How to Calculate the Cost to Drive on a Trip

How to Calculate the Cost to Drive on a Trip
Depending on the cost of gas, driving can be the cheapest option for traveling as long as you stay on land. Even as the cheapest option, however, there are certain costs that one must consider before embarking on the journey. Perhaps even more than other forms of traveling, when driving you must be prepared. Armed with the knowledge on how much this trip may cost, you will be well-equipped to successfully arrive at your destination.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Figure out how much gas will cost on the trip. Map out your route with a service such as Google Maps or Mapquest. Divide this number by how many miles your car gets per gallon, which will give you the amount of gallons of gas needed on the trip. Multiply that number by the current price of gas. Estimate high if you are in a state with high gas prices. Alternatively you can use a website that will help you calculate this information.
Step 2
Calculate the price of tolls on your trip. Many roads have tolls and you will not want to discount this as a cost. A website like will help you find this information for any roads across the United States.
Step 3
Estimate the price of food and any other personal items you may need on the trip. Make sure you include both meals and snacks. This cost will vary significantly depending on where you decide to eat. Before you leave, if you want to more closely calculate your costs, it may be better to decide the caliber of restaurants in which you'd like to eat.
Step 4
Find hotels or motels along your trip for a longer journey. You need your sleep for the energy to drive long distances. Motels will usually be cheaper and are sometimes closer to the highway. Find the price online.
Step 5
Add these expenses together. This will give you the estimated total cost of driving on a trip. Add in a cushion just in case anything goes wrong.

Article Written By Sarah Morse

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.

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