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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Road-trip: the cost of gas

This year I'm not choking so much on the cost of fuel. I know most of the rest of the world pays more. Europeans in particular find our outrage amusing. The problem is not just the price. Volatility has an effect. One summer in Florida, a gallon of gas cost 99 cents. A year later it was over two dollars. People who planned RV vacations were stunned. Businesses had to deal with tripled delivery costs, costs that were not allowed for in budgets set long before.

If the change over the past few years had been more gradual, the adjustment would have been easier. Volatility exacerbates the effect, letting us hold on to hope. We think, "Maybe next year prices will go back to 99 cents again. Or at least down to $1.70 or so."

The photo is from my 2004 cross-country road trip. The prices seemed outrageous. Now they look pretty good.

I'm so glad I have my little Hyundai Accent. It's older now, and no longer gets 40 miles to the gallon. Prices are up, and my mileage is down. Still 35 mpg, is not bad. Good car choice. However it has its flaws.

Advice to myself: Next time get cruise control.

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