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Be Fuel Wise - Part 3 in a 3 part series

A little planning can make the difference in stretching your fuel dollar.

  • Where are we going?
  • When should we go?
  • What is the best way to get there?
  • Where do we stop for fuel?

These are all very important considerations in planning for a fuel efficient getaway during these times of high fuel prices.

Where are we going?

Rather than planning that big trip at this time consider a trip of shorter distance. Select a closer destination and when you get there stay a bit longer. When you're not driving on the road you're not burning fuel.

When should we go?

It is fairly well known and just plain common sense not to explore far northern Australia during the wet season if you don't want to get bogged or flooded in for the duration.What is less known is the effect that head winds may have on your fuel consumption as you push the "barn door" through the winds.

If you are planning a trip driving from the east to the west in October then you can be fairly certain you may be pushing into some sort of head wind. Conversely, driving from west to east during the same period would work in your favour because the prevailing winds would become a tailwind component which would aid your fuel consumption.

In aviation flight planning the cruising altitude is mainly determined by the altitude of the most favourable wind for it can make such a difference to fuel consumption.

In times of high fuel prices the effect of the prevailing winds does have a bearing on your fuel consumption.

What is the best way to get there?

There is more than one way to get to your destination. But which is the best way? Road surface conditions, terrain, refuelling facilities and locations are all considerations in successful trip planning.

The power of the internet makes planning your trip much more fun.

You can look up a web site where you can enter your departure address and your destination anywhere in Australia and it will work out the most direct way of getting there. Alternatively, you can enter way points if you want to zig zag to your destination. This web site will tell you how to get there, how long it will take and how many kilometres.
There is a web site where you can download maps.

Your state's motoring association and auto club can also be sourced via the internet. Motoring associations are a good starting point for travel information and maps.

Enter the names of the towns that you will drive through enroute into your search engine to find out more about what the town has to offer.

Most of the sites mentioned above can be accessed via our links page. 

Where do we stop for fuel?

The location and brands of service station outlets and the type of fuel available is an important consideration in determining your most fuel efficient route.

The fuel companies' web sites provide the locations for their outlets. For those of us who use discount fuel dockets the location of the outlets is essential if you wish to plan your trip to maximise your discount fuel dockets.

Coles and Woolworths discount fuel web sites can be accessed via our links page.

If you are using discount fuel dockets and you drive a diesel vehicle be aware that not all discount fuel outlets stock diesel fuel.

In conclusion: Careful trip planning can be fun and technology (internet and useful sites) can help you to minimise fuel costs. Start planning your trip a couple of months ahead and with thorough planning you can stretch your fuel dollar further.

This concludes our three part series "Be Fuel Wise". We hope you have found these articles to be informative and useful.