The Great Big 2011 Summer Travel Poll
2011 has already been an interesting year for travelers (think sleepy air traffic controllers, potential national parks shutdowns and giant holes in airplanes). We asked our Facebook fans where they'll be going this summer, and received a mixed reaction – plenty of enthusiasm and excited travelers, but also some financial worry and international concern sprinkled throughout.
Economic factors aren't playing along in favor of consumers looking for a bargain vacation this summer, as airlines have continued to add on fuel surcharges and baggage fee increases. Gasoline prices in the United States are on the rise as well.
For example, Conrad K. told us on Facebook that his budget won't allow for big travel plans this year: "Staying home - can't afford the gas!!!," he commented.
There are also some destination-specific considerations applicable in the summer of 2011. Repercussions from the disaster in Japan are likely to continue into the summer months, and might restrict some travel plans in Asia.
The political upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East continue to have an effect on summer travel this year as well. While popular destinations (such as Bahrain or the pyramids in Egypt) have claimed that tourism is back to business as usual, a decline in visitors to those regions might not be surprising.
Still, plenty of comments on our Facebook wall reveal readers who are ready to vacation abroad this summer. Debbie H. is excited about her trip to Europe: "Carnival cruise on the magic to Italy and Spain cannot wait!"
Tarcious P. is Caribbean-bound: "DOMINICA nature island of the Caribbean [sic].. Best choice [sic] ever...;)"
Summer is still prime time to get out for family travel, beach vacations, road trips and more. According to our Facebook page, many of you are looking at Hawaii, New York, and Niagara Falls for summer escapes.
What are you planning for the upcoming season? Will you be spending as much money this year on travel as you have in previous years? Are you packing up for an international adventure, or staying stateside? Take a look at our travelers' poll and give us the stats on where you'll be going – and if some of the global and economic events of the past few months will have an impact on your vacation plans into the next season.