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Wednesday, November 22, 2023 12:28AM

Record number of Southern Californians are traveling this Thanksgiving

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A record number of Southern Californians are expected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Automobile Club of Southern California projects 4.6 million will be leaving town, a 3% increase from last year’s record and a 3.5% increase from 2019 – before the outbreak of COVID-19.

According to AAA, the top destination for locals will be Las Vegas. Rounding out the top five are San Diego, Santa Barbara/Central Coast, Grand Canyon and Mexico cruises and resorts.

Out of the 4.6 million traveling, about 3.9 million will get to their destination by driving while more than half a million will travel by plane.

For those hitting the road, there will be some relief at the pump. Gas prices are down about 30 cents a gallon compared to this time last year.

Travelers are advised to plan ahead as Wednesday morning and afternoon is expected to be the busiest time to drive, according to the transportation analytics firm INRIX.

“The most impacted drive on that afternoon and evening will be I-5 North between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, which is projected to take 88% longer than normal with a three-hour travel time,” according to AAA. “Other heavily impacted routes will be I-15 South between I-10 and San Diego on the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 26, and I-5 South between Bakersfield and Los Angeles on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 24.”

Nationwide, it is estimated that 55 million people will travel from Wednesday through Nov. 26.

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