(WETM) – Traveling costs money, much like everything else. Whether it’s booking a hotel, buying a plane ticket, or even just a trip across town, with prices as high as they are, you can expect to shell out some cash.

The NYS Division of Consumer Protection is offering a five-part series of tips on how to save money across different everyday expenses. The first list dealt with high grocery bills, and this week DCP is offering up some ideas to save on transportation costs.

“Saving money can be difficult when prices remain high across the board, but there are easy ways to cut costs in every aspect of our daily lives,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection. “Whether commuting to work, running errands or planning a long road trip, following these tips can help New Yorkers lower their transportation costs so they can hold onto more of their hard-earned money and beat back inflation.”

Below are New York State’s suggestions on how you can save while on the road:

  • Plan your drives ahead of time. Combine errands into one trip to save time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel saving fuel and wear/tear on your vehicle.
  • Adjust your driving habits. Always accelerate gently and maintain a steady speed. Avoid aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and sudden braking), which wastes fuel. It can lower your fuel mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Your brakes will appreciate it, too. 
  • Keep your vehicle tuned up. Check the air filter, tire pressure and coolant. Check your vehicle’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended timeline for oil changes. A poorly maintained car uses more gas and may lead to costly repairs.
  • Shop around for car insurance. Take time to analyze your insurance premiums and comparison shop for less expensive plans. Consumers can lower insurance premiums by 5% to 20% by bundling services, increasing deductibles and paying up front. 
  • Use public transportation or carpool. It benefits everyone – the community, the environment and your wallet.
  • Save with pre-tax commuter benefits. Enroll in commuter benefits to pay commuting costs with pre-tax dollars. If your employer offers this benefit, you can set aside a certain portion of pre-tax wages (up to $300 per month), which can be used for mass transit and qualified paid parking while reducing your federal taxable income each year. That means you save by not paying federal income tax on that portion of your salary.
  • Reserve parking. There are several parking apps in the market that let you reserve parking spaces in advance in large metro areas. This helps you save time, money and gas – no need to circle the block looking for parking. You may be able to score significant savings off the drive-up rate if you reserve a parking space in advance.