Travelers and commuters can expect the I-5, I-15, U.S. 101, SR 91 and other outbound freeways to be packed on Thursday and Friday with those headed to Memorial Day weekend getaways, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The top Memorial Day destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a survey of AAA Travel agents, are:
1) San Diego
2) Las Vegas
3) San Francisco
4) Central Coast
5) Grand Canyon
Also making a strong showing of popularity for the holiday weekend are national parks such as Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Zion and Yellowstone.
Gas prices moved up in the last couple of weeks to averages of more than $4 a gallon. To budget for vacation and save money on gas during Memorial Day and summer getaways, the Auto Club recommends:
- Check FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com before leaving to budget your drive trip with real-time gas price estimates based on the make, model and year of your vehicle.
- Before leaving, check your tire pressure when the tires are cold. Also inspect hoses, belts and fluid levels in your vehicle, or have them inspected by a trustworthy mechanic.
- Use FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com to check daily gas price averages for metropolitan areas around the U.S. and try to patronize gas stations below that average price. To find the lowest priced stations, use an online app like AAA’s TripTik Mobile.
- Travel during off-peak times to avoid congestion, which wastes fuel.
- Skip the drive-through when getting food for the road, which is likely to waste more gas than stopping and restarting the car. Parking also allows everyone to get out and stretch their legs.
- Drive gently, as if a raw egg was under your gas and brake pedals. Accelerating and braking gradually by anticipating traffic conditions will greatly improve your fuel economy.
Also, plan your route ahead of time and bring along a map in case you need to choose an alternate route. Motorists can call the California Highway Information Number at (800) 427-7623 for interstate and state route lane closures and highway closures. The information is updated hourly.
Editors note: Memorial Day Weekend travel statistics for both national and Southern California travel will be available at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 22 at news.aaa-calif.com. Auto Club spokespeople will be available for interviews at Auto Club headquarters, 2601 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, on Wednesday, May 22 after 10:30 a.m.