AAA Hawaii

March 22, 2010 13:01 ET

AAA Hawaii Spring Break Travel Poll: Consumers Plan Budget-Friendly Trips

Recession Continues to Affect Some Travelers' Plans

HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) -  Fifty-seven percent of Hawaii residents have planned at least one spring break overnight trip during March or April this year, and 29 percent of those travelers say they will spend less on spring break vacations than they did prior to the economic downturn, according to a new poll conducted by AAA Hawaii.

"The most popular dates for spring break travel have traditionally fallen during the week before and the week after Easter, which this year includes the period between this upcoming weekend and April 11," said Chris Olvera, AAA Hawaii acting manager. "But as school holidays and work schedules have changed, AAA travel agents find themselves booking spring break trips throughout the months of March and April."

A spring break trip was defined in the AAA poll as an overnight trip 50 miles or more away from home anytime during March or April.

According to the AAA poll, 71 percent of the state's spring break travelers plan to spend $1,000 or more on their getaways, and 64 percent will make their getaway out of state, while 18 percent plan to go to a gambling destination such as Las Vegas or another casino resort area. Ninety percent of travelers plan to fly to their spring break getaways.

Among the 30 percent of those polled who said they will definitely not take a spring break vacation, 54 percent cited the economic downturn as playing a role in their decision not to travel.

The first-ever AAA Hawaii spring break survey also revealed that travelers are seeking out ways to save money on travel and spring break activities such as visiting amusement parks and attractions, going to the movies, or taking in a live performance.

The top money-saving tactic for spring break activities among those polled was using specials and discount programs such as AAA. Fifty percent said they are saving money on spring break activities with discounts, and 31 percent said they are using discount programs like AAA to get cheaper hotel rates.

AAA Hawaii members get discounts on admission to several attractions such as Bishop Museum, Oahu Ghost Tours, Wet'n'Wild Hawaii, Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando, and LEGOLAND California.

Another 37 percent of travelers said they are saving money on their trips by redeeming frequent flyer miles or credit card points, and 35 percent said they are reducing their shopping/souvenir budgets to save money.

"Spring travel bookings have improved this year compared to last spring, but travelers are much more focused on getting the best value for their money," Olvera said. "There are a few last-minute travel deals left for spring, but the availability of last-minute travel is shrinking and generally speaking, travelers who plan ahead are the ones who can get the better deals."

More than half of those polled (61 percent) said they plan to spend the same or more on travel in the next 12 months as they have in the previous year.

Top activities for those who are taking a spring break vacation, according to the poll, are:

  • Sightseeing (52 percent)
  • Shopping (44 percent)
  • Visiting family (40 percent)
  • Visiting friends (37 percent)
  • Visiting an attraction (33 percent)
  • Hobby such as golf or skiing (18 percent)
  • Spa/relaxation (15 percent)
  • Maintaining a family tradition of traveling during the spring season (9 percent)

The spring break poll was conducted online by AAA Hawaii's Marketing Research Department from Feb. 22 to March 1 of this year, and 332 AAA Hawaii members responded to the survey. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.

Contact Information

    Marie Montgomery
    (714) 885-2333