are just as good as new ones and can be found for less than half the price.</p> <h2>4. Windows</h2> <p>If you need to replace a cracked or shattered window or sunroof on your car, consider saving some money by finding a used one. Not only can you save on the window glass, but you can find power window motors, hardware, and power window switches with lots of life left for cheap compared with new parts.</p> <h2>5. Power Locks</h2> <p>Eventually power lock solenoids and switches can wear out, leaving you without the convenience of working power locks on your car. When you see the price of replacement power lock parts, you might decide that you can live without them. But don't despair &mdash; check out used power lock parts for a fraction of the cost of new.</p> <h2>6. Transmission</h2> <p>A new transmission can run thousands of dollars. Depending on the age of your car, you might want to lower your repair bill significantly and go with a rebuilt used transmission instead of a new one.</p> <h2>7. Tires</h2> <p>Sometimes it makes sense to buy used tires, especially for an older car that may not make it much longer. Another prime situation for buying a used tire is if your car has older tires and you only need to replace one that has gone flat and cannot be repaired. When buying used tires, be sure to check the code stamped on the side of the tire to determine the date of manufacture. Even if the tires look good, sidewalls get brittle with age and can weaken, increasing the risk of a blowout for tires more than six to 10 years old.</p> <h2>8. Alternator</h2> <p>The wire windings on an alternator can crack and break down as it ages, leaving your car unable to generate enough current to charge the battery and leaving you stranded when your battery finally goes dead. Rebuilt alternators have the old wire winding replaced with new wire, and the voltage regulator is tested and replaced if needed. I have used rebuilt alternators on several occasions to save some money.</p> <h2>9. Interior Parts</h2> <p>Used parts can be a great way to go if you need to replace a car seat, floor mats, steering wheel, or interior trim pieces. Used replacement parts may have some wear and tear, but you can likely find them in similar condition to the rest of your vehicle.</p> <p><em>What used car parts have you used to save money on car repairs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-buying-part-2-into-the-devils-domain">Car Buying Part 2 – Into the Devil&#039;s domain.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car parts car repairs driving rebuilt saving money used vehicle Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:31:23 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1746426 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camera_car_38688948.jpg" alt="Woman using travel hacks on summer road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A family road trip can be an amazing bonding experience and memory builder with your kids. It can also be really expensive when you start adding up fuel, lodging, and entertainment costs. But with just a little bit of planning and forethought, you can easily save a big chunk of change and actually end up seeing more sights for less. Here are the secrets you need to know to plan an amazing road trip adventure this summer. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards to Use on Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan With Roadtrippers</h2> <p>When it comes to planning your summer road trip, be sure to use technology to your advantage and download the&nbsp;<a href="https://roadtrippers.com/">Roadtrippers</a> app (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roadtrippers-road-trip-planner/id944060491">iOS</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roadtrippers">Android</a>). Not only will it save you money by helping you find lodging deals, but it'll keep you organized and let you plan your trek one day at a time.</p> <p>Once planned, you can even share your road trip across devices and with friends so they can add itinerary suggestions to make it even more memorable. Perhaps the coolest feature of the app is the ability to help you find quirky roadside attractions as you approach them. After all, any experienced road tripper will tell you that some of the most memorable moments are made when finding fun stops along the way to your final destination.</p> <h2>2. Book Hotels Directly and Save</h2> <p>When planning your summer trip this year, consider calling hotels directly to book your room. Online booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz charge hotels a 10%&ndash;15% fee, so many hotels would rather bypass these sites entirely and book directly with you. But before you call, check the travel sites to see the hotel's current rate. Then when you call, politely ask if the hotel can beat that rate by 10%. In many cases, they'll happy beat their online rate and even throw in some free upgrades like a better room or beverage and food credits.</p> <h2>3. VRBO Last-Minute Savings Trick</h2> <p>Vacation Rentals by Owner, also known as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, puts travelers in direct contact with homeowners looking to rent out their houses, condos, or apartments. If you shop around carefully, roadtrippers can score some great deals, often cheaper than hotels, which are typically much more accommodating for a larger family.</p> <p>But if a homeowner doesn't rent out a particular weekend, they don't make a penny from their vacation rental. So as a smart roadtripper, use this information to your advantage when making your initial VRBO inquiry. Politely ask about the possibility of a 15% discount on the asking nightly rate, especially when inquiring about a last-minute stay. In many cases, homeowners will jump all over this and happily give you a last-minute discount to avoid their place sitting empty. By &quot;last-minute,&quot; I mean within a week of your arrival, as that's when reality sets in for most homeowners that their place is probably going to sit empty.</p> <h2>4. AAA Premier Membership</h2> <p>There's no arguing the fact that an AAA membership provides great peace of mind when hitting the road for a long trip, especially with a family. Emergency roadside assistance like towing after a breakdown, tire changes, and battery jumpstarts are just a few of their useful services. But when planning a long summer road trip, look into upgrading to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/membership/premier/comparison.htm">AAA Premier</a> membership for $118 annually, up from $58 for the basic membership. This is because Premier comes with up to 200 miles of towing, $1,500 for meals/lodging in the event of a breakdown, and 100 miles of emergency medical transportation.</p> <p>Last summer, I upgraded to AAA Premier just before embarking on a long road trip across the western U.S. with my parents' RV. Sure enough, the RV broke down 75 miles west of Needles, CA on a 115 degree day in the Mojave Desert. Not only did we get a free 75 mile tow, but all lodging and food was paid for as we waited for a new fuel pump to be delivered and installed. AAA ended up reimbursing us close to $700 for the trip interruption. This year I simply downgraded our membership back to the basic, but I'll definitely upgrade it again before our next long road trip.</p> <p>Also, don't forget about AAA discounts that will save you money on hotels, airfare, rental cars, shopping, and entertainment. By getting in the habit of always inquiring about an AAA discount, you can easily pay for your annual basic membership of $58.</p> <h2>5. GasBuddy App</h2> <p>If you're not arming your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/">GasBuddy app</a> (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gbis.gbandroid">Android</a>) before you leave home, you're bound to overpay at the pump. Not only does the app help you find the cheapest gas stations along your journey, but you'll even earn points for reporting gas prices that could you score you a free $100 gas card. A good GasBuddy strategy is to access the app when your tank gets about a quarter full and search for upcoming gas stations. By doing it this way, and not waiting until your &quot;get gas&quot; light comes on, you'll be able to take advantage of a larger radius of stations and ensure the lowest price per gallon.</p> <h2>6. Drive Early in the Day</h2> <p>Another trick that I learned on our last family road trip was to hit the road early. This allows you to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and fresher eyes for the driver. If you can start your driving by 6 or 7 a.m., not only will you be able to keep the A/C off and enjoy the cool morning air, but you'll be much less likely to overheat your vehicle leading to potentially costly repairs. Not to mention the better gas mileage that you'll get by having the A/C turned off.</p> <p>Financial benefits aside, the early start typically makes it easier to drive long distances and avoids fatigued eyes as they day winds down. Plus, you'll end up at your next stop much earlier in the day, leaving you ample time to explore your surroundings.