As Memorial Day approaches we begin preparing to trade our office chairs for beach chairs and boring suits for bikinis. The next few weeks mark the beginning of travel season for most Louisianians, and while the lodging budget of the vacation destination may already be set and paid for, the price of driving still comes as a shock to some travelers. It isn’t just frequent business trips costing drivers, according to US Travel – direct spending on leisure travel by domestic travelers totaled $621.4 billion in the year 2013. This year alone, the national average of gas in March was at $3.53, a month later bumping up to $3.70 and as common theory implies, the warmer the weather gets, the higher the price at the pump and consumer demand.
This thought alone can convince any frugal-minded traveler to turn the van around and head back indoors. However, Time magazine recently posted an article that has analysts blowing holes in the theory, stating the idea that gas prices have plateaued for the year and that it is likely the numbers will only drop.
In the meantime, websites specialized in calculating travel cost for drivers like Gasbuddy have warned that although signs point to prices staying low, the rise in warm temperatures is always a problem for refineries.
With all of these conflicting predictions regarding cost of driving, how is a traveler supposed to know the majority of their travel funds are draining through a nozzle at a filling station? Well, there’s an app for that.
As one can imagine there are dozens of travel applications (we’ve already reviewed some of them) currently playing the role as key money-saving tools, but only a few have met the expectations of reviewers. These apps require some user input to work better, as the gas budget will take destination, car make and model and speed into account. These are the apps:
TripLog- GPS Mileage Log Tracker
One of the best reviewed Mileage Apps, the TripLog uses to GPS to record mileage and record actual driving route and show on Maps. The TripLog also is the only app that “auto starts” after being plugged in and driving more than 5 mph.
The RoadTrip Lite is another extremely popular application used for calculating gas mileage on a trip. This app came out in 2008 and is still quoted as one of the fastest and easiest iPhone application tracking cars, mileage, fuel economy and maintenance expenses. Unlike many “lite” apps, RoadTrip Lite has stayed reliable mile after mile.
By far, the most universal and multifunctional of all the GPS mileage applications, Waze seems to be the crown jewel of the travel app community. This unique app not only gives its users the ability of finding and comparing the cheapest gas prices by estimating cost of travel, but is also available to give updated, real-time events happening on your expedition. Anything from speed traps to roadkill, Waze will be your saving grace when it comes to investing time into your summer road trips.
These apps along with smart planning could take your Memorial Day drive from stressful and costly to simple and relaxing, bon voyage!
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