Fewer Southern Californians will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, the Auto Club estimates.

Fewer Southern Californians will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, the Auto Club estimates. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The Thanksgiving holiday could be a real turkey for Southern California's travel industry.

The number of Southern Californians traveling for the holiday is expected to drop 4% compared to last year, according to the annual estimate by the Auto Club of Southern California.

Of those who will travel, 86% will travel by car and 10% will travel by plane, with the balance taking trains, buses or boats, according to the Auto Club.

This year's travelers are also planning to spend about 6% less than last year--about $681 for families in the Pacific region of the country, the Auto Club said.

Blame the lower estimates on California's higher unemployment rates, tax rates and travel costs, the Auto Club said.

"Many of our members are opting to take leisure trips when they can get more value for their vacation dollar," said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club's vice president for travel.

The top destinations for Southern California travelers are San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, the Central Coast and the Grand Canyon.

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