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More Southern Californians to hit the road for Memorial Day: survey

May 21, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • During Memorial Day weekend, San Diego will be Southern Californians' top travel destination, according to an Auto Club survey.
During Memorial Day weekend, San Diego will be Southern Californians'… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

Southern Californians plan to travel in slightly bigger numbers during the coming Memorial Day weekend -- and most will do so by car, according to a survey by the Auto Club of Southern California.

About 2.6 million Southern California residents will take an overnight trip of at least 50 miles this weekend, a 1.6% increase from last year and nearly the same number as those who traveled in 2010, according to the survey released Monday.

Approximately 84% of those trips will be by car, an increase of 1.7% from 2011, while the number of people traveling by air is expected to drop by 5.1%, the survey found.

The travel trends for Southern Californians mirror those of all Californians and closely follow those of the nation. Across the country, 34.76 million Americans plan to travel at least 50 miles for the holiday weekend, a 1.2% increase, with 88% of the vacationers traveling by car, the Auto Club said.

"Even with gas prices above $4 a gallon, it's less expensive to drive than to fly for most Memorial Day destinations that provide great experiences for almost any budget," said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club's vice president for travel products and services.

The top Memorial Day holiday destinations for Southern Californians, in order of preference, are San Diego, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and the Central Coast, the survey found.

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