Though two-thirds of Americans say they are planning a summer vacation this year, almost half of them report that their travel budget will be less than last year, according to (pdf) a survey by Harris Interactive.
The travel-planning intent research found that though concerns about the economy are prompting 40% of Americans to be less likely to travel for both business and leisure during the summer travel season (May – August), the survey found. More than one in three Americans (35%) said they are not planning on taking any leisure trips this summer, and 77% are anticipating that they will not travel on business in the next four months, the survey found.
However,? the economy is not necessarily causing consumers (and their employers) to scrap their summer travel plans completely. Nearly two out of three adults (65%) are planning a vacation this summer, including 17% who are anticipating making three or more trips.
Changing Leisure Travel Plans
According to the study, many travelers say the shaky economy means their 2009 summer vacation will look different than their 2008 summer getaway:
- 29% of adults plan on decreasing the number of leisure trips they make by car.
- 33% say they will take fewer plane trips for leisure.
- 34%? will cut the number of weekend trips they take.
- 35%? will reduce the duration of their vacation.
- 46% plan to reduce the amount of money they spend on vacation.
Those who are planning a trip this summer will spend an average of $1,629 on their travel this summer, Harris Interactive said. Among those who are planning on reducing the amount of money they spend:
- 60% are hoping to economize their leisure travel this summer by finding less expensive activities or meal options.
- 52% will seek out less expensive accommodations (52%).
- 50% will vacation closer to home (50%).
- 39% are hoping to reduce travel costs by staying with family and friends instead of at a hotel, by cooking their own meals instead of dining out or by driving instead of flying.
- 31% say they will share costs with other family members or friends.
Changing Business Travel Plans
Companies are also altering their employees’ summer travel plans because of economic conditions. More than one in five adults (22%) reports that their employer has reduced or eliminated all non-essential travel, and 15% work for companies that are encouraging the use of technology – such as teleconferencing and video conferencing – to reduce or eliminate travel.