tax refund for vacationsAccording to a recent article by Laura Bly in USA TODAY, about 57 % of nearly 1,000 people questioned in a national survey by Minneapolis-based Travel Leaders said they would use at least part of their tax refund – averaging around $3,000 this year, according to the IRS – for vacation travel. Additionally,  despite the anemic economic recovery, the story says 83 percent said they’ll spend as much or more on travel this year as they did in 2010.  In a March, 2011 BedandBreakfast.com survey of B&B travelers by BedandBreakfast.com, nine out of 10 (90.3%) say they will take at least one weekend getaway this summer, and nearly two-thirds (62.3%) say they will take two or more weekend getaways this summer.

Three quarters of Travel Leaders respondents said they planned to take a trip within the USA this year, with Florida, California and New York the most popular destistination, while the BedandBreakfast.com survey showed that among the top 20 destinations for the most part B&B travelers prefer smaller U.S. destinations for their B&B weekend getaways,. “From scenic shorelines and charming towns to historical landmarks, the Eastern coast boasts the most popular U.S. B&B destinations for summer travel,” says Martin Slagter, vice president of HomeAway, Inc., which owns BedandBreakfast.com.  “Travelers are looking for quiet, romantic getaways or spending the weekend exploring destinations rich in history and culture.”

Slagter says B&B travelers typically travel by car to destinations between 100-250 miles away, and choose B&Bs primarily to avoid  the masses that stay at hotels. According to Slagter,  B&B travelers seek more intimate, interesting accommodations, home-cooked breakfast and refreshments, and other free amenities such as Internet and onsite parking, all of which B&Bs offer at no additional charge vs. hotels where these costs can exceed $100 per day.

While gas prices continue to rise and travelers appear wary, at this point in time, the outlook for summer travel is still positive.  Studies have shown that $4 per gallon is often the breaking point, but gas prices have exceeded $4/gallon in many states.  Perhaps this time around the bar will be raised.  More likely travelers will take advantage of “B&Bs Kick Gas!” promotions which will ease the pain and give travelers just the nudge they need to make the trip this summer.

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