CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Remember when taking a road trip was the affordable way to travel?
Today, because gas prices are high, many families are having to reconsider taking that family road trip to the beach, mountains or the family reunion.
NBC Charlotte is looking out for you and asked AAA for tips on how to save money this spring, the time when travel generally begins to pick up.
Michael Clark spent a few hours at the AAA Service Center off Albamarle Road in Charlotte. Clark drives a 2001 Dodge Mini Van. He wants to make sure he's getting the best mileage he can.
“Within the last two months, I’ve maybe spent $20-$40 more a month in gas,” he said.
Add a spring break trip to the beach or mountains and it gets expensive, he agrees.
AAA offers these tips as we approach the busy travel season of Spring and Summer.
First, specialists say to plan your trip and know your route. Speeding, a AAA spokeswoman says, comes at a cost in fuel.
“We know that even 5mph over 60mph, reduces fuel economy by up to 10 percent,” said AAA spokeswoman Angela Vogel Daley.
To put it into perspective, Daley says driving over 60mph will cost 35 cents more per gallon.
AAA also recommends you maintain your car, especially tire pressure. Gas isn't the only money drain.
“I think people do pay attention to the price because it's displayed at every gas station you pass, but they don't pay attention on how to properly maintain your vehicle,” says Daley.
If your tires aren't inflated right, she says, you’re paying more in gas. About 3% more in many cases. And Daley adds that only 17 percent of all motorists have the correct tire pressure in all four tires.
Eight out of 10 motorists don’t even know how to properly check tire pressure, she says.
Finally, she says, motorists need to “chill,” and drive less aggressively.
One of the easiest ways conserve fuel is to go easy on the gas and brakes. It’s the easiest way to conserve fuel, and it’s effective, she says.
AAA has a website to find lowest gas prices and help with other fuel efficient ideas.