AAA Survey Finds More Texans Calling Off Holiday Travel Plans

AAA says gasoline prices went up by just a penny over the last week. Drivers in Houston are paying an average of $3.22 for a gallon of regular. Today's prices are nearly .60¢ higher, compared to this time last year. That increase appears to be having some effect on holiday travel plans.

Every year, AAA asks Texans their travel plans for the holiday season. This year, the number of people who said they’re definitely not taking overnight trip at some point during the season went up from 31 to 34 percent.  Fewer people are undecided, while roughly the same number, 56 percent, say they will travel.

AAA’s Sarah Schimmer says there are several reasons people give for not heading out, and they all have to do with money:

“Too many other expenses, high gas prices, rising prices for travel, or other household expenses that are really taxing their budget.”

This survey looked only at overall holiday travel.  AAA is still working on individual forecasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Schimmer says while travel may be down for the entire six weeks, the association expects to see a slight uptick right around Thanksgiving and Christmas because of a pent-up urge to travel.

“People want to take trips in the winter months.  If they didn’t travel over summer, they’re definitely looking to travel in November and December, and that’s what we’re seeing reflected in these polls.”

Slightly more than half of Texans who are planning holiday trips will stay inside the state.  The other top destinations are California, Florida, and Louisiana.  Nearly two-thirds say they intend to spend $1,000 or less on their getaways, which is virtually unchanged from last year.


David Pitman

David Pitman

Host, Morning Edition

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