More than 5.1 million Californians will travel over the extended Independence Day weekend, part of a record-breaking blitz of 44.2 million Fourth of July travelers expected to be on the move nationwide, according to AAA.
The projected number of Golden State residents traveling 50 miles or more from their homes over the upcoming holiday is up 2.8 percent over last year.
“Fourth of July is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with 225,000 more Californians traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend,” said Mike Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California.
AAA projected that more than 4 million Californians will travel by motor vehicle. It noted that gasoline prices are slightly higher than they were at this time last year, and far below historical averages.
On Thursday, the AAA Fuel Gauge Report showed the average price of unleaded regular statewide at $2.98 a gallon, compared with $2.86 a year ago. From 2012 through 2014, the average was near or higher than $4 a gallon.
“The current economy’s strong employment, rising incomes and consumer confidence is helping to boost the number of planned getaways over the first official (holiday) weekend of the summer,” Blasky said. “This is great news for an already bustling summer travel season, as we also had record numbers for Memorial Day.”