The Automobile Club of Southern California projects that
Labor Day travel will rise significantly this year.
Labor Day travel statewide and in Southern California is projected to be 6 percent higher than in 2012, according to the club.
The jump in travel is due to "increased affordability, consumer confidence and the importance that a vacation plays in people's lives," said Filomena Andre, the club's vice president for travel products and services, in a news release.
But Calvin and Kris Bates, a retired couple from Apple Valley, said they won't be going far during the three-day weekend.
"We're staying close to home," Kris Bates said. "We went out of town last weekend. We don't do holiday weekends now that we are retired."
Many High Desert residents said that they'll keep their travel limited to Southern California, saving longer trips for the winter holidays.
The top destinations for Southern Californians are San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, the central coast and the Grand Canyon, according to the Auto Club.
Steven Ryder of Hesperia said he's headed for Orange County.
"We're taking the kids to Disneyland and Newport Beach for one last vacation, and before the school year gets serious," Ryder said. "We'll stay with friends in Garden Grove, so that'll save some money."
Ryder said his family is planning a trip to Texas during Christmas.
The report said that travelers will benefit from gas prices that are about 25 cents a gallon lower than at this time last year.
Some 2.44 million Southern California travelers are expected to take trips over the holiday weekend. More than more than 1.93 million of those travelers are expected to drive to their destinations, an increase of 6.2 percent over the 1.82 million who traveled by car last year.
Southland air travelers are expected to increase by 4.4 percent to 320,000, compared to 306,000 last year. The number of travelers by all other modes, including bus, train, RV and cruise ship is expected to increase by 6.1 percent to 186,000, compared to 175,500 last year.
Laura Azevedo said her family will not be venturing out during the holiday weekend.
"We are not traveling for Labor Day, but the Wednesday after," Azevedo said. "We don't travel on holidays -- too hectic."
Californians and other West Coast residents will be spending an average of $622 on their upcoming Labor Day trips, below the national average of $804, according to the Auto Club.
More than 34 million Americans are projected to travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday period between Thursday and Monday, a 4.2 percent increase from last year's 32.7 million travelers.
Rene De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.
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