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TODAY
updated 5/19/2005 10:27:50 AM ET 2005-05-19T14:27:50

Will this summer's travel plans become a pain in the pump? As part of an NBC News series looking at increasing gas prices, "Today" sent three families driving from L.A. to N.Y. in six days, using three different vehicles, for its "Today's Great American Gas Challenge." "Today" touches base with the families as they report back live about their experiences from that day's destination.

Family blogs
In addition to their appearances on "Today," the families are each keeping a web log, or blog, so you can follow their experiences as they drive across the country. "Today's Great American Gas Challenge" contestants are:

The Riley family (Redding, Calif.)
Vehicle: Lincoln Navigator (SUV; 15 mpg)

The Fowler family (Long Beach, Calif.)
Vehicle: Ford 500 (Midsize; 25 mpg)

The Pletcher family (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
Vehicle: Honda Civic Hybrid (Hybrid; 40 mpg)

Each family will try to maximize their gas mileage, and each will be on a budget to see how much money they'll have left for vacation activities after they pay at the pump. Check out their appearances on "Today" in each of these cities:

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