AAA: 5.7 million Californians heading out over Thanksgiving weekend

AAA on Thursday projected that more than 5.7 million Californians plan to travel 50 miles or more during next week’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

That represents a slight increase of 0.6 percent compared with last year’s figures.

“Lower gas prices and a higher level of consumer optimism have contributed to an increase in holiday excursions,” said AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris in a statement.

AAA predicted that nearly 5 million Golden State residents will travel by car over the four-day holiday weekend. AAA projected that more than 616,000 state holiday travelers will fly to their destinations and about 180,000 state residents will travel by other modes of transportation, including boats and trains.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover