Save Money on a PA Road Trip with an E-ZPass

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on January 13, 2021.

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This post was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

When we go on day trips from Pittsburgh, we're always conscious about two things- how much money we're spending and how long a particular trip will take.

This is especially true when we make our frequent visits to the Laurel Highlands. One of the quickest ways to the southern counties in this region is via the Pennsylvania Turnpike. And, road pros like us know the best way to keep cash in our pockets when using the Turnpike is to use our E-ZPass.

E-ZPass is a handy little device that’s easily preregistered, mounts on the inside of your car's windshield, and helps most drivers save anywhere from 43%-59%!

Seven Springs Savings

E-Z Pass for Savings on the Pennsylvania Turnpike

We recently took our E-ZPass out for a spin on a trip to Seven Springs in the Laurel Highlands to go skiing- one of our favorite destinations to explore in winter just outside of Pittsburgh. While we normally visit for a long weekend with a stay at the lodge, our visit at the start of the 2021 season was to get some socially distant skiing (read our full report of what the slopes are like in 2020-2021 at the previous link). We quite enjoyed being able to grab our skis and hit the slopes quickly.

The Turnpike was a clear choice for our journey. We were even able to check out the price of our tolls by using the Turnpike's online calculator ahead of our trip.

Skiing at Seven Springs
Skiing at Seven Springs

On our route, we entered the Turnpike at Pittsburgh (#57) and exited at Donegal (#91). This 34-mile one-way drive from our home would've cost us $10. But, thanks to E-ZPass, our toll was cut by more than half. We paid only $4.80 one-way. Saving just about $10 round trip is a nice little saving and that money can be put towards lift tickets or a snack in between hitting the slopes!

While we tend to spend our free time exploring southwestern Pennsylvania, E-ZPass can save you big if you are traveling to the other side of the state.

If you are traveling to Breezewood (#161), E-ZPass will save you more than $28 round-trip. Want to explore our state capitol? Traveling from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg (#242) with E-ZPass will save you nearly $46. Heading to the Philadelphia area? E-ZPass will save you $65 roundtrip from Pittsburgh to Valley Forge. So, the further you travel, the further you save.

Laurel Highlands from the Road

But beyond saving with E-ZPass, it’s important to note that using the Turnpike saves time. From downtown Pittsburgh, it takes roughly 65 minutes to reach Seven Springs via the Turnpike, depending on traffic. Not taking the Turnpike requires driving many miles on country roads and increases the driving time to over 90 minutes each way.

You may decide that driving an extra hour to avoid paying $10 isn’t worth it. But for us, it’s an easy value proposition. Avoid extra traffic, save money on tolls, and get extra time on the ski slopes at Seven Springs? That’s a win all around!

Pick Up an E-ZPass Today

Pennsylvania Turnpike Booth

Now that the Pennsylvania Turnpike has converted to All-Electronic Tolling, it’s the perfect time to pick up an E-ZPass. Not only will you save money, but you also won’t have to wait to get a bill in the mail after your trip to pay your toll. To become an E-ZPass customer, you can either enroll online or visit one of the stores listed on the Turnpike's website. Once you preregister by linking your account to your credit card, simply add a balance, mount your E-ZPass to your windshield, and off you go!

In fact, we have our E-ZPass set to auto-replenish. So, whenever our balance drops below $10, money is automatically added to our account.

This makes traveling to the Laurel Highlands quite easy and worry-free because we can pass through the Turnpike with ease. So, what are you waiting for? Become road pros like us and pick up your E-ZPass for a road trip today!

This article was sponsored by the PA Turnpike. Don’t forget to wear your mask when in public around people and keep your social distancing. All opinions are our own.

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