No one wants to spend precious vacation time deciding who is paying for what on your travels. Leave the complicated math to Splitwise. The Splitwise website and app let you keep track of how much your cousin spent on gas and how much your brother paid for dinner, so you can all make sure the vacation is fair and fun. The splitting functionality helps take into account other expenses (groceries, shared housing costs) and keeps from overcharging some travelers who might not be along for the entire trip. This travel budget calculator app is especially useful during group trips, whether you’re planning a guys’ trip to Denver or a girls’ vacation in Nashville. Start planning today by booking your group’s rental car reservation. Then, use Splitwise to divvy up the costs now or later down the road.
How do I calculate fuel efficiency?
A rule of thumb is 12 gallons for a small car or sedan and 15 gallons for an SUV.
Before your trip, when your gas tank is full, jot down your odometer reading. Then before you fill your tank again, take the next reading. The difference in the odometer numbers is how many miles your vehicle covered in one tank.
Now, remember the 12- and 15-gallon estimates? Divide your miles traveled by the gas tank capacity for your vehicle type to get your average per-gallon mileage. This will come in handy when figuring out that final fill-up before returning the rental car at the end of your getaway.
Reading 1: 1,000 miles
Reading 2: 1,300 miles
Total Mileage for a Tank: 300
Driving a Sedan: 300 / 12 = 25 miles per gallon
Driving an SUV: 300 / 15 = 20 miles per gallon
Why is this important?
You may want to know how many times you will fill up after flying in and driving out on your trip. If your destination is 250 miles away and your vehicle gets 300 miles per tank, then this is how you can run the numbers before hitting the road.
Distance: 525 miles (distance there and back, plus maybe a side trip to a national park, a couple of ballgames or a visit to a nearby relative).
Mileage per Tank: 300 miles
Tanks of Gas Required: 525 / 300 = 1.75 tanks of gas
Fill-Ups Required: 1
Safe Fill-Ups: 2
How can I prepare for outside airline fees?
While calculating the cost of a flight, the added fee for a carry-on bag or seat selection can come as a surprise. Prepare for the sticker shock by remembering airfare is usually all that is listed when booking a flight. When comparing rates, consider the cost of seats and baggage, as lower airfare does not always mean lower travel costs.
Airline A has a flight for $100, and Airline B has the same flight for $130. On face value, the $100 airfare seems cheaper, but the second option could be more affordable depending on how you travel.
Airline A, Bag and Seat: $40 / carry-on, $30 / seat = $170 total ($100 + $70)
Airline B, Bag and Seat: $20 / carry-on, $15 / seat = $165 total ($130 + $35)
While airfare is typically the highest single cost for travel, supplemental fees can add up and sometimes nearly exceed the cost of the flight. Keep this in mind when shopping around for the best deals and remember that free apps like Hopper are available to aid your budget planning and help you calculate travel costs.