Travel experts said most people would travel at least 50 miles to get to their Labor Day weekend destination.
But it appears they didn't all go and return at the same time.
Traffic jams were mostly caused by accidents not volume on the 101 freeway through Santa Barbara.
One couple heading back to Newbury Park said they were slowed down by a flat tire, but they were back on the road before dinner time.
The American Automobile Associated estimated that 85 percent of the holiday weekend travels would go by car.
The association said traveling is usually a sign that drivers have confidence in the economy.
Airline travel was up an estimated 3 percent.