Image from Globalroadtrips.com
You've seen the price of gasoline lately, and it is far too close to hitting records for comfort. The U.S. average rose to $3.892 yesterday, according to GasBuddy.com data, just 22-cents per gallon off the all time record high in 2008. With prices so high, many vacationers are having to look at closer or cheaper destinations this summer.

Sandy McCune, a stay-at-home mother of three from Kentucky, knows just too well the high price of gasoline means that she's looking at alternate options. "We were looking at going to Disney World in Orlando in June, but with the ridiculous cost of gasoline we're thinking about staying a bit closer to home and planning a vacation somewhere closer," she told me.

Asked if she knew of any fun attractions in her state, she said she really hadn't looked into it, "we wanted to get out of the region for the kids- it's more fun for them when they know they're far away." Indeed, the soaring cost of gasoline could mean a road trip will cost $20-$60 more each way, depending on how you get there. Even airline tickets are rising because of the rise of jet fuel costs.

Sandy says its not only the cost of the gasoline that's causing her to re-think things, its the psyche of high gasoline prices. "It really gets you down when you drive by a gas station every few minutes when I'm out running errands," she complained, "after a trip to the pump, my wallet may be only six bucks more drained than last year, but it feels a lot worse at the end of the month."

Sandy isn't alone. Gasoline demand, while difficult to gauge, is down considerably over past years. And while there are no exact figures, analysts agree that high gasoline prices mean more staycations, a term the media has used to describe taking a vacation in your area.

We plan on highlighting local destinations as we approach summer to give you an idea of what's fun to do- all in a short drive from home.