If you're going somewhere this coming Fourth of July week, you'll have plenty of company.
The California State Automobile Association estimates 4.8 million Californians will travel out of town for the Independence Day holiday. That's a five percent increase over last year and the most Fourth of July travelers in the state since 2003.
Of those, 3.8 million will drive — a four percent increase over last year. Another 570,000 will fly — a 10 percent increase, and more than 470,000 will use other modes of transportation such as boats, buses or trains. That's another 10 percent hike.
“As summer begins, so does the appetite for travel,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “The determination to travel, while economizing, has been the common trend over the past several years. Lower gas prices are also spurring more people to travel.”
According to AAA's gas price survey, the average cost for a gallon of unleaded regular in California is now $3.81. A week ago, it was $3.96. Just a month ago it stood at $4.28.
In the Sacramento region, the average price is $3.74 a gallon. Last week, it was $3.89 and a month ago it was $4.21.
Some analysts say gas prices may start to rise again around July 4.
For more local commute and gas price information, be sure to check out the Fair Oaks Patch "Commute" section.