Pump Patrol: Lower Prices, Will They Stay?

JONESBORO-"I can remember when I first moved here getting 87 cents per gallon, but now almost three bucks per gallon no matter where you go is just rediculous," said Marty Harvey.

As we mark the first day of summer, travel enters its peak season.

But are gas prices having an affect on just how much people are taking to the wide open road?

"It's so expensive and I don't have that much money, which means I don't get to go to much places," said

"I can't go on vacation anymore. I lived down south so coming back here for summer or Christmas break is completley limited anytime I go anywhere," said Harvey.

If you take a look at a map provided by Gasbuddy.com, you can see gas prices on the West Coast are among the highest in the country, topping well over three dollars a gallon in some cities, but in region eight lighter greens show some relief as we approach the Fourth of July holiday.

To break it down, the National Average for Regular Unleaded is currently $2.98 per gallon, here in Region 8 we are sitting a little below that at $2.83 in Arkansas, $2.84 in Missouri, and $2.83 in Tennessee.

All three states are currently in the top ten for lowest gas prices in the country.

But will this trend continue as we draw closer to the Fourth of July travel season?

"It's going to depend upon whether the refineries can vamp up in anticipation of the increased demand associated with vacation travel, and also what's going to happen with imports of gasoline products," said Mike Wright of Triple A.

While it's unclear exactly what prices will do, if you take a look at this comparison from 2006 to 2007 you can see gas prices were almost the exact same this time one year ago, which probably won't have much of an affect on travel.

"If you look at the overall cost of a vacation and the cost of gas to get there, particularly if you compare the cost last year to the cost this year it's almost insignificant to the overall cost of the vacation," said Wright.

But experts say, it's really just a matter of waiting to see what the prices will do.

Useful Links:

Gas Buddy

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.