SOURCE: AAA New Mexico

AAA New Mexico

March 23, 2011 05:28 ET

AAA New Mexico Travel Poll: More Than Half Will Take Spring Break Vacation

Survey Also Reveals Concerns About Gas Prices

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - Spring break begins for many New Mexicans in the coming weeks, and more than half of those responding to a new AAA New Mexico poll say they will take at least one spring break trip this year.

The second annual AAA New Mexico Spring Break Poll also revealed that 38 percent of those who plan to travel in March and/or April will take two or more spring overnight leisure trips 50 miles or more away from home.

Fifty-three percent of surveyed local residents said they plan to take at least one spring break trip this year, while 14 percent have not yet decided whether they will travel and 33 percent will not take a spring trip. In 2010, 67 percent said they planned to travel in March or April, 12 percent were undecided and 21 percent said they would not take a trip.

Thirty-one percent of surveyed New Mexicans taking a spring trip are planning to travel to a destination within the state, compared to 39 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 AAA New Mexico general manager Ana Gonzalez. "Fortunately, 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. Fifteen percent said $3 a gallon was the critical price point for them, while 25 percent said $3.50 and 26 percent said $4. Ten percent stated they didn't know what price would cause them to cut back severely on driving. The current average New Mexico gas price is $3.46 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Sixty 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 (76 percent)
  • Spending less on eating out at restaurants (57 percent)
  • Searching for discounts and specials on entertainment and travel (41 percent)
  • Spending less money on entertainment (39 percent)
  • Spending less money on upcoming spring vacation(s) (37 percent)
  • Using a member discount program such as AAA (31 percent)
  • Putting less money into savings (30 percent)
  • Not taking a spring vacation (29 percent)

The most popular cited method for saving money on this year's spring break travel is taking a road trip instead of a plane trip (41 percent), followed by taking a shorter trip (37 percent), reducing the shopping/souvenir budget (37 percent), choosing a trip destination closer to home (37 percent), using an affinity discount program such as AAA to get cheaper hotel rates (36 percent of travelers), sharing trip costs with family/friends (24 percent), staying with friends or family instead of in a hotel (22 percent), and staying at a less expensive hotel (22 percent).

The AAA New Mexico Spring Break Travel Poll was taken online from Feb. 14 to Feb. 22 by nearly 250 AAA New Mexico members and differences between 2011 and 2010 data were tested at a 95 percent confidence level. AAA New Mexico surveys its members each quarter on travel plans and related topics.

Contact Information

  • Dan Ronan
    (469) 221-8217