# How To Use a Trip Mileage Calculator

When planning road trips, it is always practical to know the total cost of the trip. You can do this either manually or by using online travel calculators. Either way, you need to have some basic figures to feed into your formulas.

You need to know your car mileage expressed as miles per gallon (MPG), the distance of travel, the cost of gasoline and other items needed for the trip.

First, the mileage - calculating mileage can be done manually or online using mileage calculator sites. It is just a simple formula. MPG is the distance travelled divided by the total volume of gasoline used.

Manual or online calculation both require initial and final odometer readings. To get this, you must first write down your odometer reading right before you fill up your gasoline. Next, note the amount of gasoline you bought. It is better to be as accurate as possible so write the volume down to the tenth decimal. Then, if it’s time for your next gas refueling, note again the odometer reading. Subtract this figure from the first odometer reading you have. Divide the difference by the volume of gasoline you bought and you get the mileage.

Knowing your car mileage is important when you do budgeting at home, say the cost of your gasoline expense in a month, or when you try to save on fuel cost by choosing a vehicle that gives better mileage.

Second, you need to know the distance from your start point to the end of your destination. You can estimate the distance from a map or get more accurate figures from online distance calculator sites.

Third, you have to have an idea of the current gas prices. If you don’t have the figure in your head, you can ask around or go online and look for sites that monitor current gas prices. If different prices are given, choose three numbers and calculate the average price.

Now you can compute the trip cost. You just divide the distance by the MPG you calculated earlier and multiply the result by the current gas price to get the trip cost. But this is not yet the total trip cost. You have to factor in the other costs entailed for the travel. These include the cost of accommodation, meals, and purchase of some important items.