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Summer travel? Check the air in your tires.

I like to travel. But I also value my comfort, my sanity, and my time. So my travel plans for this summer are to steer well clear of airports.

Earlier this week, the leading talk-radio station in Los Angeles broadcast live from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the run-up to Memorial Day weekend. Airport authorities warned that almost 800,000 travelers would arrive and depart between May 26 and May 29. That having been established, a long list of travel experts, including myself, were invited to weigh in with tips on surviving the summer travel crunch.

But all the warnings and all the advice really boiled down to a simple fact. As an LAX spokesperson put it: “Travelers will find LAX passenger terminals crowded and flights full with few empty seats.”

The same will be true at airports and onboard planes throughout the country’s air transport system.

There are steps travelers can take to mitigate the discomfort somewhat and reduce the chances of being inconvenienced by oversold flights. (I have a piece appearing in in the coming days on just that topic.) But the real solution, for me at least, is to avoid the problem altogether: Just don’t fly.

Accordingly, I’m checking my tires and topping off the oil in preparation for several summer road trips. From Los Angeles, it’s a two-hour drive to the wineries of Santa Barbara County to the north, or to San Diego to the south. San Francisco is a six-hour drive. Las Vegas is four hours away.

See you on the road.

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