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Holiday Travel Expected to Rise

The Auto Club is projecting that 2.35 million residents of Southern California will hit the roads for Labor Day weekend.

About 2.35 million Southland residents are expected to travel during the upcoming Labor Day weekend, a 3.4 percent increase from last year, the Automobile Club of Southern California projected today.

Of the Southland travelers, 1.85 million are expected to drive to their destinations, a 3.6 percent jump from last year, when 1.79 million people took to the roads, according to the Auto Club. About 306,000 people are expected to fly, up 4.1 from last year.

"Travel interest and bookings have seen improvement compared with 2011," according to Filomena Andre, the Auto Club's vice president for travel products and services. "Although gas prices are expected to be higher this holiday weekend than during other Labor Day weekends, we anticipate this to have very little impact on holiday travel, because most people have planned their trips and made reservations before the dramatic rise in gas prices. And fuel costs typically represent a fairly small percentage of the overall trip budget."

Across the state, 3.79 million people are expected to travel for the holiday weekend, also a 3.4 percent jump from last year. Of those traveling, 2.99 million are expected to drive and 492,000 will fly, according to the Auto Club. More than 33 million Americans are projected to travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday period between Thursday and Monday.

The top destinations for Southland Labor Day travelers are expected to be San Diego, Las Vegas, the Central Coast, San Francisco and the Grand Canyon.

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