SOURCE: AAA Missouri

AAA Missouri

March 23, 2011 05:28 ET

AAA Missouri Poll: More Than Half Will Take Spring Break Vacations

Survey Also Reveals Concerns About Gas Prices

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - Spring break begins for many local residents in the coming weeks, and almost six out of 10 local consumers indicate they will take at least one spring trip, according to a new poll from AAA Missouri.

The second annual AAA Missouri Spring Break Poll also revealed that more than three in 10 of those who definitely plan to travel in March and April -- 36 percent -- will take two or more overnight leisure trips 50 miles or more away from home.

Fifty-seven percent of surveyed local residents said they plan to take at least one spring break trip this year, while 10 percent have not yet decided whether they will travel and 33 percent will not take a spring trip. In 2010, 66 percent said they planned to travel in March or April, 10 percent were undecided and 24 percent said they would not take a trip.

This year's primary method of spring break travel is almost unchanged from last year, according to the poll. Sixty-five percent plan to drive either using their own car or a rental, the same as last year, and 25 percent plan to fly, compared to 23 percent last year. 

Thirty-two percent of local residents taking a spring trip are planning to travel to a destination within the state, compared to 25 percent last year.

"We saw a strong start to 2011 in terms of members booking more tours and cruises with us, which is a continuation of the trend we saw in 2010," said Mike Right, vice president of public affairs for AAA Missouri. "Fortunately, even with the boom in travel, there are still sales on tours available for spring and summer and of course additional savings for AAA members."

The survey also asked local residents what gasoline price point would cause them to drastically reduce their driving. Nineteen percent said $3 a gallon was the critical price point for them, while 26 percent said $3.50 and 23 percent said $4. Eleven percent stated they didn't know what price would cause them to cut back severely on driving. The current average Missouri gas price is $3.37 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed indicated that gas prices have already affected their overall household budgets. The top actions that those surveyed have already taken in response to higher gas prices are:

  • Cutting back on unnecessary driving (78 percent)
  • Spending less on eating out at restaurants (50 percent)
  • Spending less money on entertainment (42 percent)
  • Searching for discounts and specials on entertainment and travel (37 percent)
  • Spending less money on upcoming spring vacation(s) (34 percent)
  • Putting less money into savings (32 percent)
  • Not taking a spring vacation (29 percent)
  • Using a member discount program such as AAA (23 percent)

The most popular cited method for saving money on this year's spring break travel is using an affinity discount program such as AAA to get cheaper hotel rates (36 percent of travelers), followed by taking a road trip instead of a plane trip (34 percent), staying with friends or family instead of in a hotel (31 percent), reducing the trip budget for meals/snacks (23 percent), traveling domestically instead of internationally (23 percent), and reducing the shopping/souvenir budget (21 percent).

The AAA Missouri Spring Break Travel Poll was taken online from Feb. 14 to Feb. 22 by nearly 350 AAA Missouri members and differences between 2011 and 2010 data were tested at a 95 percent confidence level. AAA Missouri surveys its members each quarter on travel plans and related topics.

Contact Information

    Mike Right
    (314) 523-7350 ext. 6300