If you suspect there’s more to leaping gas prices than simple supply and demand, the best revenge is outsmarting the forces that are driving up prices. But rather than having you fret about finding solutions, Mary White, founder of BnBFinder.com and author of Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies has already done it for you.
Noticing that gas prices began rocketing up earlier this year and assuming that prices will peak this summer, she found five practical and effective ways to save some cash and salvage your summer excursion. From smart shopping to special deals offered by innkeepers, White wants you to put money into your trip -- not your tank.
One: One-Tank Trips
You don’t have to go far for fun – sometimes a great vacation is only one tank away. For instance, The Pennsbury Inn, located in Chadds Ford of Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, is within easy driving distance from a number of states including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.
With one tank from St. Louis, you can reach the Garth Woodside Mansion Estate in Hannibal, Missouri, or the Oakridge Manor Bed and Breakfast in Creal Springs, Illinois. From Chicago, the Lazy Cloud Lodge Bed and Breakfast of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is easily accessible.
So whether it's in mountains, country, beach or an urban oasis, you are one tank away from somewhere special. Think “one tank” and get going!
Two: Gas Cards
It’s very satisfying when you can beat a gas company at its own game – and many innkeepers are ready to help you do it with a gift of a gas card. For instance, when you book three evenings at the Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast of Saugatuck, Michigan, you’ll receive a $50 gas card. If you enjoy traveling with another couple, carpool to the Country Victorian Bed & Breakfast in Middlebury, Indiana for a two-night, mid-week stay and each couple receives a $25 gas card.
Three: Car-Free B&Bs
Looking for a foolproof way to save on gas? Keep your car in the driveway. A new awareness of “urban inns” such as New York City’s Ivy Terrace has piqued the interest of bed and breakfast fans and if you live in or plan to fly to NYC, all three major airports - Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark - are accessible by mass transit and all of the top tourist sites are reachable by train, bus or ferry. When you think “mass transit” you can ditch the car altogether and often find a beautiful B&B in a city setting.
It took Dorothy Gale flying to Oz to realize that home is never further than your own backyard, so consider searching in your own backyard for an affordable getaway. A “staycation” in or near your own city or town can help you cut back on the time and expense of traveling == plus it allows you to see and experience everything in a whole new way!
Five: Be Open To Options
It’s effortlessly easy to fall into a routine whether it's what we watch, what we eat, what we do and, notably, where we go. If your vacation map looks like a carbon copy year after year, consider a new location that’s close to home (see: One Tank Trips). If you always visit the beach, if the mountains are a little closer find a B&B there. If you love the mountains but an antique village is nearby, give it a whirl and I bet there’s a B&B waiting for you.
Just keep your options open, your horizons expanding, and an eye on the gas gauge.
Mary White is the Founder and CEO of BnBFinder.com ,recognized by professionals and consumers as one of the most informative B&B sites on the Web. She is also the author of Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies. An authoritative voice on B&B travel, White is a go-to source in the industry for opinions and advice and has been involved in promoting and marketing B&Bs on the Web for more than a decade. Follow her on Twitter at @Mary_White.