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More families expected to travel this holiday weekend
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By plane, train, and automobile, more Californians will travel this Labor Day weekend than a year ago, according to a new travel survey from AAA Northern California.

More than 4 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more from their homes during this three-day weekend, up 11 percent from last year.

“Despite the continued mixed feelings regarding the economic recovery, a strong comeback in travel is anticipated for this holiday weekend,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “Compared to last year, fewer Californians are expected to pull back on discretionary spending, which will have a considerably positive impact on travel.”

AAA’s survey, conducted in partnership with Boston economic research and consulting firm IHS Global Insight, finds that most West Coast families will visit with friends and relatives this weekend. Other top leisure activities are touring, sightseeing, and dining out.

Most Californians will drive to their destination of choice this Labor Day weekend, with the average road trip 726 miles in length. More than 3.5 million Californians will take to the roads, up 11.6 percent from a year ago.

About 315,000 Californians are planning to travel by air, up 5.7 percent from last year, while 170,000 will travel by train, bus, or boat to vacation, up 7.9 percent from 2009.

Those who choose to fly will see airfares 9 percent higher than a year ago, with an average cost of $179 per ticket. Hotel rates at AAA Three Diamond lodgings should average $139 per night, according to AAA, while weekend car rentals should raise 7 percent to an average of $46.

All told, a West Coast family of four is expected to spend $1,016 over the weekend.

Nationwide, 34 million people will travel 50 miles or more this weekend, up 9.9 percent from 2009.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.