(LOS ANGELES, June 29, 2006) — This year?s Fourth of July travelers are expected to set a new record, with 3.54 million Southern Californians and 5.67 million statewide planning to take holiday trips, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. That?s a 1.4 percent increase over last year.
Gas prices are 65 to 75 cents higher than a year ago, but 79 percent of July Fourth travelers will drive to their destinations — 2.8 million Southern Californians and 4.48 million statewide. Another 587,000 Southern Californians — and 940,000 in the state — are expected to take plane trips over the holiday.
?Because of significantly higher gas prices, Southern Californians are more carefully budgeting and planning their trips,? said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. ?Travel tools like online maps, AAA TripTiks and AAA?s online Fuel Cost Calculator are increasingly popular with travelers, who want to make sure they get the most for their vacation budget by accurately calculating their gas costs and using the most direct routes.?
The top destinations for Southern Californians over this holiday, according to a survey of the Auto Club?s AAA Travel, are:
- Las Vegas
- Santa Barbara
- Orange County
- San Diego
About 40.7 million Americans are expected to take Fourth of July trips, a 1.2 percent increase from the 40.2 million who traveled last year. National and state travel projections are based on a survey of 1,300 adults conducted by the Travel Industry Association of America for AAA.
Trip planning tools and travel discount listings are available at the Auto Club?s Web site, aaa.com.
The Auto Club advises motorists to plan their routes by calling the California Highway Information Network at 1-800-427-7623 for interstate and state route lane closures and highway closures. The information is updated hourly.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest affiliate of the AAA, has been serving members since 1900. Today, the Auto Club?s members benefit by roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing and buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and highway and transportation safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club?s Web site at www.aaa.com.