Woodward, Okla. —
IMPACT OF GAS PRICES ON TRAVEL
Gas prices don't seem to be as big of an issue this year, as they have been decreasing in recent days and, for much of the state, are comparable to last year's prices, Mai said.
"Gas prices are down in most of the country. And for the most part, Oklahoma is getting back to where we normally are this time of year," he said.
He even noted that the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is currently $3.39, which is only a couple of cents higher than last year's average at this same time.
However, there are some areas of the state, including Woodward, which continue to see higher prices.
"Woodward has an average that is persistently high," Mai said, noting "it's right up there with the most expensive prices in the state."
With an average of $3.61 a gallon earlier this week, he said that Woodward is "a full 22 cents above the state average."
"Still $3.61 is better than a week ago when the average was $3.69 and better than a month ago when it was $3.88 per gallon," he said. "But a year ago, the price average was $3.40, meaning Woodward is 21 cents above where it was a year ago."
So while gas prices might not be as much of a factor for travelers in other parts of the state, Mai said, "for folks in Woodward, it may cause them to think again if they're traveling by car this holiday."
However, he said there are ways that travelers can hunt for the lowest price, so that they can get the best deals when traveling.
For example, he said those in Woodward who may be planning to travel east for the 4th, may want to hold off on completely filling their tank until they get to Tulsa, where the average was only $3.23 per gallon on Wednesday.
"If they wait to fill up in Tulsa, they can save some money," Mai said.
Travelers can find a list of gas price averages online at fuelgaugereport.com, or they can go to AAA.com and click on the link at the bottom for "Fuel News & Tools," to access a fuel price finder, which will show them prices "station by station," he said. This will help them find the lowest price in their area, he said.
AAA.com's "Fuel News & Tools" also has a link to a fuel cost calculator which travelers can use "to calculate what your fuel expense will be from point A to point B based on your vehicle's specific make, model and year," Mai said.
The calculator uses information about your vehicle's fuel consumption ratio (miles per gallon) and the gas price averages in the areas where you'll be traveling to help estimate how much you'll have to pay for fuel, he said.