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Memorial Day travel: Many Southern Californians driving despite high gas prices

May 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many Southern Californians are hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend despite record-high gas prices.

AAA said 2.6 million Southland residents are expected to travel this weekend, with the majority of them going by car. Local gas prices have gone down in the last few weeks, but they are still higher than they were at this time last year.

For the holiday weekend, the average price for regular gas is $4.32 in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area and Ventura County; $4.29 in Orange County; and $4.30 in the Inland Empire.

Even with the higher gas prices, driving is still cheaper than flying to popular vacation spots. A survey of AAA travel agents shows the top travel destinations this holiday are: San Diego, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and the central coast.

Drivers are reminded that this is a maximum enforcement weekend, meaning extra law enforcement will be on the roadways looking for impaired drivers.

Local airports will be busy as well. Friday and Monday are expected to be the busiest travel days at Los Angeles International Airport this weekend. In all, more than 750,000 travelers are expected to pass through LAX - that's down 7 percent from last year. While those numbers are down, airport officials expect more than 19 million passengers this summer travel season. That's 4 percent higher than last year.

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