</p> <h2>7. Find Free Attractions</h2> <p>Perhaps the best way to save money on your next family road trip is to search for free, or almost free, attractions and activities that everyone will love. The best way to do this is to access&nbsp;<a href="http://www.roadtripradar.com/">RoadTripRadar</a> and tell them where you're headed and how far you're willing to travel off your route to see attractions. You can also pick the types of attractions you're interested in, things like museums, parks, farms, outdoor play areas, hiking trails, and camping &mdash; many of which are completely free of charge. Once you have your route all planned out, you can save it for later use, and even enhance it via YouTube videos and save it directly to your GPS unit via a satnav file. They currently support Garmin, TomTom, Navman, and Google Navigator.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when you load up the car and head out on a long road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-road-trips-here-and-there-little-savings-everywhere">Little Road Trips Here and There: Little Savings Everywhere</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel AAA driving expedia hotels Orbitz road trips summer vacation tourism travel deals vrbo Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Kyle James 1728424 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_road_trip_21640056.jpg" alt="Women finding smart ways to boost gas mileage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is just around the corner, and if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll be hittin' the road before you know it. Cut a bit of the cost from your road trip(s) by saving on gas with these fuel-efficient tips and tricks.</p> <h2>1. Switch to a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle</h2> <p>It seems like an obvious solution, and it's certainly easier said than done to upgrade your vehicle to a more fuel-efficient model like a fully electric car or hybrid. But if it's time for a new whip, or you want to invest in a ride that will you save you dough in the long term, it's the only way to go. If nothing else, it's at least worth a trip to the dealership to see what it has to offer and <a href="http://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/">then crunch the numbers</a>.</p> <h2>2. Lighten Your Load Before Long Hauls</h2> <p>Over-packing your car for a road trip &mdash; or, the more likely scenario, hauling around a bunch of junk on a regular basis for no reason at all &mdash; weighs down your vehicle, and that requires it work harder for all that get up-and-go, thus consuming more gas.</p> <p>&quot;Do you go to the garden center, buy several bags of topsoil, then forget to unload your car for a week?&quot; asks auto expert Richard Reina. &quot;Perhaps you have a trunk full of tools, sports equipment, or project supplies which don't need to be there. Think about this: Automotive engineers sweat the details to remove ounces of weight to improve a vehicle's EPA mileage rating. Imagine what happens if you remove several pounds. Make it a habit to only carry what needs to be in the car.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated</h2> <p>Tires low on air don't roll easily, requiring more engine power (and more fuel) to make them rotate &mdash; but tire pressure is one of the easiest checks to perform.</p> <p>&quot;Buy an inexpensive pressure gauge, keep it in your glove box, and make a habit of checking the tires at fill-ups,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Be strict about using the numbers on the vehicle's tire pressure label, usually found in the driver's door jamb. Most vehicles have the same pressure rating for all four tires; but pay attention if your label requires different pressures front and rear.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Avoid Stop-and-Go Traffic</h2> <p>You'll save on gas if you keep your car moving at a steady pace opposed to braking often in traffic. If your morning and afternoon commutes are usually sluggish, try another route. Another reason your vehicle will consume more fuel in stop-and-go traffic is because it'll run longer than if you traveled from A to B quicker. If you have the option, test out different departing times &mdash; maybe leave home/work a little earlier or later, depending on what your schedule (and boss) allows &mdash; to avoid gridlock.</p> <h2>5. Take Your Foot Off the Pedal and Coast for a While</h2> <p>Instead of driving to the absolute last second when you need to stop, take your foot off the pedal well before the light to allow your car to coast to a stop. Make this a habit and you'll start seeing the difference in how often you have to refuel.</p> <h2>6. Turn on Cruise Control to Keep an Even Speed</h2> <p>Personally, I love cruise control. Not so much for the gas-saving factor, but because my feet get tired of always being on the pedal when I'm on long drives &mdash; though the former is as good a reason as any to use it when you hop on the highway.</p> <p>&quot;The best thing you can do to increase your gas mileage is to travel where you can keep an even speed,&quot; say savings expert Paul Moyer. &quot;Most vehicles get the best mileage somewhere between 45 and 55 miles per hour. If you can maintain that speed for long periods of time, you will greatly reduce your gas usage.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Errands About Town Efficiently</h2> <p>I'm notoriously forgetful in the morning. I run back in the house at least twice every day to get something I forgot before heading to work. But, I'm much more put together when I'm running weekend errands. I plan out my stops so I can get to one end of town and back without having to cut across roads, make any unnecessary turns, or do the back-and-forth routine. I head north and hit everything on one side of the road, then south to get the rest on the way back. Granted, your errands may not be mapped out so neatly, but there are probably ways you can make your about-town travels more efficient if you tried.</p> <h2>8. Don't Let Your Car Idle if You're Not in It</h2> <p>Even when your car is sitting idle &mdash; like when you're heating it up in the morning when it's cold out &mdash; it's still using gas. If this is your daily practice in the winter, wean yourself off of it. As an alternative, bundle up and let the car heat up gradually as you drive. I know, it's not as cozy-comfortable as getting into a toasty-hot car that's had 20 minutes to sit, but at least your wallet won't feel the burn at the pump. Plus, you'll greatly reduce the chances that your car will get stolen from your own driveway. Do you really want to tell your local law enforcement that embarrassing tale?</p> <h2>9. Take Advantage of the Weather to Heat/Cool the Car Naturally</h2> <p>When it's cold out, park your car in the sun. Vice versa, when it's hot as the dickens, park in the shade. By consciously regulating the temperature inside the car naturally, you may be able to cut down on the times you want to crank up the heat or the A/C&hellip; although the latter isn't as bad as you think it is.</p> <h2>10. Keep the Windows Up When Driving</h2> <p>As I just mentioned, using the A/C isn't the gas-guzzler you might expect it to be. No need to feel wasteful if you require more climate control than Mother Nature is providing.</p> <p>&quot;This tip may run counter to what you were taught: 'Avoid using the A/C unless necessary, because it uses gas!' While this was true 25 years ago, modern electronics have overridden this concern,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Computer controls run the A/C only when needed while still keeping you cool. Automotive aerodynamics have improved so much that driving with windows down actually creates drag. The net effect is that a vehicle gets better mileage if the windows stay up, and the A/C's effect on fuel economy is nil.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Maintain Your Vehicle Regularly to Keep the Engine Running Clean</h2> <p>Of course, the best way to ensure that your car is running clean is to get regular maintenance. Nobody likes to have their car worked on (because what are they going to find wrong with it <em>this time</em>, right?), but if you stay on top of your car's needs, like clean air filters, you'll cut down on costs across the board (not just gas) over the lifetime of the vehicle &mdash; and that's just money in the bank.</p> <h2>Bonus Tip</h2> <p>You can also save on gas purchases and earn cash back when you fill up if you pay with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">gas rewards credit card</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What are some things you do to boost your gas mileage? I'd love to hear your travel tactics in the comments below.</em>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what">You Can&#039;t Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">Buying a Rental Car? Here&#039;s What You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low">Is It Still Smart to Buy an Electric Car While Gas Prices Are Low?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation commuting driving efficiency fuels costs gas mileage maintenance road trips vehicles Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1728673 at http://www.wisebread.com Is It Still Smart to Buy an Electric Car While Gas Prices Are Low? http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_63756853_SMALL.jpg" alt="Buying an electric car while gas prices are low" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With no end in sight for low gas prices, electric and hybrid cars face a harder value proposition. It can take a decade or more for some <a href="https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybridCompare.jsp">hybrids to pay for their higher price</a> tag through fuel savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. (I'm looking at you, Toyota Highlander.)