No, I Won’t Stay at Home

Have high gas prices and other economic problems utterly stifled Americans’ yearning to go someplace for a summer vacation? There was certainty much talk of that in the spring, as people were planning (or declining to plan) for the summer. However, a Harris Poll, fielded in June but released just last week, suggests plenty of people have found the wherewithal to take a vacation anyhow.

Asked whether they’ve taken a summer vacation or still plan to do so, 50 percent of respondents answered affirmatively, while another 12 percent weren’t sure. Thirty-eight percent said they won’t be taking a vacation this summer. Forty-one percent said they’re taking only a domestic vacation, while 3 percent said they’re taking only an international trip and 6 percent said they’re doing both sorts.

Those who’ve taken a vacation this summer or still plan to do so were asked to say how much they’ll have spent on it. Twenty-seven percent put the figure at $500 or less, and the same number put it in the $500-1,000 range. Twenty percent said they’ll have spent $1,001-2,000, 19 percent said it’ll be $2,001-5,000 and 6 percent said they’ll have spent more than $5,000.

As for what these vacations will consist of, 49 percent of vacationers and prospective vacations cited “visit friends/family.” Thirty-three percent said their summer will include a beach vacation, and 29 percent cited a “scenic trip or visiting places of great beauty.” Twenty-one percent said they’ll have done “historical sightseeing,” matching the number citing a visit to a theme park.