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 according to AAA, and they’ll find sky-high prices at the pumps.

After years of pandemic isolation, people are planning summer travel near pre-pandemic levels. But their wallets won’t take them that far. Nationally, gasoline prices are up more than 60% over 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 going?

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

Driving along historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, an iconic road trip that once helped cement American car culture, would have cost around $230 in 2019. Today, that money would only get you to Grants, New Mexico. While you would see the world’s largest ketchup bottle and the second largest rocking chair, you would stop before Petrified Forest National Park and the original McDonald’s Site and Museum.

Here’s how far you’d go on a 2019 budget along many of America’s top road trips.


In 2019this trip

costs about $230

Today$23

would only get you

at Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

costs about $230

Today$230

would only get you

at Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

costs about $230

Today$230 would be enough

bring you to Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

costs about $230

Today$230 would be enough

bring you to Grants, NM

In 2019this trip

costs about $230

Today$230 would be enough

bring you to Grants, NM

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

[A guide to your best summer vacation]

But gasoline prices vary widely across the country due to fuel supply, 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 increased by the state heavy gas tax and Environmental regulations. Another Reason, Kevin Slagle of the Western States Petroleum Association says Market Place, is that California is a “fuel island”. The state produces 30% of its oil needs and imports the remaining 70%. Without interstate pipelines, much of that comes from outside the United States — and at a high price.

At just over $4, gas prices in Oklahoma are kept low 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. Decreasing fuel supply and increasing demand are keeping prices up. The war in Ukraine is a key factor; Russia is the world’s largest oil exporter, and its invasion of Ukraine has left markets uncertain about future supplies.

Another reason why prices remain high is the willingness of drivers to pay them. Americans aren’t driving less, which puts a strain on every mile they drive. 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 the price of gas is a “major factor” in their summer vacation plans. The millions of people who will be traveling this holiday weekend are ready to pay the price to break out of 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 to fill up this weekend? According to data from the Energy Information Administration, gasoline costs even more along the highway. Experts say to shop around, which forces resorts to compete for business and will ultimately help drive prices down. 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 price of regular unleaded gasoline 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 the Environmental Protection Agency Automotive Trends Report. The geocoding and mileage of the route comes from TravelTime, with recourse to Mapbox for routes over 12 hours of driving. The national average daily price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is from Bloomberg. Driving directions are from the National Park Service.