</p> <p>So should you bother considering an electric or hybrid vehicle when car shopping? Of course, they are always going to be the better choice for the earth, but not all of us are noble enough (or wealthy enough) to pay more to do the right thing. Here are some alternative car advantages that still might turn your head in the era of cheap gas.</p> <h2>Cost Per Mile Is Still Lower</h2> <p>There are a few hybrids on the market whose fuel savings will still pay for the premium in three years or less &mdash; such as the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which sells for $1,500 more than the regular Avalon and gets 40 miles to the gallon (compared to the standard version's 26). FuelEconomy.gov estimates that a hybrid Avalon would save you $575 on gas per year at a price of $2.30 per gallon, paying back the difference in two and a half years.</p> <p>Plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars save even more at the pump, and even though you have to pay for the electricity to fuel them, it usually amounts to much less. Bonus if you can plug in your car at work and slurp up free juice all day.</p> <h2>Tax Incentives and Rebates</h2> <p>The federal <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">tax credit of up to $7,500</a> for new plug-in cars is still available, and various states will kick in as well. For instance, California's <a href="https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/eligible-vehicles">Clean Vehicle Rebate Project</a> pays you up to $6,500 to buy a new zero-emission or plug-in car. A 2016 Kia Soul electric vehicle, which sells for about $30,000, qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit and a $2,500 California rebate, making its effective price only $20,000 &mdash; not much more than a standard Kia Soul sells for.</p> <p>Check with your electric utility about rebates they may offer to offset the cost of charging your vehicle, too. You may also be able to get an incentive to help pay for the cost of installing a charger for an EV or plug-in hybrid, which can <a href="http://www.plugincars.com/quick-guide-buying-your-first-home-ev-charger-126875.html">cost $600&ndash;$700 for the charger</a>, plus more for installation.</p> <h2>Perks</h2> <p>With congested freeways in the LA and Bay Areas, many Californians have purchased plug-in cars mainly for the privilege of driving in the carpool lane even when they drive alone. In addition to California, a number of other states, including Arizona, Florida, and New York, are letting alternative fuel vehicles drive in the <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/state-electric-vehicle-incentives-state-chart.aspx">high-occupancy vehicle lane</a> no matter how many people are in the car. But read the fine print of your state's program before purchasing to make sure your vehicle choice is eligible and that there are still stickers available; California has already maxed out the available exemptions for some vehicle categories.</p> <p>Other perks that states and municipalities are offering include inspection exemptions, free parking at meters, and registration discounts.</p> <h2>Less Maintenance</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pluginamerica.org/why-plug-vehicles">Plug In America</a>, a nonprofit electric car advocate, puts it this way: &quot;There's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler, or catalytic converter (in an electric vehicle). So you can expect significantly lower maintenance costs.&quot;</p> <p>EVs don't require oil changes, and of course, you never have to stand at a gas pump in the rain, breathing fumes and hoping you don't spill gasoline on your clothes.</p> <h2>Pleasant to Drive</h2> <p>The silent operation of EVs and hybrids in electric mode make listening to music or an audiobook on the road a dream. Many drivers also enjoy the peppy pickup of an electric engine.</p> <h2>Drawbacks</h2> <p>Let's be honest, though: If owning an electric vehicle or hybrid were perfect, everyone would already own one. For all-electric vehicles, the biggest drawback still holding buyers back is range. Most EVs top out at around 100 miles before needing to charge. A full charge takes at least four hours with the fastest chargers, meaning that most people use them mainly for commuting, and keep a gas-powered car for weekend getaways.</p> <p>Hybrids don't have the range issue, but they do share another worry with EVs: battery replacement. A hybrid battery can <a href="http://www.autotrader.com/car-tech/hybrid-cars-hidden-drawbacks-209417">cost $2,500 or more</a>, and may need to be replaced at the 90,000 to 150,000-mile mark. With that in mind, it's kind of like the premium you pay for a hybrid vehicle is a recurring charge, not a one-time thing. Some carmakers are offering long battery warranties to assuage that worry. Even without a battery warranty, you should take the lower overall maintenance costs of an EV into account when calculating whether an eventual battery replacement makes the car too expensive in the long run.</p> <p><em>Have you considered an electric automobile? What factors swayed your decision?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-break-even-with-an-electric-car">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With an Electric Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation cost per mile driving electric cars environmental fuel economy gas price hybrids maintenance Thu, 09 Jun 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1723184 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Surprising Ways Cheap Oil Impacts Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_getting_gas_000019298644.jpg" alt="Learning ways cheap oil impacts your wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to oil prices, there just doesn't seem to be a bottom these days. Crude oil is selling for about $30 a barrel, and that's having a major impact on both the global economy and Americans' pocketbooks.</p> <p>How are low oil prices affecting your finances?</p> <h2>1. You're Saving on Fuel and Energy Costs</h2> <p>It's simple: Low oil prices mean you pay less to fill up your car, or to heat and cool your home. IHS Global Insight predicted that Americans would save more than $100 billion, or $750 per household, due to low oil prices in 2015 &mdash; and savings are expected to continue this year. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you?ref=seealso">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Oil Stocks Have Been Hammered</h2> <p>In case you didn't notice, any stock or mutual fund associated with the oil industry has been getting creamed for quite a while. I bought shares of the iShares Oil and Gas ETF last year, believing they were bottoming out and would go up in value in short order. I was wrong. Shares are down 25% in the last 12 months, and 43% in the last two years. If you have a 401K or IRA with energy stocks, you may have seen your portfolio drop quite a bit over the last year or so.</p> <h2>3. You're Saving Everywhere Else, Too</h2> <p>In America, we're currently in a period of low inflation, and the low price of oil has a lot to do with that. Low oil prices mean it's costing less to ship goods, or for plastics manufacturers to make their products. In fact, low oil prices have a ripple effect on the price of almost everything. As evidence, the consumer price index declined 0.1% in December, after rising just 0.2% in November. The CPI is up just 0.7% in the last year. (On average, it's gone up about 2% annually over the last decade.)</p> <h2>4. Recycling Isn't a Cash Cow Anymore</h2> <p>Petroleum is the key ingredient in plastics, and with oil so cheap, there's less demand for recycled plastics. After all, why buy used when new is cheaper? After decades of effort and investment, localities across the country <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/business/energy-environment/skid-in-oil-prices-pulls-the-recycling-industry-down-with-it.html?_r=0">have seen recycling rates rise</a>, along with revenue to local coffers. For example, in 2015 the city of Washington, DC paid its waste management contractor $1.37M to take its plastics and other recyclable materials off its hands, but as recently as 2011, the city earned $550K for its reusable trash. &quot;A real fear now,&quot; Michael Taylor of the Society of the Plastics Industry told the New York Times, &quot;is that recycling rates might go down. That would be a horrible situation.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Fuel Taxes Could Go Up</h2> <p>Many lawmakers and even some business groups have been urging for an increase in federal and state gas taxes as a way of funding infrastructure improvements. And they say the time may be right for an increase, because a gallon of gasoline is selling for its lowest price in years. (Gas taxes are a harder sell when it's already expensive to fuel up.) President Obama recently proposed a $10 per barrel tax on oil in his latest budget, and Alabama, Alaska, and Indiana are among the states discussing a gas tax hike.