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Gas prices cut into spring break travel, survey says

March 20, 2013|By Hugo Martin
(Bloomberg )

With average gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon, fewer Southern California residents say they plan to take a leisure trip over spring break, according to a survey by the Auto Club of Southern California.

The annual survey of Auto Club members found that 47% said they plan at least one leisure trip this spring break season, compared to 57% in 2012 and 55% in 2011.

High gasoline prices prompted 69% of those polled to say they made at least one significant cut to their budget, compared to 66% in 2012 and 61% in 2011.

Still, of those who said they plan to travel for spring break, slightly more plan to take multiple trips than last year.

Because of high fuel costs, Auto Club spokeswoman Marie Montgomery said it is possible that many travelers are taking shorter, less expensive trips this year instead of trading one longer, more expensive vacation.

The most common ways Auto Club members are dealing with high gas prices include cutting back on unnecessary driving (65%), spending less on eating at restaurants (44%), spending less on entertainment (37%) and putting less money into savings (35%), according to the survey of 485 Auto Club members.

A gallon of regular gasoline costs an average of $4.17 in the Los Angeles region, down from $4.38 a year ago and below the highest recorded average for the area of $4.70 in October 2012, according to the Auto Club.

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