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High gas prices cut into spring break travel, survey says

A survey of Auto Club of Southern California members finds 47% plan at least one leisure trip this spring break season, down from 57% in 2012.

March 21, 2013|By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
  • High gasoline prices prompted 69% of those polled by the Auto Club to say they made at least one significant cut to their budget, compared with 66% in 2012 and 61% in 2011.
High gasoline prices prompted 69% of those polled by the Auto Club to say… (Justin Sullivan, Getty…)

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 with 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 with 66% in 2012 and 61% in 2011.

But those who plan to travel for spring break are more likely this year to take multiple trips over the period. Because of high fuel costs, Auto Club spokeswoman Marie Montgomery said it's likely that many travelers are taking shorter, less expensive trips this year instead of a longer, more expensive vacation.

The most common ways that 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.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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