</p> <h2>6. You're Traveling and Eating Out More</h2> <p>If you're paying less for gas, there's more money in your pocket. That means it's less of a financial challenge to take the family to a restaurant or on a vacation. The Wall Street Journal reported that spending on food and accommodations last summer was up 8% over 2014. Many tourists sites, including National Parks, saw good upticks in attendance last year and expect solid performances in 2016.</p> <h2>7. Life Is Harder if You Live in West Texas or North Dakota</h2> <p>For several years, places like North Dakota or Midland, TX were enjoying super-low unemployment and a migration of people looking to take advantage of the oil boom. But things aren't nearly as active there now. The state economy grew by only 1% last year, compared to 6% the year prior, according to Kiplinger's. North Dakota's governor recently presented a plan of budget cuts brought on by lower oil revenues. This has also impacted the budgets of other oil-dependent states, including Alaska and Louisiana.</p> <h2>8. The Ruble and Other Currencies Are Down</h2> <p>If you're Russian, or invest in currencies, you may have noticed that the value of a ruble against the euro and dollar has been sliding. Journalists reported in January that Russia was looking to cut 10% off its federal budget, which was originally made with $50 per barrel oil prices in mind.</p> <p>Russia is one of many countries that relies heavily on oil exports to drive their economy, so low prices can have a severe impact on economic growth. Low oil prices have also impacted the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso (both down about 20% in the last two years), and the Norwegian krone (down about 25%.) The one plus side for Americans is that the U.S. dollar has remained strong, and it's now relatively cheap to travel to some of these countries or consume their exports.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any surprising effects of cheap oil? Lets us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance currencies driving energy gas prices inflation oil prices taxes Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1658152 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Your Commute Is Killing You — And What to Do About It http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-commute-is-killing-you-and-what-to-do-about-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-your-commute-is-killing-you-and-what-to-do-about-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_mad_000082141745.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways her commute is killing her " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many times have you pounded your fist on the dashboard of your car and moaned, &quot;This traffic is killing me!&quot;</p> <p>What if I told you it literally <em>is</em> killing you? Here are all the ways the better part of an hour that you spend driving to work each day is doing you real harm&hellip; and some healthier alternatives that might just save you.</p> <h2>Time in the Car Is Sedentary</h2> <p>People who <a href="http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2812%2900167-5/abstract">commute more than 20 miles a day</a> are more likely to have high blood sugar, high cholesterol, depression, and anxiety, according to a study of Texas road warriors. The authors blamed the health consequences on the fact that long drives leave less time for exercise.</p> <h2>The More You Drive, the More You Weigh</h2> <p>Daily <a href="http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(12)00776-3/abstract">car commuters gained more weight</a> over a four-year period than occasional car commuters, and nearly twice as much as non-car commuters, an Australian study found. Overweight and obesity combined are the <a href="https://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/obesity/mortality.htm">second-leading cause of preventable death</a> in the United States.</p> <h2>Even on Public Transit, Long Commutes Wear You Out</h2> <p>A survey of <a href="http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=24164">Long Island rail commuters</a> published in the journal Sleep showed that the longer the commute, the less sleep riders got at night. A Swedish study compared folks who drove or <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226527/">took transit to work</a> to those who biked there; the train riders were more likely to feel stressed and exhausted, miss sleep, and call in sick.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most of us can't just call our bosses and explain that commuting is unhealthy and therefore we can't go to work. Well, we can, but we won't get paid. So here are some more practical ideas for avoiding death by commute.</p> <h2>Consider Travel Time When Home and Job Shopping</h2> <p>Since commute time is a serious health issue, it's worthwhile to make it a priority right up there with the quality of schools and the cost of homes when you're deciding where to live. Whenever my family relocates for work, we start our home search with a local transit map. We pinpoint communities where we could walk or bike to a train or, in our current location, ferry. Where we live now, we are lucky enough to be able to get around <a href="http://carfreemom.com/">without owning a car</a>. Both my spouse and I have turned down job offers that would have forced us to drive long distances.</p> <p>When you account for the impact on health, travel time becomes just as relevant as the pay and benefits offered.</p> <h2>Look Into Bike Commuting</h2> <p>People who <a href="http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(15)00159-2/abstract">pedal to work tend to get more exercise</a> overall, because it's not as if they sit around more after work once the trip is done, according to a study of Spanish bike commuters. In my experience, many members of our community are unaware that it's possible to bring your bike along on the bus, train, and ferry, making it quite practical to pedal at least part of a long commute. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-road-bikes">The 5 Best Road Bikes</a>)</p> <h2>Ask for Work Flexibility</h2> <p>Even if you can't avoid driving to work, you may be able to change your work hours slightly so that you drive before or after the peak traffic hours. Other professionals have success requesting one or more work-from-home days per week, which can free up time for a jog.</p> <p><em>How do you get to work in the morning? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-commute-is-killing-you-and-what-to-do-about-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-morning-commute">6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Morning Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Cars and Transportation commute drive to work driving Health work commute Fri, 08 Jan 2016 12:00:02 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1634703 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_car_000052861520.jpg" alt="Woman learning how being a safe driver will save her big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That speeding ticket can cost you &mdash; to the tune of an initial fine of $100 or more. That's bad enough, but then comes the hit to your insurance premium. You can expect the cost of your auto insurance to jump by at least 20% if you're caught driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes.com.</p> <p>But if you follow the speed limit, you don't have to worry about this financial hit. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</a>)</p> <p>That's just one of the ways that being a safe driver can save you a load of money. Here's a look at the financial benefits that a safe driving record will bring you.</p> <h2>Lower Insurance Rates and Discounts</h2> <p>A clean driving record &mdash; one free of auto accidents, speeding tickets, or other moving violations &mdash; can dramatically reduce the amount you pay to your auto insurer each month.</p> <p>Insurance Quotes and Quadrant Information Services studied the impact of traffic incidents on insurance rates, and discovered that driving under the influence increased auto insurance premiums by an average of 93%. Reckless driving boosted it upward by an average of 82%. For speeding, the average increase varied, but those drivers going up to 15 miles per hour over the limit generally saw their insurance premiums jump by 21%.</p> <p>Another study by InsuranceQuotes.com, released in early 2015, found that drivers who make one accident claim will see their auto insurance rates jump by an average of 41%. Those who make two claims in a year will see their auto insurance rates increase by 93%.</p> <p>If you're a safe driver, you can actually be rewarded and save money by way of discounts. Allstate offers savings of 22% on policies after three consecutive years without any violations or accidents. After five years without any violations or accidents, drivers can reduce their insurance rates by 35%. Allstate also offers a defensive-driver discount. Under this program, drivers who are 55 or older and who complete six or more hours of defensive-driving courses can save up to 10% on their auto insurance.