LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Millions of Southern Californians will hit the road starting Thursday for the holiday travel season, which is expected to be up 4.8 percent from last year.

Holiday travel is up for a 10th straight year, and 8.7 million Southern Californians are expected to take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home during the travel period that starts Friday and ends Jan. 7. Most of those travelers – about 7.7 million – will going by car, but about 5.8 million people are expected to pass through LAX during the same time period.

Lower unemployment, higher wages and continued consumer confidence have all contributed to the steady increase in holiday travel, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The busiest travel days for flights are expected to be Saturday, Dec. 22, Sunday, Dec. 23, and Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Anyone driving this weekend was advised to give their trip plenty of time, as the increased freeway volume is expected to quadruple commute times. At LAX, the travel adage remains – arrive two hours early for a domestic flight, while international travelers should give themselves a three-hour cushion, especially on the three busiest travel days.

Travelers headed for LAX were urged to use Century Boulevard, enter on the lower/arrivals level and consider alternate transportation, to avoid the crush of cars expected this weekend.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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