SOURCE: AAA Northern New England

AAA Northern New England

March 23, 2011 05:28 ET

AAA Northern New England Travel Poll: Half Will Take Spring Break Vacation

Survey Also Reveals Concerns About Gas Prices

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - Spring break begins for many New England residents in the coming weeks, and half of those responding to a new AAA Northern New England poll say they will take at least one spring break trip this year.

The second annual AAA Northern New England Spring Break Poll also revealed that 40 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 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 36 percent will not take a spring trip. In 2010, 65 percent said they planned to travel in March or April, 10 percent were undecided and 25 percent said they would not take a trip.

Twenty-eight percent of surveyed Northern New England residents taking a spring trip are planning to travel to a destination within their state, compared to 20 percent last year.

"We've seen an overall uptick in travel interest and bookings from our members compared to 2009, particularly recently when we hosted our first AAA Travel Marketplace and it exceeded our expectations for attendance and travel reservations," said Steve Hewins, vice president of AAA Northern New England travel. "But even with increased popularity of 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. Twelve percent said $3 a gallon was the critical price point for them, while 23 percent said $3.50, 29 percent said $4 and nine percent said $5. Ten percent stated they didn't know what price would cause them to cut back severely on driving. The current average gas price is $3.58 in Maine, $3.48 in New Hampshire and $3.60 in Vermont.

Seventy 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 (83 percent)
  • Spending less on eating out at restaurants (56 percent)
  • Searching for discounts and specials on entertainment and travel (42 percent)
  • Spending less money on entertainment (36 percent)
  • Putting less money into savings (35 percent)
  • Not taking a spring vacation (32 percent)
  • Spending less money on upcoming spring vacation(s) (31 percent)
  • Using a member discount program such as AAA (22 percent)

The most popular cited method for saving money on this year's spring break travel is staying with friends or family instead of in a hotel (38 percent), followed by reducing the shopping/souvenir budget (32 percent), using an affinity discount program such as AAA to get cheaper hotel rates (31 percent), taking a road trip instead of a plane trip (27 percent), reducing the trip meal/snacks budget (26 percent), traveling domestically instead of internationally (26 percent), taking a shorter trip (35 percent), and staying at a less expensive hotel (21 percent).

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

Contact Information

    Pat Moody
    (207) 780-6919