Money in bank, not tank

Just about everyone is talking about the price of gasoline, and no wonder: Gas for less than $3 a gallon is receding in memory, and at some stations in California and Hawaii, the price at the pump tops $4. That, of course, is why has launched its Tanks a Lot promotion for the fifth year, with inns across the nation putting their discounts directly into your gas tank. Some examples:

Through Oct. 18, Pilgrim's Inn and Cottages, Deer Isle, Maine, ( will reward guests arriving in a hybrid vehicle up to $40 for a tank of gas.


At the Ruby of Crested Butte, Crested Butte, Colo., ( two AARP-member couples carpooling and staying two nights, Sunday through Thursday, through June 30, will receive two $25 gas cards plus an extra 5 percent discount if the couples arrive in a hybrid vehicle or fuel-efficient equivalent.

At the Inn at Ellis River, in Jackson, N.H., (, guests are invited to burn wood, not gas. Stay two or more nights in a room with a fireplace anytime through July and get a refund up to $50. Stay a third night and get a complimentary three-course dinner for two.


Through the end of June, arrive at the Colonial Terrace in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., ( in a hybrid vehicle and get $25 off the bill to put toward gas. The offer is good Sunday through Thursday.

Stay two nights at the regular price of $135-$145 at Wilder Farm Inn in Waitsfield, Vt., ( through July and each additional night is $100. Save $10 more if you drive a hybrid or carpool with friends.

Island Goode's in Hilo, Hawaii, (island is green, indeed. Produce is grown on the 8-acre estate on the Big Island and water is solar-heated. Book two nights and get a $25 credit toward auto or travel expenses; stay four nights and get a $50 credit. Airport pickup is free, and guests ride to the inn in a Toyota Prius.

Fuel tools: You need not belong to AAA to use its Web site's fuel-price calculator and fuel-price finder. Go to and, after entering your ZIP code if asked, put "gas" in the site's search box.

Don't drive, take the free trolley: Visitors to Alexandria, Va., can take a new free tourist trolley along the city's historic main street. The trolley runs along King Street from the Potomac River waterfront to the Metro station from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily with frequent stops for hopping on and off to visit shops, restaurants and attractions of Old Town Alexandria. For tourism information, go to