With this year’s Fourth of July holiday falling on a Thursday instead of Wednesday as it did last year, slightly fewer numbers of Southern Californians are expected to take holiday trips, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s holiday forecast. About 2.92 million Southland residents will travel over the holiday – a 0.7 percent decrease from last year.
Seventy-nine percent of Southern California travelers, or 2.32 million, are expected to drive to their holiday destinations – a decrease of one-half of one percent from last year’s 2.33 million car travelers. Another 343,000 are expected to go by air – an increase of three-tenths of one percent increase from 2011’s air travel number of 341,500.
Statewide, 4.7 million are expected to travel over the Independence Day holiday, also a decrease of seven-tenths of one percent from last year, with 3.73 million going by car and 551,000 going by air. In 2012, a total of 4.74 million Californians traveled during Fourth of July, with 3.75 million driving to their destinations and 549,000 flying.
Nationally, Fourth of July travel is expected to decline by 0.8 percent to 40.79 million from last year’s 41.1 million.
“Last year, travelers had a choice between including either the weekend before or the weekend after the Fourth of July as part of their holiday since it fell on a Wednesday, but this year, travelers are more likely to take Independence Day as a four-day holiday from Thursday through Sunday,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “Considering that the holiday travel period contains one fewer weekend than last year, Independence Day travel is looking fairly strong for 2013.”
According to a survey of AAA Travel agents, the top five destinations for Southern Californians this holiday are:
1) San Diego
2) San Francisco
3) Las Vegas
4) Grand Canyon
5) Central Coast
The top air destination for travelers is Hawaii.
Gas prices are likely to be about 20-30 cents per gallon higher for most travelers this holiday compared to 2012, with a recent spike pushing average prices well above $4 a gallon.
The July Fourth 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.