Gas prices might have reached their greatest level in two decades, but that will not impede the number of travelers hitting the road next week.
In fact, the Automobile Club of Southern California is calling this year’s vacation is going to be the lightest as 2007, with 3.87 million inhabitants expected to get away for the long weekend. That is up 3.6 percent over last year’s 3.74 million travelers.
The huge majority of local travelers — 3.3 million — will be driving to their destinations, a 3.5 percent increase from last year’s 3.2 million automotive travelers.
California gas prices have surged in the past two weeks, reaching their greatest levels. The Auto Club anticipates that they will remain above $3.20 on typical in most areas throughout the holiday season.
“gas prices started rising on Nov. 1 and most travelers had already made their plans and reservations by then, because Thanksgiving is a hectic vacation and hotel rooms and car rentals are in high demand,” said Marie Montgomery of the Auto Club. “San Diego gas prices now are about 45 cents per gallon higher than a year ago at that moment.”
The average cost per gallon on Friday of San Diego was
“That will cost drivers about $7 more to get a complete tank of gasoline,” Montgomery added. “It’s a large hike, but in contrast to resort rates and other traveling expenses, it’s not an overwhelming additional cost.”
Statewide, 6.26 million are estimated to travel over the Thanksgiving vacation, a 3.6 percent growth from this past year and also the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers because 2007.
The most popular destination for Southern California travelers is San Francisco. One of the travelers across the country, Anaheim is anticipated to be the second most popular destination due to interest in seeing Disneyland. Orlando is No. 1.
The Automobile Club is also calling heavy travel volumes, with 50.9 million Americans carrying a trip at least 50 miles away from home for the vacation, a 3.3 percent growth from 2016 and the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers because 2005.