‘Tis the season of travel.
According to AAA, about 113 million people across the nation will be traveling for the holidays with Southern California making up many of those total travelers.
“The Auto Club projects 9.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles or more away from home from Friday, December 23 to Monday, January 2,” Southern California AAA Corporate Communications and Programs Manager, Doug Shupe, explained. “That’s a 4% increase from last year and down only 1% from 2019 Before the pandemic began.”
With travel hitting near pre-pandemic levels, Palm Springs International Airport is already getting prepared.
Airport officials say from Wednesday, December 21 through Monday, December 26, 15% more passengers are expected than in 2021.
PSP is planning for more than 35,000 people to walk through their gates with Friday the 23rd being the busiest with over 8,000 passengers expected to fly out that day.
AAA says there’s a reason for this year’s extended travel time.
“Travel time will be extended due to Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on Sundays” Shupe continued. “With hybrid work schedules, Auto Club travel advisors are seeing more people take long weekends to travel because they can return to work remotely at their destination and be more flexible with the days they depart and return.”
If you’re traveling by car, expect the heaviest travel traffic between Christmas and New Year’s Day as 8.1 million SoCal travelers will be hitting the road.
“AAA expects to come to the roadside rescue of 256,000 motorists over the year-end holiday travel period, usually because of dead batteries, flat tires and people getting locked out of their vehicles,” Shupe said. “To avoid breaking down make sure to inspect your vehicle ahead of your trip, you really want to check the tire tread and inflation levels, make sure the fluids are topped off, inspect your headlights, taillights and turn signals and make sure your battery has a good charge.”
PSP is saying parking may be scarce in the next few weeks.
Because of this, they have expanded parking by adding over 100 more spaces.
They are offering two parking options: the main parking lot in front of the terminal at $20 a day and the overflow shuttle lot (located on Kirk Douglas Way) at $18 a day.
The overflow lot will only be available to travelers parking overnight and paying with a credit card.
It will be open starting at 4:15 a.m. Monday and will remain open for parking until the last departure on Christmas Day.
They are asking travelers to still consider other forms of transportation and to arrive at the airport 2.5 hours before departure.