Rising gas prices take their toll on travel plans, even among the wealthiest Americans and businesses.
Rising gas prices are affecting the vacation plans of even the wealthiest Americans, and are also taking a toll on business travel, according to two new reports that illustrate the rippling out effects of higher fuel costs on the overall economy.
The national average price for regular gas crept up to $3.911 a gallon today, less than 20 cents shy of the $4.11 record set on July 17, 2008, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Eight states and the District of Columbia saw the price of a gallon of regular rise over $4 a gallon.
These increased fuel costs will have “some” or “great” impact on the vacation plans of even the wealthiest Americans, according to survey of 800 investors from a range of wealth levels conducted by Millionaire Corner in March. Thirty percent of households with $1 million or more in investable assets say gas prices will have some impact, and 6 percent feel they will have a significant impact.
Rising gas prices are having an even heavier impact on less affluent households, those with investable assets below $100,000, according to our research. Forty percent say rising gas prices have had some impact on their travel plans, while 20 percent report a great impact.
Despite rising gas prices, less than half of survey participants said they plan to increase their travel budgets this year, indicating that the increased costs will cut into spending on other aspects of their vacation.
“If travelers are spending more on gas, they are spending less on hotels, attractions, shopping and restaurants, which could have a negative impact on our overall economy,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, in a prepared statement.
Vacationers traveling by car said increased gas costs would cause them to take fewer trips (44 percent), spend less money on shopping (44 percent), spend less money at restaurants (36 percent) and spend less money on entertainment (35 percent), according to the association’s 2012 U.S. Travel Gas Price Survey of 2,500 American households conducted in March.
The association found that rising gas prices will have an impact on summer business travel, as well. More than one-fourth of businesses travelers said the increased costs would impact their business trips. Business travelers using a car are most likely to cut back at restaurants (28 percent), but 22 percent said they would spend less money on lodging. Nineteen percent said they would cut back on the number of trips and 17 percent said they would spend less money on entertainment.