This post is sponsored by Kia Motors America; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

License plate scavenger hunts, pictures on the world’s largest rocking chair, and an epic road trip play list are all components of one of life’s greatest pleasures, a good old-fashioned road trip. But not everything about a road trip needs to be old fashioned. Bring the classic road trip into the green age with these clever, Eco-friendly travel hacks. Not only can you do your part to reduce greenhouse gasses, but you can also save money by going green on the road.

Dawn on the road in the forest in summer, Eco-friendly Travel Hacks

9 Clever Eco-friendly Travel Hacks

Get a Tune Up

Did you know a dirty air filter can reduce a car’s efficiency by as much as 20 percent? Or that tires that aren’t full inflated can reduce your miles per gallon? Getting a tune up before you hit the road will not only save you money and extend the life of your vehicle, it will also be better for the environment!

Pack lightly

Weighing down your car with an extra 20 or 30 pounds of luggage makes your vehicle even less efficient. Only pack what you’ll use and remove that box of junk you have been carting around for a month. Clothing wise, if you pack layers you’ll bring less and have less laundry to do when you get home.

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Choosing where you stay

Vehicle manufacturers aren’t the only ones jumping on the green bandwagon. Hotels across the country are working to earn their Green Seal of approval. Choose a stay that helps counteract your carbon footprint and if you can’t find a green option, you can choose to skip daily cleaning service by making use of that Do Not Disturb tag. This saves thousands of gallons on water alone by opting to reuse your towels and sheets. Avoid being wasteful – turn off the TV, lights, and heat or air-conditioning whenever you leave the room.

Plan Your Route, Most of the Time

We love adventure, so we would never suggest making sure to always plan your route. Sometimes we find the best gems by getting lost. But by planning your route most of the time, you can find the most fuel-efficient way to get to where you’re going. When exploring a destination, try walking, riding a bike or taking the public transportation instead.

Farmers Market Fruit

Shop local

When people think of a “green” road trip it’s usually limited just to our vehicles. However, it’s not the only way you’re leaving behind your carbon footprint. You can further reduce your footprint by eating and buying locally. To do this, check out local farmer’s markets and restaurants. The locals always know where the best hidden gems are! Try using  USDA’s farmer’s market finder and apps like Yelp to find local restaurants. You get the benefit of living like a local and the community you visit gets the benefits of tourism and travel. 

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Pack your own snacks and water

Purchasing snacks and beverages on the road is costly and wasteful. Bring reusable water bottles and fill them for free at fountain machines each time you fill up at a gas station. Pack healthy snacks like trail mix in reusable containers. Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags for any pit stops you make on the way.

Drive sensibly

Rapid acceleration, slamming your breaks and speeding all contribute to lower fuel efficiency. Pay attention to speed limits, use your cruise control and practice safe driving habits to get the best mpg.

Go old school

It’s tempting to pass the time on the road with electronics, but they are notorious energy hogs. Instead, go retro and play the road trip games you learned as a kid. This doubles as family bonding time and you’ll use your brain instead of an electricity-hogging device for entertainment

Soul EV

Drive an efficient vehicle

You’ll automatically make your road trip more efficient if you choose an eco-friendly car to begin with. Most major car rental agencies now offer hybrids. You’ll be able to travel longer distances between stops and save money at the pump. Want to really make an impact on the world and take Eco-Friendly to a new level? Go electric, like the Kia Soul EV. 

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The Kia Soul EV is an all-electric vehicle, unlike a hybrid, and that means 100% gasoline free. This compact five-passenger, five-door vehicle is just right for road trips taking drivers about 90 miles on a single charge. When it’s time to recharge, just plug it into a standard household outlet– same one you’d use to charge your phone or use one of many charging stations popping up everywhere! 

But it’s not just about maximizing driving range and extending battery life. Truly green cars are built with more than fuel economy in mind. Kia also used an increased range of bio-based materials in order to stay true to the car’s green philosophy. 

If you live in Southern California, you can check out the Kia Soul EV (and take it for a test drive!) during the National Drive Electric Week in Los Angeles. Be sure to come over and say hi if you see me, as I plan on being there too!

Day: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Exposition Park South Lawn (behind Natural History Museum)
700 Exposition Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

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