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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -
Across Valley roadways, it wasn't your typical three-day weekend when people like Mary Lerner might have gone out of town.
"Well we would, if gas prices were cheaper, most definitely," Lerner said.
Paying the price at the pump is something people are getting increasingly frustrated with.
Right now across the U.S., prices are hovering around $4 a gallon.
Here in the Valley, it's no better.
The average price per gallon in Fresno is $3.92.
In Visalia, it's $3.96.
And in Merced, you'll pay $3.89.
"It's difficult if you have to commute to work. It's difficult if you're driving your kids to school everyday. It's just difficult in everyday life," Lerner said.
But before you pack up and move to another country, take a look at this.
The average gas price per gallon in Germany is $5.57.
In the U.K., it's $5.79.
In Brussels, it's even worse, at more than $10 a gallon.
Besides Israel, which pays about $8 a gallon, the rest of the Middle East pays very little for gas.
In Saudi Arabia, it's just 45 cents.
But the cheapest gas on the planet is in Caracas, Venezuela where you can get a gallon for just 11 cents.
"We do process a lot of our own oil. Still we import 60%. But a lot of the oil that is processed is our own oil and keeps the cost somewhat down," Henry Nishimoto, local economist, said.
But no matter where you live, prices look like they're on their way up.
"The way things happen at break-neck speed in the Middle East, two or three months is an eternity. If things keep going and the tensions keep building, I would expect to see probably $5, maybe $5.25 a gallon here," Nishimoto said.
It will be the driving force behind some big decisions for people like Mary Lerner.
"We pay more attention now to whether or not we're going to go out of town," Lerner said.
And compared to this time a year ago, gas prices are up about 12.5% when gas, on average, was $3.16 per gallon.
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