Local travel is expected to increase slightly this Labor Day weekend, according to AAA Travel and the Automobile Club of Southern California. About 2.5 million Southland residents are estimated to take trips – a 1 percent increase over last year’s holiday.
About 86 percent of local travelers, or 2 million, are projected to drive to their destinations, also a 1 percent increase from last year. Air travelers are expected to increase by 1 percent, to 347,000 locally, while over 150,000 are estimated to be traveling by bus, train, cruise or other means.
Statewide, about 4 million travelers are expected to get away this holiday weekend, compared to 3.99 million last year – also a 1 percent increase. Of those, 3.2 million are estimated to drive – a 1 percent increase from 2014 – and 560,000 are expected to fly, with 240,000 going by other means.
“With Labor Day occurring on its latest possible date of Sept. 7, we were unlikely to see a huge increase in travel compared to last year because most schools will have been in session for at least a week,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “But dropping gas prices will give those who do travel some more flexibility in their getaway budgets.”
Nationally, according to AAA Travel, more than 35.5 million Americans are projected to travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday period between Thursday and Monday. That’s a 1 percent increase from last year’s 35.1 million travelers.
The top destinations for local Labor Day travelers, according to a survey of the Auto Club’s AAA Travel agents, are:
1) San Diego
2) Las Vegas
3) San Francisco
4) Central Coast
5) Grand Canyon
Gas prices have been continuing to fall throughout Southern California, with more stations posting prices below $3 a gallon. Average local prices are 25 to 30 cents per gallon lower than this time last year.
The Labor Day holiday forecast was conducted by IHS Global Insight on behalf of AAA. Historical travel data is provided by DK Shifflet, the world’s most comprehensive consumer travel measurement provider.