Auto Club: Labor Day Travel Numbers Hold Steady


(LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28, 2006) – Nearly 3.1 million Southern Californians are expected to drive, fly or ride to holiday destinations this Labor Day weekend — a slight increase over the number that traveled last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Almost 80 percent of Southland travelers — or 2.44 million — will travel at least 50 miles by car to holiday destinations, while almost 497,000 Southern Californians will fly and 138,000 will take a cruise, bus or train trip, according to the Auto Club. The number of drivers is expected to increase by 1.1 percent over last Labor Day, while the number of air travelers is projected to decrease by 2.1 percent. Combining all modes of travel, this year’s overall number of Southland Labor Day travelers is predicted to increase by four-tenths of one percent compared to last year’s holiday, when 3.06 million Southlanders took trips.

“We’re seeing a small increase in car travel this year at least partly because air travel has become less affordable due to higher jet fuel costs,” said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. “While this year’s gas prices have taken a toll on many families’ vacation budgets, a driving trip is still a less expensive means to make a getaway.”

Statewide, 4.9 million are predicted to take trips this weekend, with 3.9 million going by car and 795,000 planning to fly — also a 0.4 percent increase over last year. Nationwide, 35.2 million Labor Day travelers are expected, which is a 1.2 percent increase from last year.

The top five destinations for Southern Californians this weekend, according to a survey of AAA Travel agents, are:

  • San Diego
  • Las Vegas
  • Central Coast ( Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo)
  • Grand Canyon
  • San Francisco

Those who will be flying to holiday destinations this weekend will have to deal with new security regulations banning most liquids and gels from carry-on baggage. The Auto Club advises air travelers to check the web site just before departure for any security rule updates, and to allow extra time ahead of the flight in case of security checkpoint delays.