LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11 / AAA) - Americans are apparently feeling better about finances...that's why holiday travel is expected to hit record levels this weekend.
This year-end holiday travel season will set a new all-time record for the number of Southern California travelers because of favorable economic conditions, according to projections from the Automobile Club of Southern California. Nearly 8.2 million Southern California residents and 13.2 million statewide are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday period between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1 a 3.6 percent increase from the 2016 holiday.
The vast majority of Southern California travelers 7.2 million from Southern California and 11.7 million statewide, or 89 percent of all travelers will go by car to their destinations. That's a 3.5 percent increase from last year's Christmas-New Year's Day holiday.
Nationally, AAA projects 107 million travelers over the Christmas-New Year's Day holiday, topping last year's 104 million end-of-year travelers by 3.1 percent.
This marks the ninth consecutive year of growth for end-of-year holiday travel.
Nationally, Anaheim ranks as the No. 2 destination for travelers this holiday. Locally, the top five destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a poll of Auto Club travel agents, are:
The Auto Club recommends that holiday travelers try to leave early in the morning or immediately after the normal morning rush hour. Driving on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year's Day may also be less congested for travelers.