</p> <p>Don't have Allstate? Geico offers a discount of 26% for drivers who have been accident-free for five years. American Family offers drivers without accidents, violations, or claims a discount of 5% to 10%. Contact your auto insurance provider and see what safe driver discounts are available.</p> <h2>No Speeding Tickets</h2> <p>Getting a speeding ticket isn't much fun. It's costly, too. Last year, NerdWallet took a look at what a speeding ticket can cost drivers in California. According to the site, those drivers who were ticketed for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit paid an average of $234 when fees and surcharges were taken into account.</p> <p>In 2013, insurer Esurance reported that the average speeding ticket costs drivers throughout the United States $150. That's a lot of money. And it doesn't even take into account how much your insurance rate will jump after a speeding ticket. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>Gas Savings</h2> <p>You might not think that driving the speed limit will save you money at the fuel pump, but it will. According to the Department of Energy's FuelEconomy.gov, aggressive driving &mdash; which includes speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking &mdash; can lower your car's gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% when you're driving in town.</p> <p>By driving the speed limit, and by avoiding rapid acceleration and braking, you can save up to 21 cents per gallon in fuel costs.</p> <h2>Fewer Traffic Accidents</h2> <p>Car accidents are terrifying events. They're also expensive ones.</p> <p>Speeding, not paying attention, or driving under the influence can not only result in terrible injury or death, but tremendous economic impact. According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the overall cost of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. amounted to nearly $1 trillion. By being more aware, you can save yourself and others the costly financial burden of deductibles, auto and property repairs, rate hikes, and bodily injury.</p> <p>Driving safely and at the speed limit won't completely protect you from car accidents and their costs. But it will help.</p> <p><em>Do your driving habits help or hurt your wallet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto insurance discounts driving rates safety tickets Tue, 05 Jan 2016 18:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 1629243 at http://www.wisebread.com Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives http://www.wisebread.com/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_in_car_000049523678.jpg" alt="Friends doing car yoga and surviving a long drive" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In case you haven't noticed, America is huge. Tooling across just two or three states can challenge even the most patient soul and driving from coast to coast is a test of sheer physical endurance. Whether you're traveling solo, with friends and family, or with co-workers, make things easier by mastering these 10 ways to survive a long drive.</p> <h2>1. Make Reservations</h2> <p>Know what makes a long day behind the wheel even worse? A long night behind the wheel. Don't assume every city or town you pass through will have lodging vacancies. Conventions, concerts, college sporting events, and county fairs can deplete hotel rooms quickly. Plot your trip, know where you'll be stopping each evening, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">negotiate a great room rate</a>, and make reservations ahead of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-on-a-great-american-road-trip?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Save Money on a Great American Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>2. Invest in Roadside Assistance</h2> <p>Long drives can be exhausting for cars too. Arrange for AAA coverage or roadside assistance through your insurance carrier before you hit the road. Particularly if you're travelling alone, the peace of mind is well worth the money.</p> <h2>3. Pack Snacks and Water</h2> <p>A good supply of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-healthy-and-inexpensive-snack-options">healthy and inexpensive snacks</a> keeps everyone energized during those long stretches between stops. And as a rule, two or three days' worth of non-perishable high-protein food and water are must-haves for emergencies &mdash; particularly if you're traveling in remote areas or during winter.</p> <h2>4. Avoid Marathon Days</h2> <p>Set a specific drive time limit each day and avoid &quot;marathon&quot; driving days of 12 or 14 hours. Without compromising your safety, set mileage-based goals along the way, too. For example, stop for lunch after the first 200 miles; plan a coffee break after another 100 miles; stop for the night when you've driven 500 miles. Small goals will add structure to your day and help you stay motivated mile after mile.</p> <h2>5. Don't Be a Stop Cop</h2> <p>Okay, okay&hellip;we get it &mdash; stopping too often eats into your finely-tuned schedule. Get over it. Denying yourself or others regular bathroom breaks, opportunities to stretch, or moments to simply breathe some fresh air turns a long trip into a bladder-busting nightmare.</p> <h2>6. Get Your Game On</h2> <p>Boardless games like trivia, spelling bees, and I Spy are fun ways to pass the time for kids and adults. Remember, safety comes first. Avoid anything that's too competitive and if your game is delivered through a mobile app, make sure playing it is hands-free.</p> <h2>7. Choose Truck Stops Instead of Rest Areas</h2> <p>Rest areas are great places to take quick bathroom break or change a flat. But truck stops offer more services that cater to weary road warriors. Larger bathrooms (some with showers), cafés, and small markets can help restore your mood and your motivation.</p> <h2>8. Move It</h2> <p>If you've made long drives before, you're probably familiar with the medical condition known as <em>Gluteus Notfeelmuch </em>that develops after about four hours of being folded up in a car. Fight it by making a conscious effort to stretch, jump, walk, or strike a few basic yoga poses each time you stop for food or fuel.</p> <h2>9. Skip the Shortcuts</h2> <p>The longer your trip, the more tempting shortcuts become. But in unfamiliar territory shortcuts can easily turn into maddening mazes that guzzle gas and burn daylight. Plan your route and stick to the main roads.</p> <h2>10. Rotate Drivers</h2> <p>If you're traveling with other adults, alternate your time at the wheel every two or three hours. Capitalize on what each driver is best at and determine who prefers driving at night, urban driving, driving through mountains, etc.</p> <p><em>What's the longest road trip you've taken? What methods did you use to survive the drive?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcar-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCar%20Yoga%20and%209%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Beat%20Long%20Drives.jpg&amp;description=Car%20Yoga%20and%209%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Beat%20Long%20Drives" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Car%20Yoga%20and%209%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Beat%20Long%20Drives.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation">Pay Your Bills and 5 Other Things You Must Do Before You Leave on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel driving long drives on the road road trips vacation Tue, 21 Jul 2015 21:00:11 +0000 Kentin Waits 1493710 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Driving http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_car_000059532196.jpg" alt="Woman learning how rich she&#039;d be if she stopped driving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cars are useful, but they can also be an unnecessary burden on your budget. My first car was a sky blue 1993 Mercury Sable. It was a boat of a car, but it was lovely and near-mint because I bought it from a senior citizen who only used it for church and the grocery store. I lived in the suburbs, but I would often carpool with coworkers or take the bus to save money. Eventually, I sold my car and moved to a place walking and biking distance from work and school. With the money I saved, I paid for two years of college tuition!</p> <p>Here in Los Angeles, walkable neighborhoods are flourishing, plus bike lanes and new rail routes are opening regularly. I rarely need a car to run basic weekly errands. My household shares one Honda Fit and we invest the money saved by not owning a second car. Here's why you should try it, too.</p> <h2>Here's What a Car Costs You Every Year</h2> <p>Let's break down all the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">costs associated with driving</a>, using average <a href="http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/cost-of-owning-and-operating-vehicle-in-u-s-increases-nearly-two-percent-according-to-aaas-2013-your-driving-costs-study/">numbers crunched by AAA</a>, assuming annual driving of 15,000 miles.</p> <h3>1. Car</h3> <p>Many people <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">lease their cars</a>; but let's assume you buy yours outright. A car actually depreciates in value everyday you drive it &mdash; at an average total of $3,571 per year &mdash; depending on the type of car you have, of course.