Many plan to drive for the holidays
• Pack a cellular phone and car charger. Have emergency numbers available.
• If you become snowbound, stay with your vehicle. It is an excellent shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to find you.
• Stay focused. Avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone and adjusting the radio or other electronic devices.
Source: AAA Northern California
More Californians are expected to be on the roads for Christmas and New Year's than ever before, according to a travel survey conducted by AAA Northern California.
AAA predicts 11.7 million Californians will travel through the end of the year — a 1.8 percent increase from last year.
"For the fourth consecutive year, California has seen a slow to steady increase in travel volume," Cynthia Harris, spokeswoman for AAA Northern California, said in a statement. "This season we are experiencing the highest number of travelers as Californians kick-start the New Year with a holiday vacation."
Most of the travelers — an estimated 10 million — will be driving, up 1.4 percent over 2011, AAA reported.
"The air travel industry will also experience an increase of 4.4 percent this year as more than 950,000 Californians are expected to fly," AAA reported.
Another 398,000 state residents are expected to travel by boat, train or other forms of transportation. That is a sharp increase of 7.4 percent from last year.
Nationally, AAA projects that more than 93 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday festivities, up 1.6 percent from 2011.
"Family travel constitutes 32 percent of total travelers during the year-end holidays," AAA reported.
An average family of four will spend an average of $1,048 on their trips, which will be an average of about 838 miles.
While many travelers are expected to save by staying with friends or family, those who don't will find prices are up from 2011.
Lodging is expected to increase by 2 percent or more, and weekend car rental rates will be up as well, AAA reported.