BUSINESS

Labor Day travel numbers to jump to highest level since 2008

Labor Day travel among Southern Californians to increase 1.6% over last year

With gasoline prices falling below $4 per gallon, Southern Californians are expected to get out of town for the Labor Day weekend in the highest number since the holiday travel record was set in 2008.

More than 2.48 million Southern California residents are expected to take a trip over the weekend, a 1.6% increase over last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

It would mark the highest total number of travelers since 2008, when a record 3.2 million people from Southern California traveled for the holiday.

The freeways and boulevards should be crowded this weekend, with nearly 80% of local travelers -- or about 2 million vacationers -- planning to drive to their destinations, the Auto Club said.

"Even though Labor Day is a three-day weekend, it can often be a more affordable travel holiday than other peak times, such as Christmas and July Fourth," said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club's vice president for travel products and services.

The top destinations for Southern California travelers are expected to be San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, the Central Coast and the Grand Canyon.

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.85, down from $4.03 a month ago, according to the Auto Club.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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