While the summer travel season for 2015 is in the books, many Floridians are planning at least an overnight vacation sometime this fall.
Traveling in the fall is actually more popular than many people think. According to a recent survey by the AAA auto club, about seven in ten Floridians are planning to take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home in the next three months.
“Some of the more popular vacations during the fall typically are your road trips to the Northeast, to see the leaves change colors,” said Mark Jenkins at AAA South in Tampa. “Half the people AAA surveyed said they would be more likely to take a road trip this year, because gas prices are so low.”
Self-serve regular in Florida averages about $2.17 per gallon, according to AAA. That’s $1.13 less than a year ago. In Pensacola, the average is $2.13 a gallon – $1.09 cheaper.
In AAA’s Consumer Pulse Survey, 34% plan to spend between $500 and $1,000 on their trips. Jenkins says travelers are feeling better about the economy, and are more willing to flash the plastic.
About 16% of Floridians are planning to cross the Pond between now and year’s end. Europe is the most popular destination, selected by 61% of respondents. North America is second, followed by Australia, Asia and South America.
“You might also want to consider a European vacation,” Jenkins said. “Because there are fewer travelers over there the demand is low, you might be able to find a great deal. Plus, the temperatures are much cooler.”
If you plan a trip by automobile, there’s one constant no matter what time of the year you go. A little basic maintenance beforehand will go a long way towards avoiding trouble.
“You want to make sure your vehicle is serviced, but also program in some important numbers on your cellphone,” said Jenkins. “That way if you’re broken down on the side of the road, you can call an emergency roadside service, and they can respond and help you get back on the road quickly.”
Included in the fall travel period are Thanksgiving and Christmas – where the common destinations have more to do with family and friends, than with theme parks and the beach.