Summer plans cut back by many

Summer plans cut back by many

Brad Foss

Summer plans cut back by many

Book a trip at the last minute. Stay closer to home. Take the grandchildren. These are some of the thoughts on the minds of American vacationersas the summer travel season nears.

As is customary this time of year, the cost of gasoline and potential airport delays are among travelers’ top concerns.

But new uncertainties, such as the effect of heightened security in the wake of Sept. 11, tension in the Middle East and the nascent economic recovery, have given Americans more reasons than ever totweak travel plans. In search of fun in the sun, travelersare also looking for peace of mind.

Mack Sigmon, a pastorfrom Clearwater, Fla., will spend a week with his wife and daughter at the Club Med Sandpiper, about three hours away by car. The resort is offering an all-inclusive package that costs $99 per night for adults and $39} per night for children, excluding airfare. Sigmon said he scrapped the idea of a road trip because of rising fuel costs and scratched an overseas trip because of the hassles heassociates with flying.

Travel agents and tour operators say business has been slower than usual in the weeks leadingup to Memorial Day, but busier than they expected given themagnitude of the industry’s slump.

Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2002

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