A record 7.6 million Southern Californians will travel 50 miles or more between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3 — the largest number of holiday travelers this century.
That’s the forecast from the Automobile Club of Southern California, which is projecting a 1.3 percent increase over 2014.
Most of the travel will be by car thanks to significantly lower gas prices, but nearly 600,000 Southern California residents are expected to fly, and airports from San Diego to Burbank will be crowded.
Nationally, the American Automobile Association projects the number of travelers will top 100 million for the first time in the 21st century, increasing by 1.4 percent compared to last year’s Christmas-New Year holiday.
“Southern Californians are taking advantage of days off at work and school to see family, friends and new destinations,” said Filomena Andre, the auto club’s vice president for travel products and services. “For some, it’s their biggest trip of the year and one they have planned for a long time. We expect that lower gas prices will also spur some last-minute getaways to driving destinations.”
If you’re driving, don’t forget to check Caltran’s Quickmap of highway conditions at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.
If you’re flying, plan to arrive early at the airport — at least two hours ahead for domestic flights.
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