</p> <h3>2. Gas</h3> <p>Let's assume you don't live in major cities like L.A., Seattle, or NYC, where gas is the most expensive in the nation. In most other places, the average cost totals $2,168 per year.</p> <h3>3. Insurance</h3> <p>Another money-pit, insurance is legally mandatory almost everywhere. Depending on your age and driving history, it can be very pricey. The average cost overall is $1,029 per year.</p> <h3>4. Repairs</h3> <p>Depending on your car's age and whether it's domestic or imported, repairs can also be an unavoidable money drain. On average it can be 4.97 cents per mile, or $745.50 per year.</p> <h3>5. Services Like AAA or OnStar</h3> <p>While having a AAA membership is highly recommended, it is an extra cost of $66&ndash;$126 per year.</p> <p>Total Yearly Cost of Driving = $7,513.50*</p> <p><em>*Counting for depreciation of the average car per year, so that we can calculate a yearly savings. Car prices vary by make, model, and state of purchase, so I recommend subbing in the first value with your own. Here's a </em><a href="http://www.money-zine.com/calculators/auto-loan-calculators/car-depreciation-calculator/"><em>car depreciation calculator</em></a><em>. </em></p> <h2>What if You Invested That $7,513.50? Answer: $$$$</h2> <p>If you thought <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee">cutting out $5 lattes</a> was a big investment, this one will make your eyes pop right out of your skull!</p> <p>I calculated a 10 year plan with a <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/compound-savings-calculator-tool.aspx">compound interest calculator</a>. Let's say you invest the same amount every year for 10 years, with a conservative 6% interest rate. At the end of year two you're looking at $16,408. In five years, you'll have $44,899. In 10 years? $104,983!</p> <p>Honestly? If you got rid of your car, you could buy real estate in just 10 years.</p> <p>Some might argue: &quot;If I ditch my car, I'll spend more on other costs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">like public transit and Uber</a>!&quot; True, but the difference could be negligible. The costs of those extras is generally not enough to compete with saving what you'd spend on a car &mdash; unless you use them with unusually great frequency.</p> <h2>Absolutely Need a Car? Consider Only One Car Per Household</h2> <p>In my household, my husband and I only need one car, as only one of us works outside the home part time. The rest of the week, we work together on our small business. We drive together on business trips. This means better fuel efficiency and ability to use the carpool lane.</p> <p>Try planning a carpool strategy that allows everyone to get to work and come home together. Here's why. You will benefit from cutting your commute related costs nearly in half, but you will get to spend more time together as spouses, family members, or friends.</p> <p>How do you decide whose car to keep? See who has the most of the following:</p> <ul> <li>Newest model;</li> <li>Best fuel MPG;</li> <li>Fewest recent repairs;</li> <li>Lowest insurance rate.</li> </ul> <p>If one car is at least three out of four, that's the one to keep! Alternatively, try these six ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">cut car ownership costs</a>.</p> <p><em>How are you controlling your transportation costs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-gas-dont-make-left-hand-turns">Save gas; don&#039;t make left-hand turns.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-save-money-on-gas">8 Cheap Ways to Save Money on Gas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation carpooling compound interest driving gas ridesharing Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1460791 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Dangerous Mistakes Even Safe Drivers Make http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-driving-talking-phone-Dollarphotoclub_67350021.jpg" alt="man driving phone" title="man driving phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are bad drivers, and there are good drivers. There are reckless drivers, and safe drivers. Most of us, hopefully, fall into the latter category. But how many of us are making dangerous mistakes even though we think we're actually safe drivers?</p> <p>Take a look through some of the findings at the National Safety Council's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving-research-studies.aspx">Distracted Driving Research Studies</a>, and you might be surprised that the answer is: many of us. But are you one of them? As you look through the following list, how many of these eight dangerous mistakes are you making?</p> <h2>1. Hitting the Gas on Green</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PzlEQvRkhHc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Wait a minute; green means go, right? Well of course, but red also means stop, and that doesn't seem to make much of a difference for some very bad drivers out there. Whether they aren't paying attention, drunk, or even evading the police, thousands of drivers run red lights every year. If they happen to be very late, and you hit the gas the second the light turns green, you could&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzlEQvRkhHc">get into a major accident.</a> It's not your fault, but that doesn't make the consequences any less severe. So, when the light turns green, look left and right, and make sure the path is clear before you pull away. Blindly accelerating could be dangerous, or even deadly.</p> <h2>2. Driving Drowsy</h2> <p>I was talking to my father-in-law once about some of the long road trips he used to make, and he said he would often pull his nose or arm hair out when he was getting drowsy, and the sting would wake him up. We all laughed, but drowsy driving is no laughing matter.</p> <p>In a 2005 study, over 103 million U.S. drivers admitted to&nbsp;<a href="http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/">falling asleep at the wheel</a>. Fatigued driving results in around 100,000 police-reported accidents every year, with over 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and over $12.5 billion in losses. This is completely unacceptable. If you feel yourself getting sleepy while driving, you must pull your car over when it is safe to do so, and rest. Take a nap, drink something with caffeine, or even go for a walk. You need to be completely alert before continuing your journey.</p> <h2>3. Poor Mirror Positioning</h2> <p>Look in your side mirrors &mdash; what do you see? Most likely, you'll see some of your car. This is not necessary, and means you are missing some of the road; which can lead to accidents. The idea of side mirrors is obviously not to check to see if your car is still there, but to look behind you without having to take your eyes of the road for longer than necessary. By adjusting your wing mirrors so that your car is no longer visible, you can <a href="http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~gdguo/driving/BlindSpot.htm">eliminate the blind spot</a>. You also want to make sure your rear view mirror is angled correctly for you. If you share a car with someone else, this often goes out of alignment. Check it every time you drive.</p> <h2>4. Driving Too Slow in the Left Lane</h2> <p>There is a speed limit. There is also a minimum speed limit on some roads. You may think that by hitting that limit, say 55, you are being safe and have no reason to worry. But by maintaining the bare minimum speed in the left lane, you are forcing other drivers who want to go the maximum allowed speed to pass you. Any time you force people to change lanes, you are making the roads less safe, and can actually contribute to road rage if you create backed-up traffic. By all means go the safe speed you want to go, but do it in the far right lane. Or, if you see someone coming up fast in your mirror, prepare to move over safely and let them pass.</p> <h2>5. Poor Signaling Habits</h2> <p>Your indicators are there to tell other drivers what your intentions are. When you use them incorrectly, or forgetfully, you are being a poor communicator. This can lead to accidents, especially if you plan to keep going straight at a turn, and the other driver pulls out. You should be using your turn signal at least 100 feet before changing lanes or turning (it can be 200 feet in some states). Once you have completed the turn, you must turn off the signal. Loud music or forgetfulness can be at fault for signals that stay on longer than necessary, and this can lead to accidents when other drivers wrongly assume your intentions.</p> <h2>6. Driving With Loose Objects in the Car</h2> <p>Your car is not a home for books, toys, gadgets, and other devices. Yet if you take a look in your car, how many of these items are just strewn around in there? During the course of everyday driving, it's no big deal. But if you are involved in a crash, even at lower speeds, these items can become projectiles that can cause injury, or even death. You should make sure anything unnecessary for the journey is stored securely in the trunk. Pets need to be harnessed, and cell phones should be in a secured holder.