Summer Travel Off To Hot Start

Curing that cabin fever.

AAA estimates 75 percent of Illinois residents will take at least one leisure trip of 50 miles or more that requires at least one night in a hotel during the summer.

"Particularly after the very cold and extreme winter we had, people were booking their summer plans then," according to AAA spokesperson Beth Mosher.

And, Mosher says, this is despite higher gas prices. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in the Peoria-Pekin area is $3.82 - up 9 cents from last week.

AAA also estimates the majority of travelers (55 percent) plan to spend $1,500 or less on travel in the next three months. More than half (59 percent) will pay for a hotel during a summer vacation, while 30 percent will cut costs by staying with family and friends.

"People are feeling more comfortable in their jobs, disposable income for folks is on the rise," Mosher says. "People have more money to work with and their spending that money on travel."

Mosher says refineries are not to blame for higher gas prices right now.

"Now we're really into the summer demand driving season," says Mosher. "That's what really is pushing these prices up."

The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among Illinois residents from April 14-21, 2014. A total of 400 Illinois residents completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

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