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Gas prices pinch Southland residents planning summer vacations

June 12, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • The Hotel del Coronado, open since 1888, is testament to San Diego's long vacation-land status.
The Hotel del Coronado, open since 1888, is testament to San Diego's… (Christopher Reynolds /…)

It’s off to San Diego, Las Vegas and other vacation spots this summer for Southland residents, slightly more of whom are planning getaways than last year.

Seven in 10 residents intend to take at least one trip this season, compared with 67% last year, according to the fourth annual survey from the Automobile Club of Southern California.

But the majority of Southlanders heading out for some fun said fuel prices will affect their plans.

Such travelers said they won’t be taking as many trips as they would like or will shrink their vacation meal budget, bunk with family and friends instead of at a hotel or visit a destination that’s closer to home.

"Travelers are more careful about how they spend their money and also expect a much greater value for their travel dollar,” said Filomena Andrea, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services, in a statement.

Gas prices, though slipping, are still high. Of the 21% of residents who told Auto Club researchers that they definitely won’t be traveling, nearly half blamed fuel cost as the main reason.

The rest said they have other expenses or bills to worry about, are going on vacation later in the year, are grappling with less household income or don’t want to suffer the rising cost of vacation.

Still, 3% of respondents said they plan to take five or more trips in the next three months. Recent reports show record demand for hotel rooms and more Americans using credit card rewards to cover their summer travel costs.

Popular spots for Southland vacationers include California national parks, Palm Springs and San Francisco.

RELATED:

Demand for hotel rooms is surging, study says

SoCal gas prices are falling, and should drop a lot more

More travelers to use credit card rewards this summer, survey says

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