Industries Hotels/Tourism

More Americans expected to travel this summer

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Americans are saying they need a break from it all.

Despite higher gas prices, Americans plan to spend a total of $86.4 billion on summer vacations this year, up 22 percent from last year, according to a survey by Richmond-based Mondial Assistance USA.

More people are planning to travel this year, and vacationers are also planning to spend more money.

The survey found that about 45 percent of Americans are confident they will take a summer vacation this year, up 5 percentage points from 2010 and up 10 points in the last two years.

Travelers also plan to spend more on their vacations this year. The average family plans to spend $1,704 this year, up from $1,567 last year.

The survey also found that men are more confident they can take vacations than women (51 percent versus 40 percent). Americans living in the Northeast are most likely to take vacations (53 percent), compared to Americans living in the South (47%), West (46%) or Midwest (36%).

Travelers this summer are most concerned about gas prices. About 54 percent of those confident of taking a vacation said high gas prices concern them. Other concerns include bad weather (30 percent), rising travel costs (28 percent) and economic uncertainty (24 percent).

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