Roads will be slightly more crowded this Memorial Day weekend and people will be paying a little extra to travel on them, according to a recent study.
The Automobile Club of Southern California estimates 4.2 million Californians will travel more than 50 miles this holiday weekend — a 1.5 percent increase from a year ago.
Of those leaving home, more than 3.5 million will drive — a 1.6 percent increase despite higher gasoline prices.
Another 390,000 are expected to fly, which is a decrease of 5.2 percent despite the fact that air fares are down 7 percent compared to a year ago.
An estimated 265,000 will travel by other means, including train, bus and boat. That's a 1.9 percent increase.
Auto Club officials estimate the average road trip will be 750 miles long. A family of four is expected to pay an average of $800 for their weekend journey.
“Gas prices are fortunately decreasing by a penny a day or more right now, but we’re not yet seeing any stations with prices under $4 a gallon as was the case earlier this month,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. “Even though prices are higher than they’ve ever been for this holiday, we are seeing more activity for travel than during the recession years of 2008 and 2009.”
Hotel costs are up 8 percent from a year ago. Gas prices are also higher.
In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the average price as of May 24 is $4.332 per gallon, which is 7.3 cents less than last week, 13 cents higher than last month, and 21 cents higher than last year.
In San Diego, the price is $4.315, 5.4 cents below last week, 11 cents above last month, and 24 cents higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.369, down 5.1 cents from last week, 11 cents higher than a month ago, and 20 cents above last year.
In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $4.311, down 5.9 cents from last week, 12 cents higher than last month, and 23 cents more than last year.