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Southern Californians Celebrate Freedom To Travel This Independence Day Weekend

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Fourth of July travel weekend will break records for a third year in a row, according to travel experts.

The Automobile Club of Southern California says 3.5 million Southern Californians will hit the road or fly over the Independence Day holiday period, which starts Wednesday and ends Sunday. That's an expected increase of 3.9 percent locally and statewide over last year.

Continued consumer confidence, lower unemployment and more discretionary income continue to fuel the increase in holiday travel, which is defined as 50 miles or more away from home.

At LAX, about 2.9 million people are expected to pass through its gates over the 11-day holiday period through Monday, July 8. LAX officials advised travelers to check the latest traffic and to arrive with plenty of time to spare.

Orbitz Names LAX As Busiest Airport For 2011 Thanksgiving Travel
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Traffic comes to a stand still on the northbound and the southbound lanes of the Interstate 405 freeway near Los Angeles International Aiprort on November 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Orbitz named LAX as the nation's busiest airport for 2011 Thanksgiving travel. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Southern California's freeways will be extra heavy with holiday traffic Wednesday afternoon. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, holiday traffic will nearly triple travel times during the peak of the commute, which will be worst between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

AAA says Southern Californians are headed this year to Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle for Alaska cruises and local travel, and the Grand Canyon. Anaheim and Disneyland is expected to be the fifth most popular destination this year nationwide.

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