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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Comparing the driving costs to 2 different locations

Last Friday, I talked about finding a new favorite beach to visit, one with free parking. The subject of the cost of gas to get to a new beach, came up.

I did find a beach that I really enjoy visiting. It's within walking distance of a quaint downtown area, with art galleries, cafes and a wide variety of shops to check out. The homes in the area are older and have sweet little gardens in front, making a walk around the town very pleasant.

This beach is a bit further from my house than my previous favorite beach, so it would cost more in gas to drive there and back.

How to figure this cost to make a comparison? I use Mapquest. When you request directions to a given location, on Mapquest, there's an option to calculate gas cost, based on year/make of car, the MPG it averages, plus type of gas that you purchase.

So, I did a Mapquest calculation for the distance and gas cost to both beaches.

My "old" beach had a one-way gas cost of 90 cents. My "new" beach has a one-way driving cost of $1.12. So, the increase in gas-cost is 44 cents round trip, but I save a minimum of $2 in parking.

Guess which beach I'll be frequenting this summer?


  1. The new beach sounds perfect with the walk around town and little gardens. But then again, I'm more of a garden person than a beach person. Enjoy your time. How is the weather these days for your outings?

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Oh then, you'd love this little area! The nicest little gardens, just the place where I'd love to live, everything within walking distance -- it's a lovely town.

      We have had so much sunshine, for June, this is unusual. This week it's supposed to heat up. How is the weather where you are? Not too hot, yet, I'm hoping.

    2. Definitely too hot. We're setting some kind of record with 90 degree days the last couple of months. Today is in the high 90's with lots of humidity. Too hot.

    3. Live and learn, oh, wow! That sounds so uncomfortably hot! It seems too early in summer for days in the high 90s. And the humidity must make it feel so much worse! I hope a cooling trend comes your way, soon.

  2. Good for you! Glad you found something.

    In our former home (about 40 minutes highway drive away) we had a lake nearby that we would often go to. It actually is a boat launch, picnic area, small beach, and play area. We could park in a small parking lot and walk over. About 8 years ago it was decided that as a county "park" they had to charge a fee to go there. There were many walkers who would stop a moment at the beach and rest and we watched as a ranger would run all over the park demanding payment! It was open, ungated, so it was rather funny to watch the ranger. We stopped going there since it was so small and the water was so full of gasoline fumes from the launching of so many boats and the beach was not a nice sandy beach. Really that should have been a freeby but NO they had to charge full price (can't remember what it was but even one penny was too much!)


    1. Hi Alice,
      Now that's comical! Don't you just wonder who comes up with some of these "plans"? My guess is someone who never set foot on that beach area of the lake.

      I'm going to a different beach this morning for my walk. It's actually closer to home, but I'm not sure if it has as long of a stretch of walkable beach as the other ones. One of my main interests is a beach with a long walking area -- I think as I walk. But this one is very close.

  3. Is that a picture from your new beach? It's beautiful. And the surrounding area sounds like lots of fun.

    From what you said, it was a $2/hour cost--so if you were staying at your original beach for more than an hour, your cost would increase.

    It's been busy here and we haven't always had "beach-able" weather so I haven't had a chance to take the kids there this summer yet (except when we went camping in May and they decided that not having swimming suits wouldn't be a barrier to swimming ... they sure had fun 'disobeying' mom and swimming in their clothes!) but I'm hoping we can go soon.

    1. Hi Kris,
      That's the beach from last week (Friday), and Ill go down there again later this week (I have errands that will take me that direction).

      The photo is what I took for reference for a sketch that I started while sitting there.

      That's right, on the parking. I was at this beach for about 1 1/2 hours, so I would have had to pay $4 for parking, had I visited the "old" beach.

      Well, now, the camping trip in May definitely qualifies for a beach trip, as you had a beach of sorts, there! I bet the kids had a blast!

  4. Hi Lili! I have never traveled to the Pacific Northwest, but live on the coast of NC at the Outer Banks. I am so struck by the differences in our beaches, though your rocky coast is certainly beautiful too. Our county has about 80 miles of beaches with free access. The coastal community in NC where I grew up, now has parking meters all along the beach with rates similar to what you described. Thankfully, here at the OBX, our beaches are still free, making for frugal outings:) Lynn

    1. Hi Lynn,
      The different regions of the country are all beautiful in their unique ways. I can kind of picture in my mind what your beaches look like, from photos and news stories. The beaches along the Puget Sound are rocky and lined with cliffs/hillsides and lots of evergreen trees. While the beaches on the Pacific coast of Washington have a few large rocks in the water and some areas have stands of evergreen trees, but also many areas have long stretches of sandy beach front.

      I'm glad for you that your beach access is still free!! Hope you're enjoying a great start to summer!

  5. I am SO envious that you have so many beach options. But I am also glad for you that you've found a new beach to visit that is also economical. And I can just imagine how nice it will be to walk around the older houses and check their gardens, etc.

    1. Hi Jayne,
      It's a lovely little town. The main street is lined with shops and cafes, of course, but just one block away and you're into the residential area. Even though I could park at the beach itself, I find it more entertaining to park in the shop/residential area up the hill and have a bit of a walk before getting to the beach.


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