The summer travel season is just around the corner now, but skyrocketing gas prices may persuade millions of Americans to vacation much closer to home this year.
New numbers from the U.S. Travel Association show that fifty-four percent of all leisure travelers will change their summer vacation plans if gas prices continue at their current pace. The majority of those surveyed say they plan on staying closer to home this summer, with travel experts forecasting many to stay within a two to three hour radius of the front door.
The so-called "stay-cation" trend could end up benefitting local attractions like Monte Sano State Park, which is projecting a big spike in attendance this year. Park manager Matt Hardee said if the recent spring break period is any indication, campground spots on the 85-lot area could be hard to find.
"We do anticipate being pretty busy this summer," said Hardee. "I think people find it [the park] better. They're not spending as much money to travel for one thing. There's been a lot more people here locally. With Huntsville and Madison being bigger areas, and the fact that we are so close to Huntsville and Madison, people don't have to travel so far to get away from everything."
The U.S. Travel Association released their results after surveying 2,500 people from across the country in mid-March.