road trip 2It is no secret we love our cars. Most of the nation, especially Southern California residents, loves to head out on the highway. What better opportunity to take it all in than a long weekend? If you do decide to take a road trip, be prepared to have lots of company.

The Automobile Club of Southern California ( projects the biggest Memorial Day Weekend travel holiday since 2005 among SoCal residents. The motorist organization expects 2.89 million Southern Californians and 4.67 million statewide are expected to take a long weekend getaway – a 2.5 percent increase over the number of 2015 travelers.

It’s the largest number of Memorial Day travelers since the all-time record of 3.2 million in the Southland and 5.18 million statewide, which was set in 2005. The good news is Gas prices are expected to be more than $1.10 a gallon less at most local stations than a year ago at this time, when the ExxonMobil refinery explosion forced the Los Angeles-Long Beach average price over $4 a gallon.

The Auto Club offers the following tips for those heading out in vehicles this weekend:

-Travel during off-peak times to avoid congestion.

-Check your vehicle’s fluid levels, belts, hoses and tires.

-Pack plenty of fluids and activities for youngsters for long trips.

-Plan your route ahead of time and bringing along a map in case you need to choose an alternate route. While GPS services and smartphone apps are helpful, they may not always be operational or accurate.

-Take care with children by properly using safety belts and car seats, and accompanying them into the restroom during travel breaks.

-Choose a well-lit, populated area for rest stops when driving at night.

Have a safe drive!