Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Preparation: Avoiding Tolls

Pennsylvania Turnpike toll plaza in Sommerset,...
Pennsylvania Turnpike toll plaza in Sommerset, PA, USA Français : Péage de l'autoroute Pennsylvania Turnpike à Sommerset, en Pennsylvanie (États-Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I drive to Los Angeles, I travel on the Oklahoma Turnpike which is a toll road. Since that is the only time I pay a toll on my entire trip, I do not mind taking that road. I also feel that turnpike is the best option to get to Oklahoma City. In September I took a trip to Maryland and decided the best road to take was the Pennsylvania Turnpike. That was an expensive decision. My drive on 161 miles of road cost me $15.15.  On the return trip, I decided to avoid that highway.

Tolls are a necessary evil in traveling in some parts of the nation. However, sometimes careful planning can help save some money. In my case for my return journey west, I decided to take Interstate 70W until it joined with Interstate 68W. I drove the entire length of I-68W and then turned north on Interstate 79. After turning onto I-376N, I left the interstate for Highway 51N which took me back to Ohio. I had never driven this way before and the scenery was beautiful! The trip took a little longer, but my total savings in tolls was almost seventeen dollars for one way. The difference in gas was one gallon. (I can make it to Baltimore on one tank of gas. Thanks, Honda Civic!!) Since I will be traveling this route multiple times in the next few months, I will be saving a lot of money.

I will have some time before I travel to Maryland again, so I will research to see if the roads I chose for my return trip were the best option. Part of that research is the article linked below this post. After reading that article I now know that the tolls will be raised again next year. That means that finding a route other than the turnpike is essential.
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