The higher cost of gasoline has created increased financial strain for New York State drivers. According to this NY1/YNN-Marist Poll, 78% of New Yorkers with gasoline expenses report the increased cost has put, at least, a moderate amount of strain on their family budget. This includes 36% who say it has added a great deal of strain and 42% who feel a moderate amount of financial stress. 12% report gas prices have not added very much strain to their personal finances while 10% say it has added no stress at all.
These results are comparable to those found nationally. In a recent McClatchy-Marist Poll, 77% of adults nationally reported they have experienced, at least, a moderate amount of strain due to increased gas prices, 12% said they haven’t undergone very much financial stress, and 10% reported they did not have any strain at all.
“People are experiencing significant pain at the pump,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “Many are changing their driving habits, and a notable number expect to change their vacation plans.”
Not surprisingly, income is a factor. Half of those who earn less than $50,000 annually — 50% — say they have experienced a great deal of financial strain as a result of higher gas prices. This compares with 33% who make $50,000 to just under $100,000 and 19% of those who earn $100,000 or more.
U-Turn for NYS Drivers… More Than One-Third of New Yorkers to Change Travel Plans
Nearly six in ten drivers in New York State — 58% — have changed their driving habits because of high gas prices. 42%, however, have not.
Regionally, gas prices have had a greater impact on upstate drivers. 63% of those living in the region say they have altered their driving habits. 54% of New York City drivers and the same proportion of those in the city’s suburbs — 54% — report the same.
There are gender differences on this question. 63% of women compared with 53% of men have changed their driving practices thanks to high gas costs.
And, 35% of New York State adults believe they are likely to change their vacation plans because of high gas prices. 64% say it is not very likely they will adjust their plans, and 1% is unsure.
Income plays a role. 43% of those who earn less than $50,000 a year say it is likely they will re-think their vacation plans. 34% of those who make $50,000 to just under $100,000 and 20% who bring in $100,000 or more believe it’s likely they will change their vacation plans.
According to this Marist Poll, a majority of adults nationally — 55% — say they won’t be booking a summer vacation this year. 45%, however, are planning to hit the road. The proportion of residents who are traveling has changed little over the past couple of years. In 2010, Marist found that 48% of Americans were escaping from their daily routine while 49% ventured away from home in 2009.
Among those who are taking a trip this summer, a long getaway isn’t necessarily on their agenda. 41% say they have several shorter weekend trips on their calendar while 35% plan to go on one or more long getaways. Nearly one in four — 24% — say they will do both or have something else planned.
Compared with the summer of 2009, fewer vacationers are taking longer journeys. At that time, 47% who planned to get out of town traveled for a long period of time. 42% went on several shorter jaunts, and just 11% took both types of vacations or did something else entirely.
Money matters continue to plague the vacation choices of many Americans. While about two-thirds of residents — 66% — report they have not changed their vacation plans this year in order to save money, a notable 34% have. There has been relatively no change on this question since the summer of 2009. At that time, 65% reported money matters did not alter their vacation plans while 35% were restricted by financial concerns.
Fewer than half of all Americans — 49% — plan on taking a summer vacation this year. When Marist last posed this question two years ago, 63% reported they were hitting the road.
Annual household income currently plays a large role here. Just 38% of residents earning less than $50,000 a year will be taking a trip within the next few months. This compares with 57% who make between $50,000 and $99,999 annually and 77% of those who earn $100,000 or more. Those living in the Midwest and South have been the hardest hit.
Included in the 49% who are lucky enough to get away this summer, 23% say they are going to take one or more long getaways while 21% report they are going to enjoy several shorter weekend trips. Just 5% are planning both or have some other type of holiday in mind. In 2007, 28% of Americans took at least one long vacation, and 35% enjoyed shorter stints away from home. 37% stayed at home.
Once again, money currently impacts travel decisions. Americans with larger salaries are more likely to take longer getaways. 39% of residents making $100,000 or more annually are planning at least one long vacation. This compares with 27% earning between $50,000 and $99,999 a year and 14% of those in a lower income bracket.
More than one-third of Americans — 35% — report they have changed their travel plans to specifically save money. 65% of residents nationally, however, report that’s not their intent. And, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of vacation spending, nearly four in ten Americans — 37% — are planning to spend less money this year compared with their last vacation. Half report they will spend the same while just 13% report they will shell out more.
Think summer. Think vacation. Think closer to home? A plurality of Americans — 46% — view New York City as an excellent or good place to visit or vacation. But, call them biased, the numbers are bolstered by Northeasterners. 63% of Americans who live in the region see the Big Apple as a potential vacation destination.
Nationwide, a majority of parents consider New York City to be on the list of places to visit. 51% of parents are intrigued by the sights of the city compared with 46% of Americans as a whole.
It’s also for the young at heart and those with a bit more cash to spend. A majority of Americans younger than forty-five years old — 56% — say New York would be a nice place to visit. 53% of residents who earn fifty thousand dollars or more a year share this view. However, only 39% of those forty-five or older and 43% of those earning less than fifty thousand dollars annually agree.
Although many Americans will get away this summer, as gas prices continue to rise, the majority are planning shorter getaways: 63% of Americans plan to take a summer vacation but gas prices are one factor in the plans they are making. 55% of vacationers have opted to take several shorter weekend getaways instead of the traditional long summer retreat. Money matters. Americans with incomes under $50,000 are least likely to be planning a summer break. And among those lucky enough to get away, Americans with lower incomes are most likely to be planning shorter trips.