SOURCE: AAA New Mexico

June 25, 2008 09:53 ET

AAA New Mexico Survey: Despite Record Gas Prices, State Residents Still Plan Summer Vacations

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwire - June 25, 2008) - Despite record gas prices and concerns about the economy, a majority of AAA New Mexico members are planning to take at least the same amount of vacation trips this summer compared to last year, and more than eight out of ten members will make at least one out-of-town summer getaway, according to a new survey by AAA.

The survey showed that 55 percent of AAA New Mexico members plan to travel about the same amount this summer as last year, while 16 percent plan to take more trips than last year and 29 percent expect to take fewer trips.

"Our members love to travel, and they're finding ways to keep it in their budget despite the high gas prices," said Ana Gonzalez, AAA New Mexico regional manager. "Some may be taking shorter or less expensive trips, some are taking fewer trips and some are cutting back other expenses because vacations are important to them."

Seventy-seven percent of surveyed members stated that they expected to spend about the same amount or more on travel compared to last summer, while 23 percent said they expected to spend less. When asked why they expected to spend less, 73 percent of the latter group cited record gas prices as their primary reason.

Eighty-four percent of AAA New Mexico members surveyed said they plan to take at least one leisure trip this summer, while 16 percent are not planning any trips.

When asked where they will be taking their next summer trip, in-state destinations such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe were the most popular, followed by Colorado, California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Most travelers (56 percent) planned to drive to their next travel destination, while 34 percent planned to fly.

AAA New Mexico members stated that the destination was the most important factor in planning their next trip, followed by: cost, available entertainment/recreation activities, the ease of reaching the destination and the celebration of a special event.

Forty-three percent of summer travelers said they planned to spend more than $1,000 on their next summer trip, while 29 percent expected to spend between $500 and $1,000, and 28 percent planned to spend less than $500.

Regarding the length of their trips, nearly half of the surveyed summer travelers stated that their next trip will last between four and seven days, while 19 percent will take between one and two weeks on their next vacation and 24 percent will take trips of three days or less. Ten percent will spend more than two weeks on their next trip.

Most travelers said they plan to either travel with one other person (48 percent) or alone (23 percent) on their next leisure trip.

The AAA New Mexico survey was conducted via e-mail between May 13 and June 2, and polled more than 350 members. On the survey, a "trip" was defined as one with a distance at least 50 miles away from home and involving an overnight stay.

More information about summer travel deals -- and free maps and TourBook information for AAA New Mexico members -- is available at any of the four AAA New Mexico offices throughout the state, and online travel planning is available at www.AAA.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Dan Ronan
    (469) 583-7070 (cell)

    Rose Rougeau
    (713) 284-6552