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Yahoo! Travel / Harris Interactive Release 2004 Summer U.S. Travel Forecast

Three out of four Americans plan to travel this summer, according to a recent survey conducted by Yahoo!(R) Travel and Harris Interactive. Additionally, the average amount summer vacationers plan to spend is $1,756 per household, including transportation costs, accommodations, food expenses and entertainment.
More Time with Family and Friends

While 75 percent of Americans indicate they plan to take a summer vacation this year, 14 percent are still undecided on how or where they will be spending it.
Overall, more respondents plan to spend their vacation at the beach (21%) and visiting family and friends (29%) this summer, rather than heading overseas (6%) or taking a cruise (5%).

Younger respondents (18-34) plan to spend summer vacations at the beach (26%), visiting a national park/in the wilderness (13%), or sightseeing in a city (17%) - the results show these destinations become less popular with age.

Adventurous or Playing it Safe?

The majority of Americans plan to go to more than one destination this summer (2.2 trips on average for those 18-34, compared to 1.6 for those 55 and older). When asked about the kind of vacation(s) travelers are planning this summer:
The majority of planned vacationers (61% overall) say they’re likely to return to a place they’ve visited previously.


However, Americans are open to new experiences with 41 percent of vacationers also likely to try a new destination. This likelihood is weakest among the oldest (55+) and youngest (18-34) age ranges (31% and 42%, respectively).


Opening Vacation Wallets

Among respondents who gave cost estimates, the average amount summer vacationers plan to spend is $1,756 per household (including transportation costs, accommodations, food expenses, entertainment, etc.).
The average amount to be spent on summer travel is fairly equal regardless of household size.

Those anticipating spending the highest amounts for summer travel are college graduates ($2,163) and respondents earning $75,000 per year or more ($2,359).

Men plan to spend more than women on summer vacation(s) this year ($1,983 average compared to $1,152).


Gas Prices and Road Trips

While gas prices ranked as the second strongest factor in making summer travel plans (34%), the primary form of planned summer vacation transportation is one’s own automobile (59%).

Americans aged 18-34 are less likely to drive their own cars (48%, compared to 62 % or more of their older counterparts) and more likely to fly (29%).

Other factors affecting travel this summer include the desire to save money (31%) and the desire to spend more time with friends and family (42%). Potential change in the U.S. economy (improvement or decline), and current world events/fears of terrorism (13% respectively) were also cited by Americans as factoring into summer vacation planning.


Harris Interactive Methodology

The Yahoo! Travel survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive(R), is based on responses from 2,245 U.S. adult consumers between May 10-12, 2004 and has a statistical precision of plus or minus four percentage points.