San Diego Most Popular Choice in Southland As Experts Expect Big Jump in Travel for Thanksgiving – Times of San Diego

Expect holiday traffic in Southern California to be heavy as travelers hit the road for Thanksgiving. Photo courtesy California Highway Patrol

San Diego tops the list of the five favored destinations for Southern California Thanksgiving travelers, according to the Auto Club.

Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Santa Barbara/Central Coast follow.

Overall, Anaheim is expected to be the second-most popular holiday destination for travelers, thanks to Disneyland. Anaheim is second only to another Disney hub – Orlando, Fla.

Nationwide, the Auto Club is predicting this Thanksgiving will be the third busiest on record, with 53.4 million travelers.

That trails only the 56 million from 2019 and 53.7 million the year before.

Fox5 San Diego reported that San Diego International Airport expects a 20% uptick in travelers for the holiday. The two-week Thanksgiving travel period began Thursday and continues through Nov. 30.

Air travelers should:

  • Arrive early and check flight status. Plan to arrive at least two hours before boarding time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.
  • Be aware that COVID-19 tests are available on-site at the San Diego airport’s Terminal 2 West, 3835 N. Harbor Drive, provided by Carbon Health.
  • Wear a face covering at all times, as required by the federal government.

In addition, up to 2 million people are expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport.

LAX officials said they expect the Thanksgiving holiday travel period to be the airport’s busiest stretch of passenger traffic since early 2020, before the pandemic began.

The Auto Club of Southern California recently estimated that pandemic-weary Southern Californians will hit the roads and airways in large numbers for the Thanksgiving weekend, with about 4.4 million Southern California residents expected to travel.

The anticipated number of holiday travelers marks a 16% jump from last year.

According to the Auto Club, this year will be the second-busiest Thanksgiving travel volume on record for the region, just 3% below the 4.5 million people who traveled for Thanksgiving in 2019.

“This is a remarkable comeback for travel, especially considering that cruises and some other modes of transportation have only recently restarted,” Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services, said in a statement.

Of the 4.4 million anticipated Southern California travelers over Thanksgiving weekend, 3.8 million are expected to travel by car, while 494,000 will travel by air, and 79,000 will use some other means, such as a bus or cruise ship.

And a warning for those planning to drive through Los Angeles: According to the Auto Club, analysts from the transportation firm INRIX have determined that the afternoon and evening of Nov. 24 will be the busiest times for freeways.

The stretch of Interstate 5 between Colorado Street and Florence Avenue is predicted to see the heaviest congestion, with traffic volume at nearly five times the normal level.

– City News Service

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