High prices force people to stay home

May 26, 2008 6:55:38 PM PDT
Memorial Day marks the official start of the summer travel season.

And if what's happening this weekend, AAA reports a small decline in road trips and air travel, is any indication, people are starting to change their travel plans.

Street musician Stephen Dreyfuss can feel the impact already from high gas prices and air fares.

The tip jar isn't filling up very fast.

"All of us have to work out here a little bit longer actually to make the basic nut out here, so it's a little tough," said jazz performer Stephen Dreyfuss.

Bay Area residents at the wharf say they're sticking closer to home to watch their budgets.

"Are you staying home more these days?" asked ABC7's David Louie.

"Absolutely, a lot more, a lot more," said Danville resident Allison Campouris.

"And what's the reason?" asked ABC7's David Louie.

"Because the price of gas. It's just too much money to travel. I just stay home," said Campouris.

The same is true for out-of-towners.

"We're definitely not driving as much as we did when we're home, so it's affecting the local travel, and the airfares have gotten ridiculous, just in the past couple of months," said New Hampshire tourist Jill Frenier.

Because of gas prices, first grade school teacher Jennifer Harvey decided to attend a birthday picnic instead of drive to Truckee this holiday weekend.

She's also forgetting about a trip to Hawaii.

"It was in the average range of $1,000," said Harvey.

"That's quite a bit higher than in the past," said ABC7's David Louie.

"A lot higher than in the past, and a lot more than I was willing to spend," said Harvey.

There are exceptions. Kelsey Clark works for an airline out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Flights there this summer are full.

"I think probably people have already made their plans. I know from our standpoint the flights in and out of Jackson Hole, people coming to Teton and Yellowstone for the summer, most of the summer, they're full," said Clark.

This could be the summer of staying close to home.

All of this seems to indicate people are no longer making impromptu trips. They are really watching their budgets and planning more family gatherings and events closer to home.


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