Cailey Rizzo
May 04, 2018

If you're planning a road trip this summer, prepare to spend more than you have before.

Rising oil prices could make this summer one of the most expensive in the past few years for road trips. Crude oil prices are currently at their highest in three years, according to Associated Press. The current U.S. national average is $2.81 per gallon of regular gasoline. Last year, it was $2.39 per gallon.

Related: How to Have a Great Summer Vacation

AAA estimates that 13 percent of gas stations across the country are selling gas for $3 or more per gallon.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that this summer, gas prices will average around $2.74 per gallon. Higher prices will likely continue into the fall.

It’s important to keep current prices in perspective, though. Five years ago, the national average price for gas was $3.60 per gallon. Only three years ago, gas prices in California were over $4 per gallon.

Chris Sattlberger/Getty Images

For those attempting to save money on road trips, that could translate to a vacation closer to home or perhaps carpooling with friends. Or a third option is flying to a state with cheaper gas prices and renting a car there. Those on the west coast tend to pay more for gas while those in the east (particularly the southeast, in states like Georgia and Florida) will find lower prices at the pump.

Drivers planning on hitting the road this summer can check out Travel + Leisure’s step-by-step guide to planning the ultimate summer road trip.

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