AAA projects more than 42.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
A 4.9 percent increase over the 40.3 million people who traveled last year, with almost 5 million of those travelers to be from California alone.
Not since 2003 have Californians seen such a high number of Fourth of July travelers. Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday, the calendar will play a role in driving holiday travel volume as mid-week holidays expands the traditional five day travel to six days and provides the option of including weekend and two week days on either side of the actual holiday.
Air travel will increase by 9.8 percent, with more than 570,000 travelers in California are expected to take to the skies. More than 470, state residents plan to travel by other modes of public transportation, such as rail, buses and watercrafts. This represents an increase of over 10 percent when compared to travel figures from last year.
Following weeks of rising gas prices throughout California, pump prices have now turned the corner and started to fall in the Golden State. According to the latest reports from the AAA Insurance, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers, every metro area in Northern California has seen a drop in its average price over the past month.
California’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is at $4.10, down 11 cents since month’s AAA report in May. Among all 50 states, California has the fourth highest state average price for regular, unleaded gasoline. The state of Washington jumped ahead as the third highest state price. Hawaii is first and Alaska is the second. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorist can expect to pay an average price of $4.24, which is a 5 cent decrease. The national average price of $3.54 is down by 22 cents, which is 17 cents less than the national price on this date last year when it was $3.71. In Los Gatos, local gas prices run between $3.85 per gallon, unleaded to $4.29, premium.
You local Los Gatos AAA recommends that travelers plan ahead and plan accordingly. Here are a few tips to take into account before leaving for a trip:
- Consider having your car checked by an automotive technician before a long trip. An ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.
- Check the tires regularly for uneven or excessive tread wear. Make sure all items, including the spare, are inflated properly. Do at least one check BEFORE hitting the road, as tires hot from driving give inaccurate inflation readings.
- Check the coolant level and condition, making certain the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant is present.
- Check the level and condition of the engine oil. If driving under extreme conditions – such as very hot summer weather or pulling a heavy trailer – you may want to consider switching to an oil with higher viscosity. Check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.
- Look for worn, cracked, blistered or soft belts or hoses. Always perform this check with the engine off.
- Carry an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water.
- Don’t let the gas level get below one-quarter of a tank.
- Select your route on a map ahead of time and study it to know exactly where you’re going.
- Reserve all accommodations in advance.
- Lock your car when you leave it and keep valuables out of sight.
- Secure children and adults in safety seats, booster seats or seat belts as required by law.
- Bring books, games, or music for the ride, and a pillow so passengers can sleep.
- Bring information on your destination to make the most of your trip.
wishes you a safe and joyous Fourth of July!