Leading travel site TripAdvisor announced Tuesday the results of its annual summer travel survey of more than 1,800 U.S. respondents. Eighty-six percent of travelers are planning leisure trips this summer, up from 81 percent that traveled last summer.
A separate survey of more than 1,200 U.S. respondents showed that recently declining gas prices will not have an effect on leisure travel plans this summer, according to 86 percent of U.S. respondents. However, 10 percent now expect to take more trips by car this summer as a direct result of lower prices at the pumps.
It reveals more than a quarter of travelers surveyed (27 percent) said they will spend more on leisure summer travel than they did in 2011, while 47 percent plan to spend the same amount as last year, and 26 percent expect to spend less.
Also, 70 percent will stay at a hotel this summer, up three percent from 2011, 31 percent will stay at the home of family or friends, and 20 percent will spend their time in a vacation rental home.
Of those going on summer trips this year, 70 percent will be traveling by car and 64 percent will be taking to the skies. If it meant saving a bundle on airfare, 21 percent would be willing to drive more than 10 hours to their summer destination. And 79 percent would take a spontaneous trip this summer if they found a great deal.
The survey says that more than one-third of U.S. respondents (34 percent) plan to travel for Memorial Day weekend, up eight percent from 2011.
Of those traveling this Memorial Day, 70 percent will get there by car. Twenty-seven percent of those traveling by car will travel between 100 and 200 miles to their getaway spot, 19 percent will go 50-100 miles and 17 percent will drive more than 500 miles.
Travelers will enjoy some active recreation during their leisure travel this summer. Hiking is the most popular activity (31 percent), followed by water sports (25 percent) while 41 percent of respondents said while on vacation they plan to visit a historical site or landmark, 15 percent will attend a concert, and 12 percent will treat themselves to a food festival.
“The majority of U.S. travelers are committed to their leisure summer travel plans, whether gas prices are up or down,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Even if it takes cutting back on mileage and staying closer to home, the vast majority of Americans will take summer trips.”
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