It's a happy holiday season for many Southern Californians this year.

One of the main reasons is that low gas prices, with some stations offering a gallon for less than $2.40 (!), are putting more cash in your pocket. That, in turn, means record travel this season, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California (a.k.a. the AAA).

Airfares are down, too, says AAA, by about 7 percent. But it's the cost of auto fuel that's really rocking your world.

Where is the extra spending-money going?


Here are the top 5 destinations for Southern California travelers from Christmas to New Years 2014, says the club:

5. Anaheim. I know, right? But remember what's there. Oh yeah, Disneyland!

4. The Grand Canyon. You go, Griswolds. Just be quick about it.

3. San Diego. Ah, yes, the greatest city in the history of mankind, discovered by the Germans in 1904. Enjoy.

2. San Francisco. And you thought Bay Area summers were cold? Bundle up.

1. Las Vegas. Nothing says joy, love, peace and noel like bottle service, gambling, strip clubs and drinking on the street. Get lucky, people.

Now, back to all that disposable income.

The AAA says that holiday gas prices are the lowest they've been since 2009, “saving motorists $10 to $12 per typical fill-up.” 

And here's the real mind-blower here: More of you will travel out of town during this holiday season than during any other since 2001, according to the Auto Club and IHS Global Insight.

Seven-and-half million Southern California residents will get out of town between Dec. 23 and Jan. 4, a 3.2 percent increase compared to the same time last year, according to the AAA.

Eighty-nine percent of those folks are going by car, a 3.4 percent increase compared to 2013, the club says. Nearly 600,000 of you are flying, a .5 percent increase.

Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services, says this is the most-popular time of the year for holiday-based vacations:

This year, in addition to a new record number of travelers, we are also experiencing increased interest in getaways that allow families and friends to spend time together in a vacation destination.


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