</p> <h2>7. Talking on the Phone</h2> <p>You may think that you are perfectly capable of talking and driving at the same time, but you are being distracted. Some people say it's the same as listening to music, but it's not. Music is a passive experience, but a conversation is active, and the person on the other end of the phone has no idea of your surroundings. Even if you are using a hands-free set, you are not reducing the risks of an accident. Your car is there to get you from A to B. It is not a phone booth. If you must make a call, you should safely pull over and do so. Yes, it adds time to your journey, but if we all did this we'd make the roads much safer. And of course, texting is akin to drunk driving; don't even go there.</p> <h2>8. Speeding up Through Yellow Lights</h2> <p>It seems that drivers have two different interpretations of the yellow light. Some think it means &quot;prepare to stop&quot; and others think it means &quot;floor it, a red light is coming.&quot; If you are close to a traffic signal, and the light changes from green to yellow, then you are fine to keep going. But if you see the light change and have to hit the gas to scrape through it, you are being a dangerous driver. All it takes is for another driver to be a little premature on their green light (see point #1), and you have a major accident. You could also hit a pedestrian.</p> <p><em>Which of these do you do on a regular basis? Do you know any other dangerous moves that even your &quot;safest&quot; friends or relatives make? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bicycling-safety-in-the-city">Bicycling Safety in the City</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-bear-repeating-driving-slower-saves-you-money">It Bears Repeating - Driving Slower Saves Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Cars dangerous driving driving safety transportation Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1284839 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-snow-windshield-Dollarphotoclub_28403476.jpg" alt="woman cleaning snow car" title="woman cleaning snow car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The weather outside may be frightful, but your driving experience can still be delightful. All it takes is a little preparation to set yourself up for a safe and sound winter driving season.</p> <p>Of course, the best advice is always this: When the roads are slick and unsafe, stay home. But if you must go out, you'll be glad you planned ahead.</p> <h2>1. Check the Battery</h2> <p>Your vehicle's battery <a href="http://corporate.interstatebatteries.com/winterizing_batteries/">loses 33% of its power</a> when the temperature dips below freezing and as much as 60% of its juice when the mercury falls below zero. So it's wise to give the battery and its charger a once-over to ensure they're performing optimally. A quick trip to your local car technician will quickly reveal whether the battery is winter-ready, or corroded and otherwise not performing well.</p> <h2>2. Switch to Winter Wiper Blades and Cold Weather Washer Fluid</h2> <p>Windshield wipers are crucial to a clear view from the driver's seat &mdash; but a nasty winter storm makes their job many times harder. That's why you should consider investing in a pair of winter blades, which are built to withstand precipitation and freezing cold. Most winter blades are encased in a protective rubber shell that prevents ice and snow from hardening on the wiper. The going rate for a pair ranges from less than $20 to about $40, depending on size and quality.</p> <p>While you're attending to windshield issues, car safety experts also suggest switching over to cold weather washer fluid, or any brand containing antifreeze.</p> <h2>3. Store a Shovel in the Trunk</h2> <p>You're driving down the road when your tires hit a patch of ice that sends you sliding into a snow bank. It's a gentle spinout that causes no injury or damage, but now your front tires are sunk in a heap of fresh snow. You're not going anywhere for awhile &mdash; unless you packed a shovel and have the muscle to dig yourself out. The shovel needn't be a humdinger, just something sturdy that fits in the trunk.</p> <h2>4. Check the Tire Pressure</h2> <p>For every 10 degree change in temperature, car tires <a href="http://www.goodyear.com/cfmx/web/corporate/media/news/story.cfm?a_id=371">lose a pound of pressure</a>. That's why it's wise to make sure the pressure in all four tires is in check at the outset of the winter season. In cold weather, any pressure imbalance will be made that much worse.</p> <h2>5. Evaluate the Tire Tread Depth</h2> <p>Car tires in any season need <a href="http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/index.jsp">a tread depth of at least 6/32-inch</a> to get adequate traction, according to Tire Rack. If yours fall short, you're going to need to go tire shopping. Wintry road conditions necessitate even more depth than normal to help the tire grooves compress and release snow as they roll. Without sufficient tread depth, spinouts are more likely.</p> <p>Should you opt for new winter tires, be sure to get a full set. Mounting winter tires on the front of a front-wheel-drive car can prompt sliding while putting winter tires only on the back of a rear-drive car will make turns more difficult.</p> <h2>6. Switch to Thinner Oil</h2> <p>Cold weather thickens the engine oil, which forces the car battery to work double time to get your car running smoothly. But you can give your battery a break and prevent potential engine trouble by switching over to a thinner oil. Most vehicles are served well by a 5W-20, 5W-30, or 10W-30 oil formula, but be sure to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/winterizing-your-vehicle/index.htm">check your owners manual</a> for notes on compatibility. It's also wise to have the oil filter changed to maintain fluidity.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Blanket</h2> <p>Should you get stranded on the side of a highway during a temper tantrum by Jack Frost, you'll be much less likely to run the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, or plain old cold weather discomfort if you've got a warm blanket stowed away in the trunk. While you're at it, it's not a bad idea to add a set of hand warmers, gloves, a wooly hat, a flashlight, bottled water, and a non-perishable snack to your winter weather emergency survival kit. Here's hoping you never have to use it.</p> <p><em>What do you do to prep your car for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter">56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living auto Cars driving emergencies snow winter Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1271197 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times You Should Drive Instead of Fly http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-convertible-travel-78189393-small.jpg" alt="man convertible travel" title="man convertible travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unless you're absolutely terrified of soaring the friendly skies, you may choose flying over driving any day. Since you can arrive at your destination faster and you don't have to deal with a tiresome drive, flying is often a no-brainer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays?ref=seealso">The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>But even if flying is your preferred way to travel, there are times when driving makes more sense.</p> <h2>1. You're in No Hurry</h2> <p>If you don't have to be at your destination by a specific date or time, driving might be the lesser of two evils. You can take your time, travel at your own pace, and perhaps break up the trip over one or two days to avoid travel fatigue.</p> <p>Even if you booked a hotel for one or two nights while driving to your destination, the cost of driving &mdash; including fuel and food &mdash; might be cheaper than flying. And when you bring your car on vacation, there's no need to rent a car, duh.</p> <h2>2. You're Traveling With Your Family</h2> <p>I didn't realize how much airline tickets had skyrocketed until I was booking tickets this past June. Traveling as little as two hours in the sky costs an average of $450 round-trip per ticket.</p> <p>If you have a family, multiply this number by four (or however many family members you've got), and you're looking at $1,800 for plane tickets alone. And as we all know, vacation expenses involve more than just plane tickets. You have to factor in accommodations, a car rental, food, and entertainment. Frankly, most people don't have this kind of cash to spend.</p> <p>But if you pile your family or friends in the car and hit the road, you only pay for fuel. If it costs $50 to fill your car, and you fill up four times during the course of the trip, $200 sounds a lot better than $1,800.</p> <h2>3. You're Traveling Last Minute</h2> <p>Booking an airline ticket months in advance is one way to snag a low price. But life happens, and sometimes we have to travel last minute. Several factors influence the cost of airline tickets, such as oil prices, distance, and the timing of flights. And unfortunately, if you're booking a flight within seven days of a departure date, you're going to pay a premium. So, if you have to travel last minute, you might be better off driving.