SAN DIEGO - More than 5.4 million Californians and 3.4 million Southern California residents are expected to travel over Independence Day - an all-time record for the holiday, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Travel is expected to increase by 5.3 percent locally and statewide compared to the 2017 July Fourth holiday, according to AAA.
By The Numbers
It`s the fifth consecutive year of travel growth for the holiday, reflecting continued consumer confidence amid lower unemployment and increased discretionary income. A holiday trip is defined as one of 50 miles or more away from home between Tuesday, July 3 and Sunday, July 8.
Seventy-nine percent of travelers - 2.6 million from Southern California and 4.3 million statewide - are expected to travel by car to their destinations, a 4.7 percent increase from last year.
Air travel over July Fourth is expected to leap by 9.2 percent from last year`s holiday, with 435,000 from Southern California and 702,000 throughout the state projected to fly to their vacations. And 285,000 local residents and 461,000 statewide will travel by train, cruise, bus or other means during the holiday - 5.3 percent higher than last year.
Nationally, nearly 47 million travelers are expected to get away for the Fourth of July, with many expected to take advantage of the midweek holiday to travel on a longer vacation that includes the weekend before and/or the weekend after the holiday. That is also an all-time record for the holiday and a 5.3 percent increase from last year.
"Gas prices continue to hover near their highest levels since 2015 and Southern Californians are paying among the highest prices at the pump nationally, but that has not been enough of a negative factor to dampen enthusiasm for traveling," said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. "The strong growth in air travel is an especially positive sign that consumers are placing a high priority on vacations."
Americans will also be traveling to Southern California in big numbers for the Fourth - Anaheim is the second-most popular destination in the country over the holiday behind Orlando, according to AAA Travel.
For Southern Californians, a survey of Auto Club travel agents revealed the five most popular holiday travel destinations are:
1) San Diego
2) Las Vegas
3) San Francisco
4) Yosemite National Park
5) Grand Canyon