[See: 10 Unexpected Costs of Driving.]
Driving tips: The majority of travelers (67 percent, says Orbitz) planned to travel by car or plane (65 percent) during the holidays, so if you're planning to be on the roads, look for the lowest gas prices through a resource like AAA.com/mobile. As the year comes to an end, the national average retail price of gasoline continues to fall, according to AAA. As of Dec. 16, the national average price was three cents less expensive than on the same date last year. If possible, leave early in the day and avoid city driving during rush hour. To conserve fuel, drive the speed limit, keep tires properly inflated and avoid abrupt acceleration and breaking, AAA says.
As the year comes to a close and you're getting ready to celebrate a new year, there's still time to plan a trip to ring in 2014. Just keep your budget in mind so that you don't get hit with a huge credit card bill come February for impulsive travel spending that seemed like a good idea at the time. Instead of flying, consider driving to a regional destination that might bring as much satisfaction but less of a financial hit.