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Memorial Day travel expected to drop slightly for SoCal residents [video chat]

May 22, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • The number of Southern Californians traveling by car for the Memorial Day holiday is expected to stay about the same as last year.
The number of Southern Californians traveling by car for the Memorial Day… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)

Are staycations coming back into fashion?

The number of Southern Californians expected to travel at least 50 miles for the Memorial Day weekend will drop about 2.1% compared with last year.

The annual forecast by the Auto Club of Southern California concluded that about 60,000 fewer Southern Californians will travel for the three-day weekend, compared with last year, with the biggest drop coming among air travelers.

Live chat: Join travel reporter Hugo Martin here at 3:30 Pacific

That will bring the total number of vacationers leaving home for the weekend to 2.53 million.

The number of Southern Californians traveling by air will drop 12.5%. The number of travelers by car, 2.17 million, should stay about the same as last year, the Auto Club said.

The Auto Club forecast is based on economic research by Colorado-based IHS Global Insight.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles and Long Beach metropolitan area has dropped about 9 cents in the past week to $4.08 but is up about 13 cents from a month ago, according to the Auto Club.

An earlier forecast by the travel website TripAdvisor.com offered a more optimistic outlook for weekend travel, predicting a 6% increase in travel throughout the U.S.

The TripAdvisor forecast, based on a survey of 1,200 U.S. residents, concluded that 53% of travelers will spend about the same for the holiday compared with last year, while 25% plan to spend more.

According to the TripAdvisor survey, the top destinations for U.S. travelers will be New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C.

For Southern California travelers, the Auto Club said the top vacation spots will be San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, the Central Coast and the Grand Canyon.

Join travel reporter Hugo Martin and columnist David Lazarus for a live chat about Memorial Day weekend travel at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

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