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Gas expected to drop to $2/gallon by the end of the year

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Hollywood can certainly turn a vacation into a pretty adventurous road trip, but instead of a drive to Wally World, many Arizonans will have to settle for the Grand Canyon, California beaches or perhaps Las Vegas, all of which are just a few hours away. 

If you're planning to head out of town, you'll need to fill up your gas tank. Just make sure you get the best price you can. That's what Keri Westphal of Phoenix tries to do.

"I usually go to Costco because they usually have the best deal I think, but I pay attention [to gas prices]," she said.

[ONLINE TOOL: Find cheap gas near you]

Other drivers, like John Thompson of Glendale, say it's too much of a hassle to shop around.

"Oh heck no," he said. "No way. I don't have time for that kind of stress."

But if you've seen pumps lately, chances are you've noticed a big drop in prices.

"Gas prices in Arizona have fallen for more than 35 consecutive days, and so that's a great run," Michelle Donati-Grayman AAA of Arizona said. Gas 78 cents less per gallon than this time last year and with people heading out for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, that's good news. 

"Last year when you were going to fill up for Labor Day, you were probably paying somewhere around $3.50 to $3.60 a gallon," Donati said. "This year that price is probably going to be below $2.70 per gallon on statewide average. Here in the Valley, [it will be] much lower than that."

And it looks like those prices may continue to drop.

"We could see prices hit $2 a gallon," Donati-Grayman said.  

That's great news for drivers.

"Ah, that would be awesome!" Westphal said happily. "We haven't seen those kind of prices in a long time."

Experts say it can happen. That's because the price of crude oil continues to fall. And as long as it drops, gas drops.

"Gas prices are certainly moving in the right direction," Donati-Grayman said. "We've seen even the price of crude oil fall below $40 a barrel, so that's huge, as well. We haven't seen the price of crude oil fall below $40 since 2009."

Nobody knows for sure when -- or if -- gas will drop to $2 a gallon, but it certainly looks optimistic according to Grayman-Donati. 

"Further relief is likely in sight," she said. "Simply put, market fundamentals are supporting that lower crude price. So, barring unforeseen circumstances, it looks like there is still some relief to be had at the pump for Arizona motorists, and really, motorists nationwide." 

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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