Record number of Californians to travel this holiday weekend
AAA predicts this Memorial Day holiday weekend will bring out the second highest number of travelers in the Golden State since 2005, and the highest increase since the recession of 2008.
The organization's travel survey projects that nearly 4.3 million Californians plan to travel at least 50 miles form home this holiday weekend, a 1.8 percent increase over last year's travel forecast.
“Reports indicate a slow and steady economic upturn, boosting consumer confidence and spending,” said Pablo O’Brien, V.P. Travel Products, AAA Northern California. “Californians are hitting the roads and planning their getaways for the official summer travel kick-off.”
Of the 4.3 million travelers in the state, more than 3.5 million will drive, a 1.4 percent jump from 2013; 400,000 plan to fly, a 2.4 percent climb above last year; and approximately 294,000 will travel by other modes of transportation, such as rail, bus and watercraft, a increase of 6.5 percent compared to 2013.
Nationwide, more 36 million people are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home this weekend, representing a1.5 percent increase compared to last year, AAA reported.
Warm weather road trip tips
Since Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, that means the weather may be warm to hot at home of your travel destination this holiday weekend. If that is the case, here are some tips to follow.
- Park in the shade when possible. On extremely hot days, the interior of your vehicle can reach 190 degrees. For perspective, a chicken should be cooked at 175 degrees.
- Do not leave children or pets unattended in a parked car.
- Protect your hands from a hot steering wheel by installing a fabric-based cover.
- Use a reflective sunshade to reduce heat by as much as 43 degrees, block damaging UV rays and preserve your car’s interior. The sun’s heat can cause fading, cracking and discoloration to your car’s interior.
- Before getting into your car, open the door and let it stand a bit to let the cabin air out.
- Check your tires for uneven and excessive tread wear. Make sure your tires, even the spare, are properly inflated.
- Before you start your car, when your engine is cool, look for cracked, worn and damaged hoses, belts.
- Check your antifreeze or coolant level and condition. Make sure you have and even 50 percent mixture of water and 50 percent coolant in your vehicle.
- Make sure your oil and lubricants are at the proper levels and in good condition. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations.
- Consider buying an emergency kit to keep in your car in case of a breakdown. The kit should contain a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, warning flares or reflective triangles, heavy gloves, coolant, water and a first-aid kit. Keep you cell phone charged and handy should you need to call for help.
- Keep water in the car for yourself and your passengers when driving in the heat.
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