Traveling for Thanksgiving? 5 Reasons to Carpool

by Benjamin Jones on November 24, 2008

That’s what I’ll be doing! Every year I drive approximately 350 miles home for Thanksgiving, and then back up to school the following Sunday. Pretty much every time it’s a big mess. That’s why this year I am dragging someone along with me.

There are several advantages to carpooling what can be a 7-10 hour drive with heavy traffic:

  1. Gas and tolls: It’s half as expensive with 1 more person in the car. 1/3rd as expensive with two, and so on.
  2. Companionship: You’ve got someone to talk to. This can come in handy when you’re stuck in thick traffic and really just want to complain about it until it goes away.
  3. Music: It has been my experience that bringing new people into the car often introduces you to new music. And unlike companionship, a new artist that you like could last an entire lifetime.
  4. Traffic: When you think about it, the traffic is so bad in the first place because there are so many people crammed into cars all for a few days of family time. The more cars we can get off the road the better it will be for everyone.
  5. Wear and tear: The most expensive part of car ownership isn’t the gas, but the expense of the damage you do to your car driving it around. If you carpool, someone is letting their car take a rest. Next time, switch it up so it’s not so one-sided.

To find a carpool, ask around at work or with your friends, or failing personal connections, try one of the many great online resources like Zimride or a Facebook application. Let us know in the comments if you plan on carpooling this week!

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1 Steffen Frost November 26, 2008 at 1:07 am

You can also carticipate and go green with the iPhone.

We developed the first carpool app on a location aware mobile platform called Carticipate. We gave a talk on carticipation at the Silicon Valley iPhone Develpers’ Meetup in Palo Alto last week. We posted the vid on youtube here (be sure to select “watch in high quality”):

2 Ben November 26, 2008 at 9:06 am

I’m riding with 3 other people in a Ford Focus, 200 miles each way, to visit relatives for Thanksgiving.

That will be about 13 gallons of gasoline used.
Driving 2 similar cars would use 26 gallons, and everyone driving seperate would use 52 gallons!

Riding together instead of seperate, saves 39 gallons, and even at current (lower) gas prices, saves about $80!

You could pay me $80 to go eat turkey and pie any day!

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