FordExplorerAs gas prices continue to take a dent in a family’s budget, what better news than MapQuest’s month-long “Free Gas for a Year” sweepstakes? Road trips with my family are some of my best memories, even when packed into a car with 5 siblings and my parents. It was one of the rare times that our family really did something together, even if it was tourist traps like Ruby Falls in Chattanooga.  Nothing makes this Traveing Grandmom happier than packing my grandchildren into the SUV and hitting the open road, whether it’s a staycation or a long road trip.

MapQuest announced last week a month-long “Free Gas for a Year” sweepstakes, perfectly timed to keep up the holiday cheer and ease the strain of budgets. Each of the 31 winners (one winner each day in December) will win free gas for a year — assuming the average consumer drives 12,000 miles each year, this is a savings of $1,220* per winner. For traveing families, that could fund the fuel for one or two major road trips!

The contest began on December 1 and runs through December 31. Enter the sweepstakes at at and complete the “Free Gas for a Year” form.  Each day at 3:00 p.m. ET a winner will be chosen and announced on the site. The last day to enter the sweepstakes is December 31 at 5:00 p.m. ET. In addition to entering each day, contestants can increase their chances of winning by sharing with friends and family. By posting participation in the sweepstakes on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, contestants will receive an extra entry for each person, up to 25 people, that enter. 

“MapQuest has always been about getting people where they need to go,” said Christian Dwyer, General Manager of MapQuest. “With the holidays fast approaching, what better way to say thank you than by giving away gas for a year. We hope you are one of the lucky 31 to win so there is one less thing to consider for your next road trip.”

About MapQuest : MapQuest provides Internet, mobile and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people research and discover: where is it, how I get there and what’s nearby. MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, reaching more than 47.0 million users in October 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix. MapQuest’s mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry devices. MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc, is based in Denver, Colorado.

*Assumes a consumer drives 12,000 miles/year (AAA); the car gets 23.1 miles to the gallon (AAA); gas is $2.35 regular gas/gallon (US Energy Information Administration).  All numbers based on 2009 averages.

Read more Road trip Tips:

Staycation Travel Tips with your Grandchildren

Tips for Planning Multigenerational Travel