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Are road trips the cheapest way to plan your summer vacation?

Inflation won't stop travelers from their vacation plans, but are road trips still the best option?

TEXAS, USA — For years now, many people saved money by taking road trips instead of paying for expensive airfares.

But with the rising cost of gas and hotels, are road trips still a good deal anymore?

Gas is still around $5 a gallon in much of the country, meaning those summer road trips will cost a lot more this year.

But there are still some things you can do about it.

Doug Pletcher and his dog are taking a road trip in his 30-foot pull-behind camper. But with his truck guzzling diesel fuel, he's decided to shorten his trip.

"Seven miles to the gallon...$5.50 a gallon," Pletcher said.

Other travelers taking a break at this rest stop on I-75 told us gas prices have hit their travel plans, so they've had to cut costs elsewhere.

"It's a little tough," Robert Thompson said. "But we want to see family, so we are just biting the bullet."

High gas prices are just one reason why your summer road trip will be more expensive.

Once you get to your destination, you can expect to pay a lot more too.

Looking for a hotel? AAA says mid-range hotel prices are up more than 40 percent this year, with rates averaging $200 or more.

Maybe you want to rent a more fuel efficient car? Rentals now cost about $100 a day.

"If I'm going for a week, I'm paying $700-800 for a car, so it starts to get quite expensive," Paula Twidale, an expert with AAA said.

But while inflation won't stop people from traveling, Twidale excepts RVers to drive fewer miles than normal.

"So you're gonna probably see less people taking campers," Twidale said. "Keep in mind last year and the year before, campers were very popular because it was a way to kind of contain your environment.

AAA's best advice to save on your summer road trip? Pack food and book a suite with a kitchen.

If you're visiting an attraction like Disney, stay off the property. You should also look for member discounts like those offered by AAA.

You should also be sure to ask if there's a discount for paying in full. And lastly, don't wait.

"People cannot wait for that great deal they think is down the road," Twidale said.

So plan and book early, that way you don't waste your money.

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