Fuel prices will not detour U.S. summer plans: poll

Tue May 17, 2011 10:35am EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - More Americans are planning to travel this summer but fewer will be making trips by car because of sky-high fuel prices, according to a new survey.

Eighty six percent of people questioned in the poll said they intended to get away, three percent more than last year, and an equal number, about 63 percent, plan to fly or drive.

"Time and time again we see that U.S. travelers are undeterred by outside influences when it comes to summer travel," Karen Drake, senior director of the travel website TripAdvisor, which conducted the poll, said in a statement.

"While rising gas prices will continue to keep Americans mindful of mileage, the vast majority intend to hit the road for leisure trips this summer."

Most Americans expect fuel prices will soar further and fewer will be getting behind the wheel this year to drive to their holiday destination.

But only five percent said it would detour their summer travel plans completely and 24 percent said the maximum distance for a road trip would be 200 miles.

Three-quarters of the 2,000 people questioned by the travel website think fuel prices will hit $4.50 per gallon, and 39 percent predict it will reach or exceed $5.00 per gallon.

For some $5.00 a gallon is the tipping point for a road trip.

For half of people a city holiday trumped a vacation at the beach, or a visit to a national park or scenic lake. New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. were the top national destinations.

Americans were also seeking active getaways. A third planned a hiking trip, 22 percent intended to do some water sports and a similar number said they would cycle, which is five percent more than last year.

Only 12 percent intended to take a camping trip, according to the poll.

 
<p>Tourists in Miami Beach, May 12, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>