The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Flying Costs Come Home to Roost Edition

For quite a while, my wife and children and I have been planning a trip to Seattle this summer. We have family there and were planning on getting a hotel room, visiting lots of people, and taking our two year old up on Mount Rainier and out to the ocean. We’ve been trying to schedule a weekend for the trip that works for everyone involved, and just a few days ago, we figured out what would work.

I log onto a few travel websites, start looking for flight prices… and almost choked. $1,600 just to fly out there? The era of flying relatively cheaply is over, it seems.

Instead, after figuring up gas mileage costs for everyone, we’re actually planning on visiting Colorado and/or southern Montana on a car trip this summer. We’re going to stay in the cabin of an acquaintance for a few days (I believe) somewhere in Colorado and perhaps camp a few places as well. Much, much cheaper, since our car is actually very good for gas mileage.

For the first time, our life choices are being directly affected by high oil prices. Before this, we felt the pinch but hadn’t made changes in our plans because of it. The reality is hitting close to home, I guess.

Here are some personal finance articles of interest to read.

How to Save $1,300 in Less than Two Hours by Shopping Around for Car Insurance If you’ve never shopped around for car insurance, this is really good advice. We recently switched car insurance and saved a few hundred dollars a year. (@ free money finance)

75 Tips to Survive a Down Economy Lots of good little tips in there. I’m all in favor of cloth napkins – we are slowly excising paper towels and napkins from our home. (@ frugal dad)

How to Be a Hypermiler For a while, I was doing this for fun, seeing how high I could get my gas mileage by driving in particular ways. I was shocked how big of a difference little things like removing a sandbag from the back of my truck or airing up my tires could make. (@ gather little by little)

Credit and Debit Card Blocks at the Pump Whenever you use a debit or credit card to pay at the pump, your credit card company puts a “hold” on a portion of the funds that can stay in place for many days. This can cause over-limit fees and so on. The best tactic? Simply don’t use cards at the pump that are close to the edge in terms of balance. (@ master your card)

The Greatest Frugal Generation The battles fought in Europe during World War II have been often lauded, but the frugal choices on the home front made them possible. We can learn a lot from it. (@ personal finance advice)

Buying a Cheap Gas Guzzler May Backfire We’ve reached a point where fuel costs are a serious part of the car-buying equation. A cheap car that drinks gas like it’s going out of style isn’t a big savings. (@ mighty bargain hunter)

A Fully Funded Roth IRA at Age Eighteen Could Net You $3.5 Million That’s a lot of money. Take a look at the figures. (@ no credit needed)