Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Travel & Fuel Prices: Poll Shows Derailed Summer Plans

High gas prices -- combined with credit problems -- are prompting many of us to cut or downsize our summer travel plans. That's the word from a recent survey commissioned by TransUnion. Here's the overview from the news release:

"While the Memorial Day holiday usually sees Americans beginning to hit the road for well-deserved vacations, skyrocketing fuel prices and the uncertain economy are likely to make this a difficult summer travel season for many families.

TransUnion’s commissioned Zogby International to survey Americans about their summer vacation plans as well as their general philosophies toward financial planning.

*33 percent of all respondents say they will not go on vacation this summer.
*28 percent plan to spend less money than last year on summer vacation.
*21 percent say they plan to spend just as much money as last year on vacation
*13 percent say they will spend more.

Of those who say they will spend less or not go on vacation:

*72 percent cite concern about fuel costs as a reason.
*35 percent cite concern about credit card debt
*47 percent cite concern about other debt or financial obligations
*4 percent express concern about terrorism
*3 percent are worried about identity theft.

“It appears that given the economy, many consumers either can’t justify or feel they won’t be able to pay off the debt they’d incur to travel as they have in the past,” said Lucy Duni, vice president of Consumer Education for TransUnion’s “Since paying your bills on time and carrying low credit balances are critical components of managing your credit health for the long-term, the restraint consumers are showing is probably well advised.”

According to the survey, Americans are taking a long-term view of their finances.

*49 percent say the statement: “I’m a long hauler. I devise and adhere to long-term plans for my money” best represents their personal financial philosophy
*25 percent agree with the statement: “I’m a baby stepper. I set short-term plans and stick to them.”
*18 percent say they are best described as a finger crosser (getting by day-to-day and hoping for the best).
*2 percent characterize themselves as a dice roller (making risky moves in the hope of big returns). "


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