LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 19, 2007) - Thanksgiving trips to celebrate with family and friends will be more expensive this year with near-record gas prices, but the Automobile Club of Southern California is predicting that 3.07 million Southern Californians will travel over the four-day weekend -- a 1.3 percent increase over last year.

About 79 percent of local Thanksgiving travelers -- or 2.41 million people -- will go by car to their holiday destinations, which is 1.2 percent higher than last year. Another 432,000 Southland residents are expected to fly to their destinations, while 222,000 will take a cruise, train or bus.

"We're experiencing an unusual gas price spike late in the year that is coinciding with Thanksgiving travel," said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. "But since most trips during this holiday are to get together with family and friends, those travel plans will likely happen regardless of the high gas prices."

Statewide, 4.9 million people are expected to take holiday trips this weekend, also a 1.3 percent increase over last year. Of those, 3.86 million are expected to drive and 686,000 are projected to take air trips.

Nationally, a 1.5 percent overall increase in travel is expected, with 38.7 million Americans expected to take Thanksgiving trips.

Southern Californians will mainly stay close to home over Thanksgiving, although some are taking longer-distance trips because of the four-day weekend. The top five destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a survey of the Auto Club's AAA Travel agents, are:

1. Las Vegas
2. San Diego
3. Grand Canyon
4. San Francisco
5. Hawaii

Gas prices are expected to remain near or at record levels over the holiday, with many gas stations charging at or above $3.40 a gallon for regular unleaded locally. Holiday travelers can budget for gasoline costs for their trips by visiting www.AAA.com and clicking on "gas prices" to go to the AAA Fuel Cost Calculator. The calculator will provide estimates of gasoline costs based on real-time gasoline price averages and the vehicle's make, model and year.

Contact Information: CONTACT: Marie Montgomery Jeffrey Spring (714) 885-2333