5.4M Southern Californians expected to hit the road this holiday season

Experts predict 37% fewer travelers in Southern California this holiday season, and that the majority of people going somewhere will hit the road.

Of the 5.7 million residents expected to travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, about 5.4 million will take a road trip, AAA’s Doug Shupe said.

Only 355,000 will fly, and around 35,000 are taking another mode of transportation, such as trains, according to AAA’s forecast.

The dip in travel comes as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate Southern California, where health experts fear holiday gatherings mean a new surge in cases by mid-January.

“For people who do choose to travel, who make that personal choice to travel, just make sure that you know what the risks are and minimize them,” Shupe said.

He advised people to bring sandwich bags so that they can use them while touching gas pumps and other public surfaces. Shupe also reminded people to bring enough face masks and hand sanitizers.

The spokesman said AAA is receiving a lot of inquiries about traveling in 2021, with many looking to plan trips in April, May and June.

“So there’s a lot of hope, and we know there’s going to be a lot of pent-up demand, people wanting to get out there and see all of the places that they haven’t been to,” Shupe said.

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