Summer road trip? Our gas calculator can help you see your costs.

Nearly 35 million Americans are expected to hit the road Memorial Day weekend, and they’ll find sky-high prices at the pump.

After years of pandemic isolation, people are planning summer travel near pre-pandemic levels. But their wallets won’t take them nearly as far. Nationally, gas costs are up more than 60 percent compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2019, according to a Washington Post analysis of AAA data.

How much more should you expect to pay?

Where are you heading?

Enter more information about your trip above to see how much more it costs compared to Memorial Day weekend 2019.

Driving along the historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, an iconic road trip that once helped cement American car culture, would have cost about $230 in 2019. Today that money would only get you to Grants, New Mexico. While you’d see the world’s largest catsup bottle and second largest rocking chair, you’d stop short of the Petrified Forest National Park and the original McDonald’s site and museum. Here’s how far you’d make it on a 2019 budget on several of America’s top road trips.


In 2019this trip

cost about $230

Today$23

would only get you

to Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

cost about $230

Today$230

would only get you

to Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

cost about $230

Today$230 would only

get you to Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

cost about $230

Today$230 would only

get you to Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

cost about $230

Today$230 would only

get you to Grants, NM

The national average per gallon topped $4.60 on May 26 for the first time since AAA began recording prices in 2000. It is not the highest when adjusted for inflation, but it has risen from its low in the early days of the pandemic.

But gas prices vary significantly across the country because of fuel supplies, taxes and other factors with prices ranging from an average of $4.10 per gallon in Oklahoma to $6.07 in California.

In California the cost is driven up by the state’s heavy gasoline tax and environmental regulations. Another reason, Kevin Slagle of the Western States Petroleum Association told Market Place, is that California is a “fuel island.” The state produces 30 percent of its oil needs and imports the other 70 percent. Without interstate pipelines, much of that comes from outside the United States — and at a high price.

At just over $4, Oklahoma gas prices are kept down by low taxes and proximity to refineries.

Industry experts see little relief in sight as we head into summer, when gas prices are often higher. Lower fuel supply and greater demand are keeping prices up. The war in Ukraine is a key factor; Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil, and its invasion of Ukraine has left markets uncertain about future supply.

Another reason prices remain high is drivers’ willingness to pay them. Americans are not driving less, which puts a strain on every mile. Many have no choice in their commute, and for some, a road trip may be out of reach. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, 6 in 10 Americans say that gas prices are a “major factor” in their summer vacation plans. The millions who will travel this holiday weekend are ready to pay the price to emerge from their pandemic cocoon and hit the road.

[Stop speeding, get the junk out of your trunk, and other strategies to save money at the gas pump]

So where do you to fill up this weekend? According to data from the federal Energy Information Administration gas costs even more along the highway. Experts say to shop around, which forces stations to compete for business and will ultimately help lower prices. There are a handful of apps that can help you find the cheapest prices.

About this story

Cost comparisons between 2019 and 2022 use the average gasoline price of regular unleaded per gallon by state on May 23, 2019, the Thursday before Memorial Day in 2019, and May 26, 2022 from AAA. Mile per gallon is from the Environmental Protection Agency’s automotive trends report. Geocoding and route mileage is from TravelTime, with a fallback to Mapbox for routes over 12 hours driving time. Average national daily price for regular unleaded gallon of gas is from Bloomberg. Road trip routes are from the National Park Service.

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