In a recent national survey conducted by Orlando, Fla.-based Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, active travelers revealed that fully 53% say their travel plans would change if gasoline prices reach $3.50 per gallon.
Among them, 26% said they would “drive a shorter distance on vacation.” An additional 26% said they would “save money on other aspects of their vacation” while 15% said they would probably fly instead of drive to their destination.
But in some encouraging news for the travel industry, only 19% said they would actually cancel their trip.
The results were taken from a nationally projectable survey of adult leisure travelers who are planning to take a “drive vacation” with their personal automobile or rental car during the next six months.
Respondents were interviewed during the week of Sept. 12. Other highlights of the survey include:
• Respondents were planning to drive an average of 582 miles on their next drive vacation. Twenty-five percent were planning to drive a mid-sized sedan, 20% an SUV, 14% an economy car, 11% a pickup truck, and 10% a full-sized sedan. Five percent were planning to drive a recreational vehicle or pull a towable RV.
• One-third (33%) of respondents indicated their plans would change if gasoline were to reach $3.25 per gallon, and an additional 20% indicated the same at a price of $3.50 per gallon; only 14% indicated their plans would not change regardless of the price of gasoline.
• When asked about the price at which gasoline would cause them to cancel their drive vacation, 13% indicated they could cancel at $3.25 per gallon, an additional 13% stated $3.50 per gallon, another 8% cited $3.75 per gallon, and 20% stated $4.00 per gallon.
• Forty six percent of respondents indicated they expect the price of gasoline to decrease during the next six months; 35% expect it to increase, and 19% expect it to stay the same.
• When asked about the other activities in which they were less likely to participate as a result of rising gas prices, 56% said “dine out,” 47% said “go to the movies” or “buy electronics,” 41% said “buy clothes or buy gifts,” and 26% said “spend more of my budget for other ordinary living expenses.”