Millions of Californians to travel this July 4th holiday weekend

Gas prices are up from this time last year and the concerns about employment, as well as the slow economy will keep some people closer to home this Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to AAA of Northern California. The organization reports 4.6 million Californians -- 2.3 percent fewer than last year -- plan to travel 50 miles or more from home to their holiday destination. “Travelers are definitely feeling the budgetary squeeze this year,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA spokesperson. “Although some Californians may be postponing their travel plans, many others are bucking the economic headwinds by opting for shorter vacations and by cutting back on travel expenditures in order to afford a weekend getaway.” Nationwide, the picture is the same with more than 39 million people planning to travel 50 miles or more this weekend, a 2.5 percent drop from the previous year. Of those planning to get away this weekend, AAA forecasts that:
  • More than 3.6 million people in the Golden State plan to drive, a 2.9 percent dip from this time last year.
  • Californians who plan to fly to their holiday destination will jump 1.7 percent to 541,000.
  • Bus, rail, boat and other forms of transportation will see 430,000 users this weekend. That's a 2.6 percent slide from 2010's July 4th weekend getaway plans.
Tipsy Tow If you plan to celebrate the nation's birthday in Northern California, Nevada Utah, and alcohol is involved, AAA's Tipsy Tow program will be there to help. The program provides free rides on a first come first served basis to intoxicated drivers, their vehicle and their friends, if there's room enough in the tow truck's cab. The service will be available from 6 p.m. Monday, July 4 to 6 a.m. Tuesday, July 5 to members and non-members alike. Rides are one-way only and will drop the driver off at his or her home, not another party spot. Simply call (800) 222-4357 or AAA-HELP and tell the operator you need a Tipsy Tow.
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