May 24 (UPI) -- Memorial Day travelers will benefit from declining gas prices and many experts believe the price has already peaked for 2019.
The national average price of gasoline is $2.80 per gallon, including California where prices are more than $4 a gallon. Prices jumped 67 cents from New Year's Day to May 4 but have been dropping in the weeks since then. That's the second biggest price jump since 2011 when prices jumped 93 cents.
Nearly 75 percent of Americans plan to take a road trip this summer, which is up from last year.
GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan said the national average price is unlikely to go above $3 a gallon for the fifth straight calendar year. In 2018, prices peaked at $2.97. GasBuddy projected that Americans would spend $107 billion gas gas from June through August.
"It's another great year to hit the road," DeHaan told USA Today. "Gas prices remain affordable in most areas, unless you're in California. People are feeling really good about the economy. That's probably why motorists have such an appetite to hit the road this summer."
There are risks, though, with hurricane season approaching, which could put Gulf oil production at risk, and tensions with China and Iran also looming.
Refinery outages are to blame for rising prices in California.
"I think we end up cheaper as a nation, but that's not much consolation for people in California that are going to be paying considerably more," said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service.