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With dipping gas prices, people still traveling regionally, but doing so more frequently

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

The price of oil dipped below $80 a barrel on Thursday, for the first time since October, bringing lower gas prices for the summer.

According to AAA, national gas prices are at about $3.50 a gallon, a 43 cent drop since when they peaked in April. However, the lower prices are not convincing all drivers to travel out of state. Some say they're still traveling locally or regionally, but doing so more frequently.

"I have a daughter that lives in Sackets Harbor and I have three grand children up there that I love to travel to see," says Laurie Helmer of Poland. "We like to travel up to Alex Bay as well, so maybe we can make a couple more trips up there also."

Drivers are traveling close to home, but are not eliminating crossing states if the low prices remain.

"My daughter and I like to travel to Florida sometimes, maybe in the fall if they stay," says Helmer.

"I've always wanted to go to Maine, so with gas prices a little lower, it would definitely make me want to travel a little further out," says Heather Delia of Deerfield.

However, some drivers won't let any high or low gas price affect their summer plans.

"Not really. It helps a little with the extra money, but I'm still going to go anywhere I want to go," says Tim McLaughlin of Bleeker.

AAA expects the gas prices to continue to drop throughout the summer to even as low as $3.25 a gallon, and then level off heading into the fall.

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