Summer Travel Poll: More Southern Californians Will Travel Than in 2011

More Southland residents than in 2011 are definitely planning at least one summer vacation this year, despite higher gas prices, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Fourth Annual Summer Travel Survey.
  • 70 percent of polled Southern Californians said they definitely plan at least one summer trip
  • 21 percent will definitely not travel this summer (48 percent of these cited high gas prices as a reason)
  • 9 percent are undecided
  • Last year: 67 percent had definite summer travel plans, 19 percent did not and 15 percent were undecided
Among those who are vacationing this summer, 41 percent said that high gas prices are affecting their travel plans very little or not at all.
“High gas prices obviously have more of an impact on consumers who are already dealing with other economic challenges, but we do see many travelers adjusting their budgets in some way,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “Travelers are more careful about how they spend their money and also expect a much greater value for their travel dollar.”
The top five summer destinations for Southern Californians, according to the poll:
1)      San Diego (22 percent)
2)      Las Vegas (21 percent)
3)      A national park in California (15 percent)
4)      Palm Springs (14 percent)
5)      San Francisco (13 percent)
The top ways that Southern California travelers are adjusting for high gas prices in their travel budgets include:
1)      Not taking as many trips (26 percent)
2)      Economizing on the vacation meal budget (22 percent)
3)      Picking a destination that allows a family/friends stay instead of a hotel (17 percent)
4)      Shorter vacation(s) (15 percent)
5)      Destination closer to home (15 percent)
The number of summer trips that Southern Californians plan to take this year compared to last year:
One trip: 36 percent (37 percent last year)
Two: 37 percent (40 percent last year)
Three: 22 percent (17 percent last year)
Four: 2 percent (4 percent last year)
Five or more: 3 percent (2 percent last year)
The top reasons that the 21 percent of non-travelers this summer are not taking a vacation:
1)      High gas prices (48 percent)
2)      Too many other expenses/bills (37 percent)
3)      Taking a leisure trip at another time of year (25 percent)
4)      Reduced household income (24 percent)
5)      Rising prices for travel (21 percent)
Survey details:
  • 535 Automobile Club of Southern California members were surveyed online by the Auto Club’s Marketing Research Department from May 17 to May 29, 2012.
  • Survey has a +/-4.2 percent margin of error
  • “Summer travel” was defined in the survey as a non-business trip in June, July or August of more than 50 miles one way from home and requiring at least one overnight stay.

Media Contacts

Marie Montgomery
(714) 885-2333