Holiday travelers feel gas price pinch
BALA CYNWYD, Pa. - May 27, 2011 (WPVI) -- While gas prices are down 9 cents from a week ago, they are still about a dollar more per gallon this Memorial Day weekend than last. That is having an impact on travel plans.
AAA estimates 400,000 of us locally and 35 million nationally will travel this weekend. For many, the cost of gas is a factor. But its impact varies.
"No, it's not going to change anything. Because what alternative do you have, you know? We want to go to the beach, so we're going to the beach. We're headed to Long Beach Island at the Jersey Shore," said Kevin Baron of Virginia.
"We decided to take the Volkswagen instead of the Yukon. We're kind of squished in here, but it's still very comfortable and much more fuel efficient," said Jim Cavanaugh of Virginia.
Travelers say spending more on gasoline means they plan to spend less once they get to their destinations. That means less on shopping, less on dining out.
"People are going to spend a little bit less on the amenities, on the things related to their vacation. In 2010, they were estimating over $800 per trip. Now it's slightly under $700," said Jim Lardear of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
While car travel is expected to be about the same as last year, air travel is predicted to be up 11 percent this holiday weekend. Why? One theory is that the hotel industry, still smarting from recession-generated losses, is offering deep discounts this weekend.
"We're still coming out the recession. Travel's starting to creep back, but we're still seeing locations that want to attract vacationers offering deals on hotels, offering deals on meals, things like that," said Lardear.
delaware, gas prices, holidays, travel, local/state, john rawlins
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