Rising U.S. gasoline prices will probably prompt Americans to visit tourist sites closer to home and limit their itineraries, travel adviser AAA said.
Bloomberg reported that Mark Brown, executive vice president for the non-profit group with more than 53 million members, told a House Natural Resources Committee hearing that its members were making adjustments as gasoline approached $4 a gallon.
“Members are not canceling their vacation driving plans at this time, but may scale back the distances and the number of destinations,” Brown said in written testimony distributed before a Tuesday hearing in Washington.
Crude oil advanced more than 8% this year, and the average price for unleaded gasoline at the pump climbed about 19% to $3.90 a gallon yesterday (March 27), according to AAA data.
More than half of Americans who plan to travel by car this summer said further gasoline-price increases would make them take fewer trips or spend less on meals, shopping and entertainment, Gilliland said, citing data from the U.S. Travel Association.
The Woodall’s/AAA Official Campground Guides are now available, according to a press release.
“The new series combines the expertise of Woodall’s in RVing and family camping with expanded listings and travel content,” said Bill Wood, executive editor, AAA Publishing. “This series reinforces our commitment to providing AAA members with accurate, valuable travel information for all their travel planning needs.”
Seven co-branded regional guides are now available to members exclusively through AAA/CAA offices. The guides have a cover price of $10.95 each, but AAA members receive discounted pricing.
The Woodall’s/AAA guides list more than 14,000 private and public facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Listings contain details needed to select the right campground or RV park, including location information, rates, Woodall’s campground ratings, hookup availability, handicap accessibility, pet policies, Internet access and the availability of AAA member discounts. To assist with trip planning, the guides also offer state and province travel information including climate, time zones, local events, attractions and shopping.
For each privately owned campground/RV park listing, Woodall’s assigns two ratings — one for recreation and the other for facilities — both on a scale of one to five “W’s.” In general, a greater number of W’s indicates more extensive offerings and development. Other features include Woodall’s point-to-point “One Tank Trips,” green-friendly park listings and Extended Stay listings for places to park RVs for a month or season.
Despite continued worries about the economy, more Americans are expected to hit the highway this holiday season.
CNN reported that travel group AAA said Wednesday it expects 91.9 million Americans — about 30% of the population — to travel at least 50 miles from home during the 11-day year-end holiday season. That’s up 1.4% from a year ago and the second highest travel volume in the past ten years.
AAA defines the holiday season as Dec. 23 to Jan. 2. Peak travel volume was hit in the 2006-2007 holiday season, when 93.7 million people traveled.
“It’s a positive sign for the travel industry,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services, in a statement. “As our lives get busier, it is so important to create opportunities for the rest and rejuvenation that result from vacation travel and connecting with family and friends, especially during the holidays.”
The majority — about 91% — of travelers are expecting to hit the roads by automobile, a 2.1% increase from a year ago. That comes in face of high prices at the pump, with gas prices 29 cents higher than a year ago.
On the other hand, air travel is expected to decline slightly, in the wake of an anticipated 21% increase in holiday airfares over last year.
About 5.4 million travelers expect to fly during this year’s holiday period, a 9.7% decline from a year ago, AAA said. That makes this year’s air travel volume the seventh lowest in the past ten years.
AAA found that 59% of people expecting to travel over the holidays feel that the economy has either had no impact on their plans or that it has even improved their financial situation. The remaining 41% said they would be forced to limit their travel plans because of economic worries.
AAA says fewer Americans will travel over the Labor Day weekend than did a year ago because of the weak economy and higher airfares.
The auto club predicted Wednesday that 31.5 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Thursday, Sept. 1, and the holiday on Monday, Sept. 5, a decrease of 2.4%.
Most will travel by vehicle, but 8% will fly. AAA said air travel will decline because fares are 13% higher than a year ago. Airlines raised prices early this year to offset jet fuel costs and have held prices steady even as fuel has fallen since April.
• Rates at mid-quality hotels are expected to be 6 percent higher than a year ago, costing travelers about $148 per night.
• Weekend daily car rental rates are expected to be 7 percent lower than last Labor Day.
AAA based its forecast on research by Boston-based IHS Global Insight.
There will be fewer people on roads, beaches and airports to crowd Independence Day travelers, according to the latest travel forecast from AAA.
AAA is predicting a 2.5% decline in trips more than 50 miles from home during the July 4 travel period, which it defines as June 30-July 4. AAA believes about 39 million Americans will travel during the holiday weekend.
The predicted decline is a dramatic swing from the same time last year, when AAA forecast a 17.1% increase in July 4 travel.
Despite recent moderation in fuel prices, AAA attributes the change in travel plans to gas prices that are about $1 more per gallon more than a year ago. The organization says that, based on its survey conducted by IHS Global Insight, households with incomes of $50,000 or less will show the largest declines in holiday travel plans as fuel prices eat up a larger portion of their budgets.
Last year, households with incomes less than $50,000 accounted for 41% of all July 4 holiday trips; this year, the percentage is expected to be 33%. Households with incomes of more than $100,000 take up the slack, rising 9 percentage points this year to account for 35% of Independence Day travel.
The shift to a higher proportion of well-off travelers is likely responsible for the reported plans to increase holiday travel spending by about 25% over last year, to a median $807. AAA’s survey said higher spending is expected across the travel industry sector and is not attributable solely to higher fuel costs.
Fewer Americans plan to launch their summer season behind the wheel of an automobile this year, but a bump in air travel plans suggests that, overall, more people intend to get away from home this summer.