</p> <h2>4. You're a Heavy Packer</h2> <p>Not only is there the cost of purchasing airline tickets, you might pay a checked bag fee between $25 and $35 per bag. And if you overpack and your suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds, there's an additional charge.</p> <p>This isn't an issue if you pack light or have a carry-on item. However, if you're traveling with a family or if you're a heavy packer, multiple bags are inevitable. And the more luggage you pack, the more you'll pay in airline fees. But if you drive a car, SUV, or van, there may be plenty of space for luggage and any other items you need to bring.</p> <h2>5. You're Looking for a Bonus Experience</h2> <p>Driving has its headaches, which is why some choose to fly instead of drive. But if you want your entire trip to be an unforgettable experience, the fun can begin the moment you pull out of your driveway.</p> <p>Select a scenic route on the way to your destination and take advantage of a few photo opportunities. Or if there are popular attractions and landmarks along the way, spend a couple of hours exploring. Why not hike amidst Sequoia trees in Northern California or spend the day at Lake Tahoe in Nevada?</p> <h2>6. Your Car Is a Comfortable Ride</h2> <p>Even if you don't mind driving to a destination, you have to consider your car's comfort level. You don't want to spend two or three days recuperating from back, hip, or leg pain after your trip.</p> <p>But if there's ample leg room, the seats are soft, and you're confident that you can make the drive with little or no discomfort, give it a shot &mdash; especially if there are one or two other drivers in the car. You can drive a little and then rest your eyes, or recline your seat and rest your back. It might not be the fastest way to get to your destination, but at least you can enjoy a comfortable trip while saving money.</p> <p><em>Do you want to share other reasons why driving is better than flying sometimes? Let me know in the comments below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Times%20You%20Should%20Drive%20Instead%20of%20Fly.jpg&amp;description=6%20Times%20You%20Should%20Drive%20Instead%20of%20Fly" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Times%20You%20Should%20Drive%20Instead%20of%20Fly.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-global-entry">How to Sign Up for Global Entry</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel car trip driving family travel flying Tue, 04 Nov 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1250603 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/speeding-ticket-452522717-small.jpg" alt="speeding ticket" title="speeding ticket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are two types of drivers in America: those who've received a ticket; and those who haven't.</p> <p>In the past five years, <a href="http://www.insurancequotes.com/auto/traffic-tickets-insurance-premiums" style="text-decoration:none;">25% of drivers</a> have received traffic tickets. That's one in four. Of course, tickets can range from the minor (such as driving with a broken headlight), to the very serious (a DUI). Tickets carry penalties, including fines and point violations, and if you hit 12 points your license is taken away. Typically, you'll automatically get 12 points for a DUI. However, the biggest hit your wallet takes will not come from fines and fees, but from the insurance rate hikes that accompany tickets. Here are five of the biggest insurance rate increases you'll get from traffic tickets.</p> <h2>DUI or DWI &mdash; 93% Rate Increase</h2> <p>That's <a href="http://www.carinsurancecompanies.net/how-much-does-car-insurance-cost-after-a-dui/" style="text-decoration:none;">almost double</a>, if you're lucky; many insurance carriers will actually drop you altogether, and some will triple your rate.</p> <p>The insurance industry does not like people driving under the influence. They consider you to be a very high-risk driver, and rightly so. <a href="http://alcoholism.about.com/od/dui/a/dui_insurance.htm" style="text-decoration:none;">Drunk drivers</a> are a danger not only to themselves and their own property, but also to everyone else on the road. If you can afford to pay the increased rate, it will be that way for three years. That equates to thousands of dollars. If your policy is cancelled, you need to get SR-22 insurance from another carrier before you can legally drive your car. And guess what? You now have a cancellation on your record, so it will be even more expensive. Of course, depending on your blood alcohol level, you may not even be able to get behind the wheel for another nine months.</p> <p>The bottom line is, <strong>never ever drive under the influence of alcohol</strong>. With the insurance hikes, penalties, classes, interlock devices, and everything else, it will cost you $10,000 and stay on your record for a long, long time. How much does it cost to get a cab, or spend the night in a nearby hotel? It's not $10k!</p> <h2>Texting &mdash; 21% Increase</h2> <p>Texting rate hikes have not come in line with DUI rate hikes yet, but they will. Research has shown that texting and driving is the same as driving after four beers &mdash; something that would easily get you a DUI conviction. Worse still, you are <a href="http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/" style="text-decoration:none;">SIX TIMES</a> more likely to cause an accident if you're texting, as opposed to driving while intoxicated. Not only that, but 25% of all car accidents are now caused by drivers who text.</p> <p>It's an outrage that the insurance companies, and the laws, are not seeing texting for what it really is; one of the greatest dangers to road safety today. As it stands right now, if you get a ticket for texting and driving you can get as little as one point and a $20 fine, plus a 21% increase in your insurance rate (it's treated the same as a 15 mph speeding violation). It's very possible that if you have a good record, your insurance company will forgive you.</p> <p>But like I said above, expect the penalties for texting and driving to start increasing.</p> <h2>Reckless Driving &mdash; 82% Increase</h2> <p>If you're driving without using your hands, reading a book or map, erratically changing lanes while speeding, tailgating, road raging, or basically your attention is anywhere but the road ahead, you can get a ticket for reckless driving. Also, some DUI cases will plea down to reckless, or &quot;wet reckless&quot; (meaning alcohol was involved), and this results in slightly lesser charges and penalties. But don't go celebrating. Reckless driving is not something your insurance company likes to see on your record, and they will heavily penalize you for it.</p> <h2>Careless Driving &mdash; 27% Increase</h2> <p>On the other hand, careless driving brings much smaller penalties.</p> <p>While reckless driving is seen as intentional, <a href="http://law.freeadvice.com/general_practice/traffic_law/careless-driving.htm" style="text-decoration:none;">careless driving</a> is not done on purpose. You may forget to signal while changing lanes, or may fall asleep at the wheel (which brings disastrous consequences, but was never something the driver wanted to do). If you are ticketed for careless driving, you'll get a few points on your license and your insurance rate could rise by as much as 25%. Of course, your previous record will come into play, and your insurance company may let you off easy. There's a world of difference between forgetting to signal, and falling asleep behind the wheel.</p> <h2>Failure to Stop/Running a Red &mdash; 19% Increase</h2> <p>Whether you run through a stop sign or a red light, you can get a ticket.</p> <p>These days, cameras at intersections are grabbing offenders and sending tickets out automatically. You can always try to fight it, especially if you went through a yellow and the camera or police officer has you down as running a red. But, chances are you'll probably be too busy to go through with a court case, and will simply pay the fine and take the reduced points. Expect your insurance to go up about 19%, unless you have an exceptional history.</p> <h2>Speeding &mdash; Up to 30% Increase</h2> <p>The big one. Almost everyone, at some point in his or her driving life, is going to go over the speed limit. Even if it's just a few miles per hour over, it's breaking the law. Of course, most police officers don't usually bother unless you're going 10 mph or more over the limit (unless it's a very slow day). Depending on how much over the limit you were going, your insurance hike can range from 21% up to 30%. If you were doing something crazy, like 160 mph in a 55 mph zone, you may get a reckless driving ticket instead.</p> <h2>Driving Alone in a Carpool Lane &mdash; 18% Increase</h2> <p>It seems so trivial to get a ticket for driving in a HOV or carpool lane without passengers. However, those lanes are put there to ease traffic congestion, and if we all disobey the rules of the road they will become futile. While nothing major is going to happen, you can expect almost the same rate hike as a low-end speeding ticket. It's really not worth the hassle. Or the cost.</p> <p><em>Have you ever gotten a moving violation? What was the hit to your pocketbook?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance Cars driving DUI moving violations tickets Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1173261 at http://www.wisebread.com