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Here's when you should fill up your gas tank if you're leaving the Pittsburgh area going on vacation

Saving on gas for summer road trips
Saving on gas for summer road trips 03:10

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A major summer vacation expense is the money you spend on the gas you use to get to your destination.

Here are some ways you can save your vacation dollars.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Pittsburgh right now is $3.75 -- and if you're traveling, you can do better. 

The rule of thumb when it comes to gas is to do your homework. 

Patrick De Haan is the Head of Petroleum Analysis for Gas Buddy and he says he would fill up almost anywhere but Pittsburgh right now. 

De Haan says that if you're heading north, there are two stations on I-80 in a price war in Barkeyville at $3.09 per gallon, but in Grove City, gas is $3.89 per gallon. 

"So again, an 80 cent per gallon difference and about 30 miles," De Haan said. "It all depends on the route that you take."

If you're I-90 bound through Erie and beyond, you'll want to get to Irving, New York, where on the Indian reservation, gas is $2.97 per gallon. 

"But if you're not on the Indian Reservation, be careful because right outside of that, $3.55 per gallon," De Haan said.

Traveling east is certainly not cheap, but De Haan says there are some pockets of low gas prices in places like Breezewood. 

It's 20 cents more per gallon in the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas, but if you can get across the state line into New Jersey, you'll notice a big drop in prices.

Heading west from our area, cheaper gas isn't too far away. 

"When you just get into West Virginia, there is that snippet of West Virginia prices there," De Haan said. 

If you're heading south, a tank of gas should get you to Wytheville, Virginia where prices under $3.00 per gallon are abundant. 

Some of the cheapest prices heading south are in the Carolinas and De Haan says it's all about planning your fuel stops. 

De Haan suggests using apps like GasBuddy, Waze, Upside, or Google Maps to help you find the best price for gas along your route.

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