The high price of gas will deter some people from driving over Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff of summer in the United States, according to a national survey by AAA.
Forty percent of would-be travelers said that gas prices would have an impact on their vacation planning, although nine out of 10 who said they would be traveling planned to do so by car.
A minuscule uptick in the overall number of people who are making Memorial Day weekend travel plans was attributed to increases in air travel.
Last year, a 14% overall jump in the number of travelers was seen as an indication that the country was emerging from recession.
“This year, we expect to add slightly to that gain due to an increase in air travel and an improvement in the overall domestic economic picture,” said AAA President Robert L. Darbelnet.
As the airlines try to rebound from a dreadful profit year in 2010, there are worries that fuel costs could drive up ticket prices.
More Americans will hit the highways and airports over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but they’ll probably spend much less than last year, according to a study released Thursday by AAA.
The travel group said about 32.1 million people are expected to take trips during the final weekend in May. About 30.5 million Americans traveled during the same weekend last year, the Los Angeles Times reported. That’s about a 5.2% increase over last year.
Glen MacDonell, AAA’s travel services director, said the improving economy will convince more people to get out of the house this year. “AAA travel agents are reporting double-digit increases in the percentage of travelers making advanced bookings for tours and cruises, hotel bookings,” MacDonell said.
AAA’s forecast, which is based on research by IHS Global Insight, estimated that most people will travel by car, even though gasoline costs about 50 cents more per gallon than it did a year ago. Airlines will also see more leisure travelers, with 2.15 million people expected to fly during the weekend. Last year, 2.1 million people booked flights for leisure trips.
Travelers, however, will probably keep a tighter grip on their wallets this year. The auto club estimates median spending on travel at $809 this Memorial Day weekend. Last year, Americans reported spending about $1,052 for Memorial Day travel.
AAA added that air fares for the holiday weekend should be unchanged from last year. Car rental rates during the weekend are forecast to fall 15% from last year to $36.65 per day, and hotel rates are expected to drop slightly from last year as well.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects that 39.1 million travelers will take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home over the Sept. 5-7 Labor Day weekend. The numbers represent a decrease of 13.3% from Labor Day 2008, when travel was the highest this decade, at 45.1 million travelers.
The nonprofit AAA’s forecasting partner, IHS Global Insight, believes much of the decline in travel plans can be attributed to Labor Day falling late on the calendar. Labor Day this year is Sept. 7, when the school year is already two to three weeks into the fall session for most school kids, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
Last year, Labor Day fell on Sept. 1, allowing for a long weekend trip before a new school year started in most regions of the country.
In any case, analysts say upcoming holiday travel will be the third strongest for the Labor Day weekend this decade. The second busiest year was 2003, at 41.6 million travelers.
AAA expects the nationwide average price of gasoline to be approximately $2.60 per gallon – one dollar per gallon less than it was in 2008.
“Our forecast shows Labor Day travel will be up over this summer’s 4th of July holiday and that’s a positive sign,” AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet said.
Other Labor Day travel observations by AAA and IHS Global Insight:
- A greater share, 84%, of travelers will travel by auto.
- Four percent are expected to travel by air.
- Auto vacations will be taken by 32.9 million.
- Air trips will be taken by 1.5 million – the lowest number this decade.
- Traveling by other modes – which can include trains, cruises, buses, RVs, personal watercraft, motorcycles or trips that use multiple modes of travel – are expected to reach 4.8 million.
- The average amount spent is projected to be $968 and the average distance traveled will be 645 miles roundtrip.
To recognize its promotion of a voluntary carbon offset program, El Monte RV will be a featured AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah (AAA NCNU) Greenlight partner during the Auto Club’s annual Alternative Fuels Awareness Month in November.
The month-long initiative highlights the efforts of AAA Show Your Card & Save (SYCS) partners to promote alternative fuels and environmentally sound fuel consumption practices to their clients, according to a news release.
El Monte RV offers RV rental customers the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets. A carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions, a principal cause of global warming. El Monte RV works with TerraPass to purchase these carbon offsets. The reduction occurs as TerraPass uses the proceeds of carbon offset sales to fund carbon emissions reduction projects such as wind farms, methane gas reduction and others.
El Monte RV leads the industry in promoting “green” RV rental practices and is the first recreational vehicle rental firm to promote a carbon offset program. For more information on El Monte RV Rental’s green rv rental initiatives visit the El Monte RV Green RV’ing guide.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, El Monte RV is one of America’s leading motorhome and RV rental and sales companies, catering to both international and domestic travelers. The company has experienced rapid growth throughout the United States and is the only nationwide motorhome rental company to offer the larger Class A luxury vehicles for rent.
Nearly 11% of all Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home over the Memorial Day weekend, according to a recent AAA survey. The expected 32.4 million holiday weekend travelers nationwide represent a 1.5% increase from 2008, according to the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun.
AAA released the travel estimates this week. In a news release about the nationwide survey used to make the prediction, club officials described the slight increase in travelers as ” reversing a year-long trend of declines during major holiday travel periods.”
The increase in likely travelers comes despite significant gas price hikes over the past few weeks. However, gasoline still costs about $2 a gallon less this year than at this time a year ago.
Driving somewhere for the holiday remains the most popular transportation choice, according to AAA’s survey. About 83%of all those planning to travel plan to drive, which is an increase of 2.5% from last year.
Another 7% of those planning to travel will fly somewhere and about 10%will use some other form of transportation like a bus or train.