High Airfare, Gas Prices Prompt More Staycations

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Although Americans aren’t spending any less on vacation this summer, they are spending the money differently, according to a Harris Poll.

About 7 out of 10 plan to spend the same or more on vacation as they did last year. They are focusing on “staycations” at home due to high airfare and gas prices and instead are planning to visit local amusement attractions including water and theme parks.

The poll, conducted on behalf of Kalahari Resorts, reveals that 70% of Americans are planning a summer staycation. In addition, 69% plan to spend about the same or more money on getaways with their friends and families over last year.

For American families with kids in the household, 82% are planning a summer staycation. Of those respondents, 64% plan to enhance their getaway with a visit to a nearby amusement attraction.

These results indicate that despite high gas prices, American families are shaking off the lingering effects of the recession and many are planning to upgrade their staycation by spending money on simple perks that will improve their overall experience.

"We're glad to see that while consumers are still carefully considering their summer vacation plans in the current economy, most are choosing to spend a little more on destinations and activities that will bring families and friends closer together," said Kalahari spokesperson Travis Nelson in a release. "This survey shows that American families can still economize while creating quality, shared experiences and memories that will last a lifetime."

Other activities planned by families on their summer staycations include nearby festivals or concerts (46%), a local museum (41%), eating out more at restaurants (36%), spa treatments (20%) and golf outings (13%). Eleven percent have other planned activities and 6% do not plan to spend on activities that cost money.

Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio and Wisconsin Dells, Wis. are African-themed properties that are privately owned by the Nelson family and are home to indoor waterparks.

Data for the survey was collected online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kalahari Resorts from May 9-11 among 2,100 adults age 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. 

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