Americans still not ready to splurge on summer vacation
ATLANTA (AP) – Last Memorial Day, Ronald Dolly spent the long weekend in Miami Beach with two friends. This year, the destination is the same, but the quarters are closer: 11 people, two cars, one hotel room.
“There are a lot of us, so it will be a lot cheaper,” Dolly, a student from the Atlanta area who studies health care management, said Friday. He figured the trip would work out to an average of less than $40 per person.
Welcome to another scaled-back summer of travel. More people will hit the road than did last year, but their budgets will be even tighter than in 2009, thanks to persistently high unemployment, stock markets in retreat and the fragile economy.
Auto club AAA says about 32.1 million Americans will travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, roughly 5 percent more than last year. Families will spend an average of $809, or $67 less than a year ago.
They’re knocking down the cost, travel agents say, by staying closer to home, choosing less-expensive modes of transportation or by picking destinations based on the best fares and lodging they can find.