Don’t cancel that summer vacation

If businesses in your area depend on the summer tourist trade or if you take an annual family vacation, you are probably concerned about higher gasoline prices. Gasoline is approaching $4.00 per gallon. Prices at the pump are forecast to be even higher this summer. How much will rising gasoline prices affect the cost of that summer vacation? Let’s see.

A round trip from Madison to Minocqua is about 430 miles. Add a few miles for trips to the grocery store or Lake of the Torches and the total is more likely to approach 500 miles. How much more will you spend on a 500 mile trip with gas at $4.00 than two years ago when gas was $2.57 per gallon?

A. $105
B. $77
C. $53
D. $38


ANSWER D. $38

This presumes your car averages 22.6 miles per gallon. At 30 MPG, the increased cost will be $29. At 15 MPG, you will spend $57 more on gas than you did in 2009 for the same trip.

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration and U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics provides good data on average MPG for a variety of vehicles. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is a another good source for a wide variety of energy data.

For questions, contact Bill Pinkovitz