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Consumers Seek Affordable Regional VacationsJuly 7, 2008 By: George Dooley
Travel search engine Kayak.com reports travelers’ summer vacation plans include vacations closer to home as well as affordable regional destinations. The late June survey found that more than 64 percent of respondents plan to be tourists in their home state or within a three-hour drive of their house.
Attractions appealing most to travelers looking to stay closer to home include beaches (29 percent), mountains (20 percent), national parks (15 percent) and lakes (13 percent). More than 60 percent of Kayak.com users had yet to book their summer vacations.
Many of Kayak.com's travelers plan to save money on summer vacation by traveling to a destination during the off-season or choosing a regional city with more affordable hotel and entertainment options. When asked what travelers are most willing to sacrifice to save money, more than 41 percent are willing to forgo bragging rights on the latest hot spot for a more affordable vacation at a regional destination This is followed by a limited selection of flights, hotels and entertainment available in the off-season (28 percent, and uncomfortable temperatures (12 percent). 68 percent will save money on a beach vacation by traveling during hurricane season, although almost half will opt for trip insurance to protect their investment.
"Kayak.com users work too hard all year to forgo their annual summer vacation," said Drew Patterson, Kayak.com vice president of marketing. "But with gas prices flirting with $4 per gallon, travelers are thinking about new destinations to ensure their families enjoy the trip. Regional cities offer affordable accommodations, good public transportation and free attractions. Kayak.com is seeing an increase in search queries for destinations such as Atlanta, Richmond, Austin and San Diego, and regional beaches that might have been overlooked for the Caribbean will be packed all summer according to hotel searches."
Another way Americans are saving money is by extending business trips for a few extra days of leisure, Kayak.com says. The survey found that approximately 46 percent use company-paid airfare and accommodations to explore destinations outside the boardroom with friends and family. 50 percent of respondents like to plan a trip around a festival or event to take advantage of affordable concerts, food and activities.