September 3, 2016

40 Labor Day Road Trips You Can Take for Less Than $50 in Gas

Drive off into the last summer sunset this weekend.

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! If you don’t yet have plans for the 3-day-weekend to celebrate the end of summer, may we suggest a road trip? Gas is cheap this year and motorists are taking advantage of it. NPR recently reported that the United States broke its record for monthly gasoline consumption this June, bringing the country to an all-time high of 405.9 million gallons per day.

Headed into the holiday weekend, NPR cited a national average of regular gas prices at $2.22/gallon. As of 11:05AM EST on 9/3/16, the GasBuddy Live Ticking Avg for the United States stood at $2.209, down 22.8 cents from last year’s average. Notably, this is the lowest fuel costs have been in the week preceding Labor Day for 12 years. Plus, American car-buyers seem to be headed in an ever-so-slightly more fuel efficient direction, with the mpg rating of all cars sold in July rising to 25.4 over June’s 25.3. The greatest conclusion we can draw from this data? It’s time for a road trip!

We ran the numbers and figured that at $2.22/gallon, $100 worth of gas will get you approximately 45 gallons. All cars are slightly different, and many factors - from the speed at which you’re driving to your driving style and how often you brake and accelerate - affect the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. If the average car sold this summer gets about 25 miles to the gallon, it’ll go 1125 miles on that $100 of gas! That’s 562.5 miles each way!

From our office in Vienna, VA, we could go as far as Charleston, SC (a 7.75 hour drive), Detroit, MI (a 7.66 hour drive), or even to Ottowa, Canada (an 8.5 hour drive)! Hmm. Seems a little long for a weekend.

With just a little more math, the travel researchers here at found that at $2.22/gallon, $50 will buy about 22 1/2 gallons of gasoline. Again, many factors can affect the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, but we’ll use 25mpg as a benchmark. 22.5 gallons of gasoline at 25mpg will take you a total of around 562.5 miles, or 281.25 miles each way. A much easier drive for a weekend getaway. Plus, that’s very roughly a tank of gas in each direction - at least for this writer/driver, whose pretty average car gets about the average mpg we’ve calculated on road trips. So, where can you go for a weekend on $50 (or about 2 tanks) of gas?

We’ve compiled a list of city-to-city road trips that’ll take you no longer that five-hundred sixty-two-and-a-half miles round trip (not including pit-stops and bathroom breaks). Check them out below, and tell us in the comments which trips you’re itching to try, what journeys you’ve taken and loved (or hated), and what 562.5-mile round trip journeys we missed! Then try one out and tell us all about it!

From the Office in Vienna, VA

New York, NY (about 4 hours)

Pittsburgh, PA (about 4 hours)

Raleigh, NC (about 4 hours)

From the World Trade Center in New York, NY

Portsmouth, NH (about 4.5 hours)

Syracuse, NY (about 4 hours)

Martinsburg, WV (about 4 hours)

Chincoteague Island, VA (about 5 hours)

Martha’s Vineyard, MA (about 5.5 hours)

From the Georgia Aquarium & Coca-Cola World in Atlanta, GA

Charlotte, NC (about 3.5 hours)

Nashville, TN (about 3.5 hours)

Tallahassee, FL (about 4 hours)

Columbus, MS (about 4 hours)

Selma, AL (about 3 hours)

From the Museum of Fine Arts & the Houston Zoo in Houston, TX

Baton Rouge, LA (about 4 hours)

Dallas, TX (about 3.5 hours)

From Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA

Las Vegas, NV (about 4.5 hours)

Tijuana, Mexico (about 3.5 hours) - Don’t forget your passport!

Fresno, CA (about 3 hours)

From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA

Santa Maria, CA (about 4.5 hours)

Reno, NV (about 4 hours)

Lake Shasta (about 4 hours)

From Heritage Square in Phoenix, AZ

Petrified Forest National Park (about 3.5 hours)

Navajo Nation Reservation (about 5 hours) Okay, this one is 282 miles away!

Mexicali (about 3.5 hours) - Don’t forget your passport!

From Washington Park in Portland, OR

Bellingham, WA (about 4.5 hours)

Medford, OR (about 4.5 hours)

Kennewick, WA (about 3.5 hours)

From Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT

Grand Teton National Park, WY (about 4.5 hours)

Dixie National Forest, UT (about 4 hours)

From City Park in Denver, CO

Rio Grande National Forest, CO (about5 hours)

Casper, WY ( about 4 hours)

From the bank of the Missouri River in Kansas City at the KS/MO border

Tulsa, OK (about 4 hours)

St. Louis, MO (about 4 hours)

Sioux City, IA (about 4 hours)

From Belle Isle Park in Detroit, MI

Cincinnati, OH (about 4 hours)

Niagara Falls, Canada (about 4 hours) - Don’t forget your passport!

Toronto, Canada (about 4 hours) - Don’t forget your passport!

From the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

Cedar Rapids, IA (about 4 hours)

Madison, WI (about 4 hours)

Fargo, ND (about 3.5 hours)

Labor Day road trip not going as planned? Ended up broken down or roadside, waving goodbye to passing traffic when you should be waving goodbye to summer? We know that feeling. Download for free on iOS or Android and put 24/7/365 access to roadside assistance and more than 50,000 service vehicles nationwide in the palm of your hand. Use promo code ‘SUMMER16’ this Labor Day weekend to take $10 off any service.

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