As oil demand, Russian military actions, and economic restrictions overseas due to lingering Covid-19 complications continue to have global repercussions, American petroleum consumers can expect to see rising fuel costs continue into the spring and summer of 2023.

The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in Idaho is currently $3.45, according to American Automobile Association numbers. The most expensive region of the state presently is in the southern portion of the panhandle, where the average is close to $3.60 per gallon.

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Southern Idaho pump prices started the new year at an average of $3.40, according to AAA. Many in the state remember last June when the average cost of a gallon was $4.96. Only time will tell if Idaho drivers will be subjected to similar costs in 2023 in roughly 16 weeks.

Despite the crippling costs of gas in the United States over the 2022 Fourth of July holiday, more than 140 million Americans took to roadways for vacations and family visits, according to data from The Vacationer. Prices in Idaho are expected to hit that familiar mark of $4 a gallon once again by late March, according to current trends.

National analysts who study rising gasoline costs in the U.S. say considering downsizing to a more fuel-efficient, smaller vehicle could help in the long run. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compiles an annual list of the top fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.

Staycations will no doubt be popular again this summer as people will likely forego longer road trips for outings closer to home. Those with travel trailers can also scout out lakes never before visited within a 30 to 50 miles radius of home to save a little at the pump as well. It's worked for my family, and we rather enjoyed spending evenings at new locations in 2022.

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

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LOOK: Here are the best small towns to live in across America

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