Ready to travel


POSTED: Friday, June 04, 2010

More Hawaii residents are expected to vacation out of state and spend more on their trips this summer than they did a year ago, signaling increased confidence in the economic recovery.

Of the nearly 300 members responding to the annual summer travel survey by AAA Hawaii, 78 percent planned to take at least one overnight break this summer, while 80 percent said they were more likely to vacation on the mainland or overseas on their first summer trip.

Kaimuki resident Chloris Yanagida and her husband, Derrick, are planning a trip to Las Vegas in July, one of three vacations the couple will take this year. They typically travel twice a year, in January and September, she said.

“;Because of the economy that is getting better, we're making this extra trip,”; Yanagida said. However, she added, “;we set a limit to our spending every time we go on trips.”;

Thousands of Hawaii residents travel to every year to Las Vegas. Hawaiian Airlines offers three daily flights four days a week and two flights on the other three days to the gambling mecca, including a “;Midnight Madness”; return flight at 2:45 a.m. from Las Vegas.

Vacations Hawaii, a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming Corp., runs a charter flight six times a week between Honolulu and Las Vegas.

Of respondents, 77 percent were willing to spend more than $1,000 on their first summer vacation, up from 68 percent and 74 percent in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

“;After cutting back on travel last year, our members are becoming more willing to take those out-of-state vacations and are also traveling with a greater number of people, which can help keep per-person costs lower,”; said Chris Olvera, AAA Hawaii acting regional manager, in a statement.

Last month a separate AAA survey found that more people on the mainland were expected to hit the road than in the previous year, though they planned to spend less on travel this summer.

The most popular destinations for local residents were Las Vegas and San Francisco, while Asian countries topped the list of most popular foreign destinations.

The AAA online survey was conducted April 27 to May 3.