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Could High Gas Prices Change Your Summer Travel?

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It seems like yesterday that we watched gas prices go down. Those days are over. Demand is up, and so are the prices. And as summer vacation time rolls around, you may start staring at those gas signs while making your plans. Travel agents are paying attention, too.

"By the time you pay for gas to drive all the way through Texas, the largest part of the drive is through Texas," said Amy Hovorak, a travel consultant at Aggieland Travel in Bryan. "So really, the cost to fly isn't going to be that much more."

Now obviously, we don't know what the prices at the pump will be like this summer, but we decided to estimate and book a couple of trips, both flying and driving.

Our destination: sunny Orlando for five days this summer. First, we looked at a family of four going to Disneyworld, staying in an on-site hotel. The family car has a 15 gallon tank, gets 25 miles to the gallon, and would pay $2.15 cents per gallon.

If they chose to drive that car to Florida and stayed in a hotel going both ways, our estimates show they'd pay just over $1,800 for the trip. However, if that family chose to fly out of Houston, they'd look at a nearly $2,500 tab.

Now, compare that to a pair of people going on that same vacation. The numbers are a lot closer. To fly, the twosome would drop around $1,500. If they spent two days driving there, and two days coming back, they'd only save around $150.

"We'll figure out the driving time and the miles and they make the decision on whether they want to drive or fly," said Hovorak.

So if you're planning on heading out of the Twin Cities, it may be better to keep your car in the garage.