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Gas prices: What you need to know for a road trip this summer

June 12, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • If you want a road trip fueled by cheap gas, head to the South.
If you want a road trip fueled by cheap gas, head to the South. (Alex Brandon / Associated…)

Nothing says summer like jumping in the car and taking off for a week or even just a few days. So how much will gasoline prices crimp your impulse to travel? It depends on where you're going.

The good news is that last week gas prices continued to tumble in Southern California. As of Monday, AAA found the average price of a gallon of gas to be $4.12 in the L.A.-Long Beach area, $4.07 in Orange County, $4.10 in San Diego, $4.17 in Santa Barbara area, $4.09 in the Riverside-San Bernardino area, $4.15 in Bakersfield and $4.13 in Ventura.

The bad news is that gas prices in the West are highest in the nation. AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report shows prices from L.A. to Seattle are red hot -- meaning the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline runs from $3.75 to $4.47 as of Monday.

For the cheapest gas-fueled road trip, try the South. Average price for a gallon of regular gas as of Monday was $3.12 in South Carolina, $3.20 in Alabama, $3.21 in Mississippi and Tennessee, and $3.23 in Arkansas. Other average prices for a gallon of regular gas include $3.77 in New York, $3.60 in Washington, D.C., and $3.55 in Massachusetts.

But the high price of gas isn't really going to stop most folks from taking a road trip, according to a recent Yahoo! Travel survey. About 53% of 1,000 potential vacationers between 18 and 64 years old said they still planned to take the car on vacation this summer.

Wherever you go, snap a picture for us. Until Labor Day, we'll be accepting photographs to use in our Sept. 23 "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" issue of the L.A. Times Travel section. So dazzle us! Follow this link for more info or to upload photos, which must have been taken beginning in May of this year until that Sept. 3 deadline.

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