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Heading out early, and coming back late

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Though the Automobile Club of Southern California, which also provided the 3.1 million total travelers figure, marks Los Angeles gasoline prices at $3.372 per gallon, drivers are out in droves. Filling up costs 92 cents more per gallon than the same time a year ago, but AAA expects 2.5 million people to drive this weekend. While that puts more wheels on the road, Auto Club spokesman Jeff Spring noted that this so-called “vacation creep” spreads the traditional stress on freeways across a wider time span. “It’s no longer a three-day holiday for people,” he said. “It’s a four-day weekend, or for some, it becomes a five-day vacation.” Those people took off Friday from Los Angeles International Airport, which spokeswoman Nancy Castles said should see 800,000 travelers this weekend alone. Short hauls to Las Vegas, San Francisco and Phoenix seemed particularly popular. According to the Good Sam Club, campgrounds expect up to 20 percent increase in visits from last year, and advance reservations have increased 7 percent in the same span. Even with run-ups at the pump bumping fuel bills up as much as $900 annually for recreational vehicle users, the Ventura-based group expects they’ll be out in force this weekend. Phones rang unanswered on Friday, office lights stayed dark, work got pushed aside or sped up as Gone Fishin’ signs – or a reasonable modern facsimile – arose to announce a holiday weekend begun early. Nearly 3.1 million Southern Californians headed out for a little relaxation for Memorial Day weekend. Many took off Thursday night; others postponed until today and planned to check back into reality Tuesday. “It’s the vacation creep, the time-off creep,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “We’re working very hard, but when we get a chance to play, we’re playing equally hard.” And plenty of them appear to have headed out early, which executive director Sue Bray chalked up as “a Southern California thing.” “Today’s families are more focused on family than jobs or careers,” Bray said. “We’re very time-impoverished, especially with both parents working. Thirty, 40 years ago, when there were more stay-at-home moms, vacation for Dad was just coming home from the office. Now, people want more quality family time.” [email protected] (818) 713-3738160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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