Woman With Car KeysNew standards for fuel efficiency were just released this week – bringing us closer to driving nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025. How I wish my little Corolla got that kind of mileage now. I can remember when I thought that today’s standards of 29 mpg were lofty. There are fuel efficient options if you think out of the box a little, including ridesharing.

With one of the biggest driving holidays almost upon us and record heat, it’s going to be grueling especially with the high cost of gas, so what are your options?

Find local alternatives. Public transportation can be an adventure and an education for the whole family. Did you know that searching on Google will help you find the best routes and options? Just go to Google Transit and find out what your choices are. My family enjoyed taking the trolley to East County recently and exploring a new neighborhood. We were able to walk a couple of blocks, take a local bus to the trolley and return after a few hours playing at a leisurely pace while avoiding freeways completely.

While we’re blessed in San Diego to have trolley, train and bus options most of the routes skirt the coast which leaves the vast part of our county under served. It doesn’t mean you can’t leave YOUR car at home.

Take someone else’s ride!  By the way, I’m not compensated by any of these companies and haven’t used them myself but I’ve been watching them develop over the past year. They look like an interesting and great way to go. See what you think:

  • Car sharing made easy at: www.eartheasy.com
  • I keep seeing the little beauties sliding around town from Car 2 Go.
  • One of the first car-sharing companies that I noticed is Zip Car.
  • Want hassle free and cost effective personal service? Try Uber, for on-demand, private rides.
  • I also recommend watching local bulletin boards for ride services and don’t forget airport car services that can double for local trips. You can always call a Taxi service too.

Don’t want to drive at all? Rent a Segway as a different way to get around.

Pedal! Get a little more exercise, dust off your bike and enjoy the double benefit of being outside and burning calories!

Whatever way you go, get out and enjoy your weekend.

Please share your ideas for leaving the car at home!

Copyright 2012, Elaine J. Masters, travel writer, award-winning author and co-host of San Diego Travel Massive. More info, books and travel ease products at: www.DrivetimeYoga.com.