Entries in Summer (12)


More Americans Choose Beach over Mountains for Summer Vacation

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Grab your flip-flops and break out the blanket: The beach beats the mountains in their perennial summertime battle as the country’s more popular vacation destination, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.  But it’s a close call, with suntan-seeking women closing the deal for the shore.

With the summer solstice upon us, 72 percent of Americans express a favorable opinion of going to the beach for summer vacation; a bit fewer, 66 percent, like the idea of a trip to the mountains.  The beach opens up a 10-point advantage in “strong” popularity.

The difference is among women: They’re 11 percentage points more apt to like the idea of a beach vacation than a sojourn in the hills, and a wide 19 points more likely to “strongly” favor the beach than the mountains.  Equal numbers of men would be happy with either option.

Having kids comes into it, too.  Parents with children younger than 18 at home look especially positively on the idea of a beach vacation (83 percent) -- 15 points higher than among adults without kids at home.

Age also matters, with positive responses to a beach break peaking at 80 percent among women younger than age 50, while bottoming out at 58 percent among senior citizens overall.  Differences among these groups on a mountain holiday are far more muted.

While both options are popular among majorities of the public, there’s not complete overlap.  Fifty percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, express favorable opinions of beach and mountain vacations alike.

There are regional preferences: The beach beats the mountains by a 17-point margin in the Northeast and by 10 points in the South, while the two are rated equally in the Midwest.  In the West, the mountains do better than in any other region, and actually outpoint the coast, 76 percent vs. 70 percent.

Among other groups, whites are far more enamored of mountain vacations (75 percent) than are nonwhites (49 percent), with no such difference on the beach alternative.  And favorable views of both options tail off among people with lower- and lower-middle incomes, perhaps too busy making ends meet to think about summer holiday choices.

Finally, in these partisan times, there’s no ducking the political equation.  While Democrats and Republicans see eye-to-eye on a beach vacation, positive views of this option slip by 10 points among independents.  On the other hand, Republicans and independents respond equally favorably to a mountain holiday, Democrats less so.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bacon Sundae Among Burger King's New Summer Menu Items

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Burger King is out with its new menu items for the summer season and the one creating the most buzz is the restaurant's bacon sundae.

The dessert was tested earlier this year in Nashville, Tenn., where it was received well, and starting this week, it will be available at Burger King restaurants nationwide.

In a press release Wednesday, the company said the sundae "features the rich and creamy vanilla BK® soft serve, drizzled with chocolate fudge, caramel and topped with bacon crumbles, complete with a thick-cut, hardwood smoked bacon garnish."

Those daring to try the new treat should be prepared to take a hefty hit to their waistlines: the dessert is said to have 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar.

Along with the bacon sundae, Burger King also unveiled other BBQ-inspired menu items, including several sandwiches, a frozen lemonade and sweet potato fries.  The items will be avaible for a limited time only.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flexible Work Schedules Most Desired Summer Benefit, Survey Shows

Siri Stafford/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the lazy, hazy days of summer draw near, a new OfficeTeam survey of employees finds flexible work schedules and leaving work early on Fridays are the most coveted summer benefits.

Forty-one percent of the survey participants ranked flexible work schedules as the summer benefit they desired the most.  Twenty-eight percent said leaving early on Fridays was the summer perk they would most like to have.

Workers were asked, "Which of the following summer benefits would you most like to have?"  They answered:

-- Flexible schedules, 41 percent
-- Leave early on Fridays, 28 percent
-- Activities such as a company picnic or potluck, 11 percent
-- More relaxed dress code, 5 percent
-- Other, 7 percent
-- Don’t know/No answer, 9 percent

The responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

The survey also finds that many managers are responding to their employees’ summer wishes.  HR managers were asked, "Which, if any, of the following summer benefits are offered at your company?"  They responded:

-- Flexible schedules, 75 percent
-- Leave early on Fridays, 63 percent
-- More relaxed dress code, 57 percent
-- Activities such as a company picnic or potluck, 28 percent
-- None/Nothing offered, 6 percent
-- Don’t know, 9 percent

The OfficeTeam survey involved 449 working adults 18 years of age or older and 515 human resources managers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Many Employers Looking to Hire this Summer, Survey Finds

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Looking for a summer job?  Well, there's good news for you.  A new report out Wednesday by says employers in many industries are boosting their hiring plans.

"We found that 29 percent of employers say that they plan to hire temporary positions for the summer, and that is the highest number we've seen since the recession began," says Michael Erwin with CareerBuilder.

"Surprising to us was manufacturing: 45 percent of employers said they're going to bring on summer hires this season," he adds.

And as Erwin explains, some of those seasonal jobs could turn into permanent positions.

"I find that manufacturers are looking to bring on temporary help and turn those into full time help," he says.

Hotels, restaurants and retailers also plan to add workers this summer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Many Americans Plan to Travel More This Summer

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In what may be another sign of an improving economy, a new survey finds 18 percent of Americans are planning to take more vacation trips this summer than last summer. 

Eighty-seven percent indicate they plan to take more or about the same number of trips this summer compared to last year.

The survey by Harris Interactive, on behalf of Choice Hotels, also finds 42 percent of Americans plan to take two or more trips this summer.

Additional findings:

-- 84 percent of Americans who take vacations plan to travel primarily by car for at least one of their trips.  They are expected to rack up an average of 1,172 miles on their vacation trips.

