May 18, 2010 / 3:19 PM / 9 years ago

Economy won't ground families' holidays

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Most American families do not plan to let the recession ground their summer holiday plans and will spend about $1,000 per person on travel, according to a new poll.

More than half of 2,000 adults questioned in the American Express survey said they planned to take a family trip, while 26 percent were opting for a couples getaway and 10 percent intended to vacation with friends.

“The summer vacation, and particularly, the family vacation is alive and well this year,” said Audrey Hendley of American Express Travel.

“People are passionate about travel, and frequently we find that they would rather find creative ways to reduce the cost of their trip rather than do without it altogether.”

Although most families plan to travel, money is still a consideration. A family of four expects to spend about $4,000 but that figure jumps to $6,400 among the more affluent.

Nearly 90 percent of people intend to stay in the United States during their holiday. About six percent will head to the Caribbean, followed by five percent going to Canada and four percent traveling to Europe.

Eleven percent planned a staycation — visiting attractions near home, while seven percent were interested in an experiential vacation or a hiking trip. Only four percent were opting for an educational holiday.

To reduce the cost of the vacation, people were planning to drive rather than fly, will take shorter trips or spend less on excursions and activities.

Other strategies to cut costs included using reward points, traveling in the autumn, winter or spring and staying at less expensive hotels.

The majority of people also said they would stay in touch, mainly with family and friends, via their cellphone, the Internet or social media sites.

Only 14 percent intended to stay in touch with work.

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