Nearly 2.9 million Southern California residents are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend — the largest number in more than a decade, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The top Memorial Day weekend destinations for Southern California travelers are expected to be San Diego, Grand Canyon National Park, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Yosemite National Park.
Statewide, the number of people traveling is expected to be about 4.67 million, according to the Auto Club. The figures are the largest since the record-setting year of 2005, when 3.2 million Southland residents and 5.18 million people statewide traveled for the holiday.
- Check the CalTrans highway conditions site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov before your drive
- Check san.org for flight status and security updates before heading to the airport
“The centennial of the National Park Service, new theme park attractions, cheaper gas prices and rising personal income are some of the reasons motivating an increase in travel this holiday,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel. “Also, some domestic airfares for the weekend are less expensive than in 2015, fueling an increase in air travel.”
Of the Southern California residents traveling, 2.45 million are expected to go by car, a 2.7 percent increase from last year. About 264,000 residents are expected to travel by plane, up 2.4 percent from 2015. About 176,000 will travel by recreational vehicle, cruise, bus or train.
Nationally, 38 million travelers are expected to travel, a 1.9 percent jump from last year’s 37.3 million. The bulk of travelers — nearly 34 million – – will go by car, while 2.58 million will go by plane.
Auto Club officials noted that gas prices are expected to be about $1.10 lower than they were during last year’s holiday.
Travel site Orbitz.com predicts that Los Angeles International will be the busiest airport in the country over the four-day weekend, as locals travel to destinations such as New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
San Diego International isn’t among the 10 busiest airports, but travelers should still prepare for crowds. With expected long Transportation Security Administration lines, travelers are advised to get to their designated terminals at least two hours before departure times for domestic flights and three hours for international ones.
City News Service contributed to this article.
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