-- 94 percent of Americans traveling this summer plan to spend at least one night away from home.

-- One-third of Americans plan to spend five nights or more in hotels during their summer vacations.

The Harris Interactive survey involved 2,199 adults.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


As Travel Costs Rise, Many Americans Still Have Big Vacation Plans

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A large number of Americans are still planning to go on vacation in 2012, despite rising fuel and travel costs, and Orlando is the top summer destination, according to a new AAA survey.

AAA’s Top Summer Land Vacation Destinations:

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Rome, Italy
  • London, England
  • Anaheim, California

AAA’s Top Summer Cruise Vacation Destinations:

  • Caribbean
  • Alaska
  • Bahamas
  • Europe
  • Bermuda

AAA’s Top Summer Exotic Vacation Destinations:

  • China
  • Peru
  • The Galapagos
  • The Amazon
  • India

The findings are the result of a AAA travel agent survey and travel sales data.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top Eight Best Buys in July

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Entering a cool, air-conditioned store is a good way to escape July's heat. On top of that, July happens to be a good month for finding hot bargains.

With back-to-school spending right around the corner, ABC News talked with Allison Kade and Maria Lin of, a personal finance website geared toward women, about what to buy in July to save money.

Here is a list of items the staff created that offer the best deals in July for frugal shoppers:

1. Furniture: "There is new inventory in July because they're clearing out furniture for the fall," says Kade, a deputy editor at LearnVest.  Outdoor furniture may have some of the steepest discounts in the seventh month of the year as retailers begin "making room for the fall inventory in the showrooms."

2. Big Appliances: Items like microwaves and refrigerators may see price trimming after the July 4 holiday weekend.  For consumers hoping to renovate a home or replace dated household items, July is a good time to begin shopping.

3. Suits: "Suits tend to be good -- especially spring suits," says Kade.  Since the inventory is on its way out, "if you're willing to store it nicely in your closet" until the right season rolls around, you can find a good buy.

4. Paint: "Paint is a pretty good buy at this time of the year," Kade says.  "It's pretty hot outside so no one feels like painting."  The lack of interest in staying home and painting a room in record heat is why many may save money on this product.

5. Butter: "It seems that butter production is at its best in June and July, so for that reason there's more of it," says Kade.  The excess amount makes it a steal in July.  "It might make sense to buy a significant amount to store for later," she adds.

6. Mattresses: "Mattresses tend to go on sale around big holiday weekends," says Lin, editor-in-chief of LearnVest.  The comfy item did not make the online list because of year-round deals, but mattresses are still a good buy in July.  Lin recommends haggling with dealers throughout the year.  Since the mark-up on mattresses varies, "you can negotiate and should not accept the ticket price."

7. Older Computer Models: Newer models of computers tend to surface in the fall, allowing tech stores to offer great deals on older models.  "If you're buying a regular model, then July is not a good time to buy because new models come out in fall," says Kade.

8. Swimwear: "As the summer progresses, [swimwear] will get increasingly cheap," Kade says.  "The same holds true for August.  If you store it for next season, then it can be a good buy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gas Prices Not Likely to Fall Much Further

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Gas prices are about as low as they're going to go this summer, according to fuel industry analysts.

The peak was reached on May 2, when gasoline prices averaged just over $4 a gallon across the country.

Since then, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration says the cost of gas has dropped about 46 cents to a national average of $3.579 per gallon -- still about a buck more than drivers were paying this time last year.

Now, analysts say that most of the declines are over, although some prices may drift a little lower in the coming weeks.

While demand for crude oil has dropped in the U.S., it still remains high in other parts of the world.

It also appears that President Obama's decision to release 30 million barrels from the nation's Strategic Oil Reserves hasn't had the desired effect of lessening pain at the pump.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Score Travel Deals in the Summer or Fall

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Major airlines have raised their fares at least six times this year.  But with the price of fuel falling, travelers may begin to see new discounts in time for the fall.

If you can, delay your travel plans until after Labor Day to save on airfare.  For those that can't, summer discounts on hotel rooms can still be found in some popular places.

"We're still seeing really great deals...average hotel rates in the low 100s for travelers at three and four star hotels," says Jenine Tornatore of Orbitz.

Look out for special fares and other deals that may pop up on social networking sites.

"Nearly every major travel player has a Twitter and a Facebook account and often times they'll promote limited time deals and even give away free trips for their friends and followers," Tornatore says.

Another tip: shop for airfares four to six weeks in advance, and keep an eye out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when new deals are announced.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Save When Booking Your Summer Vacation

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The busiest weeks of the summer travel season are just around the corner.  In fact, hotel bookings for many resorts and airline reservations are already up from last year.

If you're planning on going away this summer and want a good deal, act fast.

"Don't delay in booking your travel," says Jeanine Tornatore with Orbitz Travel.  "We're already into mid-June.  This is the busiest travel season of the year."

To score an even better deal, be flexible with your schedule.

"You can get the best deals often times in the summer by traveling mid-week to the tourist destinations," Tornatore says.  "Avoid traveling on a Friday or Saturday when a lot of families leave for their vacations."

And if you're looking to get away without going too far, check out Orlando, Florida -- this year's top travel destination.

"We're still seeing really great deals -- average hotel rates in the low 100s for travelers at three and four star hotels," says Tornatore.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio