|By Amy Bertrand, St. Louis
Post-DispatchMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 06, 2012--A sure sign that the economy is on the mend: summer vacation spending is predicted to be up this year. According to Orbitz's annual Insider Index, 53 percent of consumers plan to spend more than $1,500 on summer vacations compared to 39 percent in 2011.
Orbitz surveyed nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers about their summer travel plans and of those surveyed 77 percent are taking a vacation this summer with more than half (56 percent) planning to travel by car and 39 percent by air.
Here are some more highlights of the survey:
--53 percent of consumers plan to spend more than $1,500 on summer vacations, compared to 39 percent in 2011.
--Las Vegas tops the list as the most popular destination for summer 2012 with affordable hotel rates ($95 per night) likely being a key factor. New York and Orlando come in at Nos. 2 and 3.
--More travelers feel guilty about leaving behind their pet (33 percent) than their children (30 percent) when they go on vacation.
--Americans wish the U.S. would follow Europe's suit regarding paid time off, with 44 percent of survey respondents believing the government should mandate companies to offer at least four weeks of vacation per year.
--Nearly half (47 percent) of survey respondents are getting summer travel ideas through social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.
(c)2012 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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