With things gradually returning to normal in the pandemic’s wake, you might be one of many ready for travel this summer. One thing hasn’t changed, though — transportation costs money. How can you defray some of the expenses?
Fortunately, technological advances and old-fashioned know-how let you considerably reduce the price of hitting the road. Here are six simple ways to reduce travel costs in your professional and personal life.
1. It’s Electric
Are you in the market for a new car? If you shied away from electric vehicles in the past out of go-juice concerns, take heart. The number of charging stations in the U.S. has increased exponentially in recent years, and manufacturers continue adding more “pumps.” You can wave goodbye to “range anxiety” as a sticking point against going greener.
If you use your car for commuting to school or work, you may never need to use such a device outside of your garage. Some of today’s models can go up to 300 miles on a single charge, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E with the premium trim. As long as you plug your vehicle in when you return home, you can use it for all your daily errands, angst-free.
What if you want to up your sustainability quotient and reduce transportation costs even further? Biking to the office has long been an ideal way to marry exercise with necessity — but it can leave you sweaty before your big client meeting. Why not investigate electric hybrids that let you switch out of pedal power and cruise comfortably?
2. In the Public Domain
If you live in an urban area like New York or San Francisco, you might not need a vehicle at all. Folks who reside in areas with robust public transportation systems can reduce their travel costs by taking advantage of these resources. As a bonus, you do your part to slash emissions and save the planet.
You could also get a productivity bonus for choosing this transportation method. You can’t work on that budget report while driving, but you can crunch all the numbers you like from your bus or subway seat. Alternatively, you could tune into an uplifting podcast to motivate you for the day to come. The right mindset can transform your career.
Save even more money by getting a monthly pass. Another advantage of doing so is that you don’t hold up the line scrounging for exact change.
3. Go Virtual
While the novel coronavirus pandemic hurt people, it was a boon for the planet. It also introduced many more workers to telecommuting, and it turns out, they like it. More than half of employees who began working from home during the pandemic don’t want to return to the traditional office, at least not every day.
Such an arrangement is ideal for you to reduce your transportation costs, so book a meeting with your boss to discuss making yours more permanent. There’s no reason to abandon the tools you used during lockdown to save on costs. Instead of a client flying in from across the country, use your new Zoom wizardry to facilitate a virtual meetup.
When approaching reticent employers, frame the discussion in terms of benefits for them. It helps if you can back up your assertions with productivity numbers showing you can be as efficient, perhaps even more so, from home. Remind them that telecommuting reduces their overhead costs, thus padding their bottom line.
4. Plot a Course
The best way to get from point A to point B is a straight line. However, flying cars aren’t yet a thing, and vehicles can’t parkour their way over obstacles. You can still reduce your transportation costs by plotting your course before planning any lengthier trips.
Fortunately, technology makes your job a snap. Although you might have previously needed to research road construction, apps such as Waze now alert drivers to such incidents and help you navigate around accidents and traffic jams. The less time you spend idling, the less fuel you burn.
5. Undergo Routine Maintenance
If you drive an older vehicle, keeping up with your scheduled maintenance can significantly reduce your transportation costs. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, repairing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve your mileage by as much as 40%.
If you are one of the rare gems who still drive a manual transmission, shifting gears earlier can improve fuel efficiency. Conversely, aggressive driving burns up more gas — plus, it puts you at risk of a costly accident. Learn to check your tire pressure, which likewise impacts how much time and money you spend at the pump.
6. Serving Size Matters
It’s a basic physics principle — the heavier an object is, the more force it takes to propel it through space. When it comes to transportation, this rule equates to more fuel and higher costs at the pump.
Therefore, one of the simplest ways to reduce your transportation costs is to choose as small of a car as possible for your needs. When shopping for a new ride, pay attention to statistics like vehicle weight. They will influence how much you will pay to fill up at the pump.
Remember, you might not need to carry all the essentials with you for every trip. If you use your vehicle for professional and personal use, driving a pickup truck to transport your hammers and jigsaws may not be necessary. A smaller model SUV with an adequate towing capacity lets you keep the tools of your trade in a trailer you don’t hitch to your ride when running to the store or soccer practice.
If you want to lower your transportation expenses, the six methods above can help. Keeping more money in your pocket while helping the planet is a win-win you can’t beat.