Survey: Georgians to travel more this summer

COVINGTON -- Georgians are venturing out for travel a bit more this summer, based on the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates Consumer Survey.

Sixty-three percent plan to spend more or the same on travel in 2012 than they did last year, up from 49 percent in 2011, according to the survey, which was conducted by polling credit union members throughout the state. But budgeting remains a priority, with 32 percent reporting working harder to find deals and save on travel than in previous years.

"The purse strings are loosening up a little bit," said Anita Paul, communications director for Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.

"People are tired of being stuck inside the house. As Americans, we love to travel, and it's wonderful that we have that ability in this country. People are still cautious a little bit. They're taking shorter trips in terms of time. Maybe not a 10-day trip but a four-day trip instead, and they're going shorter distances, traveling closer to home," she said.

Travelers are also scouring for deals online to find vacation packages, including hotel stays, rental cars, flights and other options, according to Paul, and traveling in large groups to split the cost of accommodations and fuel.

Georgia Credit Union Affiliates offers the following tips to consider when planning a summer vacation:

-- Pick a regional destination to save on fuel.

-- Choose off-peak days and weekends for travel and accommodations.

-- Make your trip a few days shorter.

-- Search the Internet for bundled discounts on travel sites.

-- Save money throughout the year in a vacation club savings account.