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Hotels look to lure guests with gas promotions

There's a lot that goes into planning a summer vacation, including the question of whether you can afford it. With gas prices near $4 a gallon, a summer road trip may be out of the question for some families.

To ease the blow, hotels across the country are trying to fill their rooms by offering to fill your tank - or just giving you cash back for staying.

"Early Show" Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen reported Rachael, Nick and Lily Amatuzzi never would have taken a trip to New York City if they hadn't gotten a great deal from their hotel.

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Thanks to a $75 gift card from the Crowne Plaza in Times Square, the family's trip by bus from Virginia was completely covered.

But the Crowne Plaza isn't the only hotel with deals. With gas prices high and families watching how they spend their money, thousands of hotels and more than 300 bed and breakfasts are now offering summer incentives, with many of them focusing on putting gas in customers' cars.

Joe McInerney, president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, told CBS News, "When you do a promotion and you want to take care of your guests, it has to be a two-way street -- that the customer gets value and the hotel gets a customer."

The Intercontinental Hotels Group is giving customers up to $300 this summer just for renting rooms on the weekend.

For the Amatuzzis, the thought of driving to New York City was out of the question.

Nick Amatuzzi said, "The total cost out there was a number we wanted to avoid if possible."

But a bus trip, paid for by the hotel, just sweetened the deal.

So how can you get a great deal on a hotel this summer?

Koeppen said deals for summer travel range from gas gift cards and free hotel nights to kids-eat-free and spa treatments. There are even deals rewarding people who carpool or take mass transportation.

Check out these promotions:

Marriott - Cleveland Beachwood "Ultimate Gas Card Package"

Hyatt - Summerfield Suites/Dallas/Lincoln Park "Gas Card Promotion"

Wyndham Garden Hotel - Columbus "Gas Card Promotion"

Wyndham - Virginia Beach Oceanfront "Gas Card Plus Dining Card Promotion"

Wisconsin Lodging Association

Hilton promotions