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Chase survey predicts vacation spending will cool this summer

By , CardRatings contributor
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Three in five Americans plan on keeping their summer vacations closer to home this year, according to a survey commissioned by Chase.

The credit card issuer hired telephone pollsters at GMRS to ask 1,001 consumers about their summer spending habits. Americans' vacation scheduling habits haven't changed much since the same time last year, with roughly two in five respondents planning vacations between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Of the remaining 60 percent who planned to skip vacations during the summer, more than third told researchers they cancelled travel plans to save money.

Gasoline prices weighed most heavily on the minds of consumers in the survey. Twenty-five percent of respondents had already changed their vacation destinations to reduce travel costs, while nearly half of the respondents cited that rising pump prices forced them to rethink their holiday plans.

Travelers who had committed to their vacation plans had set budgets and spending limits in greater numbers than before, according to the survey. More than half of vacationers know what they intend to spend before they leave home. A quarter of those travelers planned on spending less this year than in previous years.

Chase also found that plenty of Americans have taken on more household chores to save money. More than three-quarters of survey respondents told GMRS that they maintain their own yards instead of hiring landscapers or gardeners for help. That number represents an upward swing of four percentage points from the same survey conducted in 2010.

Likewise, about half of the consumers polled said that they intended to avoid big purchases on backyard items like barbecue grills to help save money elsewhere in their household budgets. In a statement to reporters, Chase spokesperson Tom O'Donnell called these changes the "new normal" for the American economy. O'Donnell said that strong budgeting skills built now would help Americans as the nation's economic outlook improves.

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