If you're traveling for Christmas, AAA has good news: gas prices are at the lowest they've been all year.

AAA says at $2.44 the national gas price average has set a new record low for 2018. This is nearly a nickel less than this time last December. AAA expects the national gas price average to fluctuate through the end of the month and possibly end the year as cheap as $2.40, which is good news for drivers.

On the other hand, prices are still higher than they were last year at this time. The current average for the Utica-Rome area is $2.74, up from an average of $2.60 at the same time last year.

To find the lowest prices on gas in your area, check with GasBuddy.com - today, they say the lowest price in Utica is at BJ's at $2.50 a gallon for regular unleaded.

AAA says there are steps you can take to get the most out of every gallon of gas and stay safe this winter:

Winter Fuel & Driving Tips

  • If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel. Also, parking your car in a garage will help it stay warm.
  • As a precaution, keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times. It helps to reduce condensation in the fuel system. It also helps ensure an adequate reserve of fuel to run the engine for heat should your car become disabled in a remote location.
  • Be sure to pack an emergency roadside kit in your car containing a mobile phone and car charger, first-aid kit, blankets, drinking water and snacks, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares, an ice scraper, jumper cables and a shovel.

[H/T AAA.com and CNYCentral.com]