(Irving, TX) - From AAA Texas
Despite the continued pressure of high gas prices on Texans' budgets, a majority of Texas residents are planning to take at least one spring vacation this year, according to the fourth annual AAA Texas Spring Break Travel Poll.
Sixty-two percent of polled AAA Texas members indicated they had made at least one significant concession in their budget because of high gas prices, compared to 61 percent in 2012 and 51 percent in 2011.
But despite that financial pressure, 55 percent of those polled said they are planning at least one leisure trip in March or April - a 1 percent increase from last year's 54 percent who planned to travel and 7 percent lower than the 62 percent who planned to travel in 2011.
Among Texans who are traveling this spring, more are planning multiple trips than in 2012. Last year, 44 percent of those traveling planned to take two or more spring break trips, while this year, 49 percent will take multiple March and April trips, with 21 percent planning to take three or more trips.
"A majority of Texans continue to make travel a budget priority for them despite high gas prices," said Rhonda Wilson, AAA Texas Vice President, Branch Operations. "Gas prices have made some travel options more expensive, but there are some great last-minute values available with cruises and tours, at least for the month of April. Disney Cruises, for example, has some April availability on ships sailing out of Galveston."
Among those surveyed, members between the ages of 36 and 49 were the most likely to say their budgets are hurting from high gas prices (72 percent compared to 62 percent for all ages), and 53 percent of those surveyed in that age group are not planning any spring break trips, compared to 45 percent for all ages.
The most common ways that AAA Texas members are dealing with high gas prices include:
· Cutting back on unnecessary driving (59 percent)
· Spending less money eating out at restaurants (35 percent)
· Spending less money on entertainment (33 percent)
· Looking for discounts and specials on entertainment and travel (28 percent)
· Putting less money into savings (26 percent)
· Not taking a spring break trip (21 percent)
· Using a member discount program (21 percent)
· Spending less money on spring leisure trips (18 percent)
· Buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle in the last three years (17 percent)
Wilson advised those who will be traveling over spring break to budget for gasoline by using AAA's Fuel Cost Calculator at FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com. The calculator will estimate fuel costs based on the traveler's make and model of vehicle and the route they are traveling. Travelers can also shop online for the lowest gas prices in any area of the U.S. using the free AAA Mobile app for Android and iPhone, as well as the online version at AAA.com/TripTik.
The 2013 AAA Texas Spring Break poll was conducted from Feb. 25 to Feb. 28 and surveyed 509 AAA Texas members. It has a margin of error of /-4.3 percent.