To give you some sense of my age, when I started driving, there was a little math game I used to play when I filled up my tank. Gas would be $0.99/gallon, or perhaps $1.01/gallon. In either case, it made for easy math in my head, and by looking at the gallons tallying up, I’d make myself guess what the cost will be.
I still do this today, but the math tends to be little more difficult. Calculating multiples of $3.6499 is a little tougher.
Anyways, I just took a road trip to North Carolina last week, and as we were packing for the trip, I heard several newscasts talk about how today’s gas prices were going to dramatically limit the amount of travel that Americans will do this summer. As gas prices approach $4.00/gallon, more and more people will be unable to make the trip.
The trip to Corolla, North Carolina is approximately 675 miles each direction. I didn’t track my actual gas mileage, but my 2011 Honda Oddysey gets 19 mpg in the city, and 28 mpg on the highway, for a “combined” mileage of around 22 mpg (source). So we’ll use that number for our math.
675 miles x 2 = 1350 miles round trip.
1350 miles / 22 miles per gallon = 61.36 gallons.
If gas rose from $3.65/gallon to $4.15/gallon before my trip, this would be an astounding increase of $0.50/gallon. 50 cents!
This means that my ENTIRE trip would cost $30 more because of increased gas prices. THIS is the prohibitive cost of travel that everyone’s talking about? Thirty dollars?
The Questions For You
- Certainly $30 isn’t what is holding people back from travel. The thought of spending over $250 probably is. 61.36 gallons x $4.15 = $254.66.) But to get my family of four to a vacation, ~$60 each doesn’t seem to painful, does it? It’s certainly better than flying.
- Are these gas prices changing your driving behaviors? Or are they changing your extravagant coffee-buying behaviors?
- What is maximum price you’d pay for a gallon of gas before it actually impacted your driving habits? $7? $10?