AAA: Gas prices rise as summer travel off to hot start

Online Staff Report

AURORA, Ill. — The majority of Illinois residents (75 percent) plan to kick-start the summer travel season by taking at least one leisure trip of 50 miles or more requiring overnight accommodations during the next three months. Gasoline prices in Illinois are, on average, $3.91, with no relief expected soon. Yet, pump prices are not expected to have a negative effect on travel plans.

On the heels of the increases in Memorial Day travelers, this AAA data show a steady summer travel season in Illinois — a positive sign for the travel industry,” said AAA Chicago Spokesman Beth Mosher. “Although city destinations, beaches and international trips top 2014’s summer travel list, the majority of people haven’t finalized their vacation plans.

Travelers who wait until the last minute to book their hotel, rental car or airline ticket can expect to pay more than if they book weeks in advance,” Mosher added. “Just as travel demand is expected to increase this summer, the cost to vacation could also rise if you do not have a plan.”

The majority of travelers (55 percent) plan to spend $1,500 or less on travel in the next three months. More than half (59 percent) will pay for a hotel during a summer vacation, while 30 percent will cut costs by staying with family and friends.

Although only 30 percent plan to rent a car this summer, nearly three in five Illinois travelers (59 percent) plan to drive at least five hours to get to their destination or for sightseeing. While not as popular as driving trips, 19 percent of Illinoisans plan to travel internationally this summer and 7 percent plan to take a cruise.

The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among residents living in Indiana from April 14 to 21, 2014. A total of 400 Indiana residents completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points. Overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18 and older) in Indiana.

Posted June 6, 2014

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