06/30/05 FOX Poll: Taking a Summer Hiatus; Gas Prices Not Affecting Travel for Majority

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Despite high gasoline prices (search ), a FOX News poll finds majorities of Americans say they plan to take a vacation this summer, and that gas prices have not affected their travel plans.

Overall, the new survey shows six in 10 Americans say they have vacation (search ) plans this summer. Among groups, those in high-income households ($75,000 or more) are the most likely to take time off, as fully 81 percent say they will take a summer holiday. While that number drops considerably among lower-income families, still nearly half — 46 percent — of those making less than $30,000 annually plan to take a summer break.

People under age 45 (70 percent) are significantly more likely to get away than those ages 55 and over (49 percent). Married couples (65 percent) are 14 points more likely than singles (51 percent) to take a vacation this summer, and men (65 percent) are 10 points more likely than women (55 percent).

Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News on June 14-15.

Have Gas Prices Changed Travel Plans?

According to AAA’s "Daily Fuel Gauge Report," the highest recorded price for gasoline was $2.27 per gallon in April of this year. Today, the national average price is about $2.20 for regular unleaded — up from $1.92 a year ago. Even so, a 58 percent majority says gas prices have not affected their summer travel plans, while a large minority (41 percent) says prices have influenced their plans.

Not surprisingly, the summer trips of those from lower-income households are hit harder by high gasoline prices. Just over half (52 percent) of lower-income families say gas prices have affected their summer travel plans compared to about a quarter (26 percent) of those in higher-income households.

"These results suggest lower-priced resort areas and attractions could be somewhat more affected than the more expensive locales," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "However, at least part of the impact is psychological. No matter how small the increase in gas costs is compared to other things you spend on, because people buy gas so regularly and usually in such a similar way each time, they really notice changes in prices."

A Non-Election Match Up: Gas Tank Versus Swimsuit

Is looking in the mirror worse than paying at the pump? While many people cringe when they see how much it costs to fill their gas tank these days, many also cringe when they put on their swimsuit for the first time each season. For fun, the poll asked which of these is more troublesome this summer.

Over half (53 percent) say they are more worried about affording to fill their gas tank, 22 percent say being able to fit into their swimsuit, 5 percent say “both” and 16 percent say "neither."

No gender gap here — both men (53 percent) and women (54 percent) agree that filling up the tank is more troublesome.

Groups most likely to worry about fitting into their swimsuit include those living in high-income households (32 percent), those under age 45 (29 percent), married women (26 percent) and Republicans (26 percent).

• PDF: Click here for full poll results.