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Memorial Day Weekend Travel Expected to Rise This Year

An estimated 4.2 million Californians will take trips over the holiday weekend this year despite higher gas prices

The roads will be slightly more crowded this Memorial Day weekend and people will be paying a little extra to travel on them.

The California State Automobile Association estimates 4.2 million Californians will travel more than 50 miles this holiday weekend. That's a 1.5 percent increase from a year ago.

Of those leaving home, more than 3.5 million will drive, a 1.6 percent increase despite higher gasoline prices.

Another 390,000 are expected to fly, a decrease of 5.2 percent despite the fact air fares are down 7 percent compared to a year ago.

An estimated 265,000 will travel by other means, including train, bus and boat. That's a 1.9 percent increase.

CSAA officials estimate the average road trip will be about 750 miles long. A family of four is expected to pay an average of $800 for their weekend journey.

“High debt burdens, gasoline prices, and uncertainties regarding the strength of the current economic recovery have not deterred Californians from holiday travel,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “But many consumers intend to cut back on the distance they travel, as well on entertainment expenses, to compensate for reduced travel budgets."

Hotel costs are up 8 percent from a year ago. Gas prices are also higher.

In California, the average price right now for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is $4.34. That's up 20 cents from a year ago and 14 cents from a month ago, according to Triple A's gas price website.

In the East Bay, the average cost for regular unleaded is $4.33 a gallon. That's 29 cents higher than last year and 16 cents more than a month ago.

According to the site gasbuddy.com, the cheapest unleaded gas in Newark is listed at $4.19 at the Valero station off Thornton Avenue.

Are you planning to travel this holiday weekend? Tell us where and how you're getting there.

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