Entries in Vacation (10)


Most Americans Would Choose 5% Raise over More Vacation Time

Steve Cole/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Taking time off from work to recharge your batteries is vital, but a new survey reveals a majority of Americans  -- 56 percent -- put more value on earnings and would choose a 5 percent raise over two weeks’ vacation.

The finding comes from a new Job Happiness Survey of 26,000 Americans by Yahoo! Finance and Parade magazine.

Additional findings:

  • When asked what age they expect to retire, 28 percent said they’d finish up at age 66 to 70.  Just 15 percent think they’ll actually retire at 65; age 66-70: 28 percent; age 60-64: 20 percent; age 65: 15 percent; younger than 60: 13 percent; older than 76: 13 percent
  • If respondents could do it all over again, 59 percent say they would not choose the same career they work in now.  Forty-one percent say they would.
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents say they would be friends with colleagues if they didn't work with them.
  • If respondents lost their jobs tomorrow, 27 percent say they’d have no savings to tide them over.  Twenty-six percent have only one to three months of savings.  Fifteen percent have four to six months of savings squirreled away, while 13 percent say they have more than two years.
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents say workers get ahead because of internal politics, while 27 percent believe it is hard work and initiative that move them forward.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hiring Vacation ‘Paparazzi’ for Professional Photos Is Growing Trend

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer is a time for millions of people to set out on journeys full of fun and adventure.  Vacationers usually take lots of photos to capture the great memories they’ve made.

Until recently, vacations that cost thousands of dollars were being captured on cameras that cost only a few bucks.  But some people are changing that.

Enter Allie Hawkins, a photographer who says vacation photos shouldn’t be an afterthought.  She makes a living at the helm of Island Photography, a company that captures memories for travelers vacationing on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

“There’s always that family member who is the one taking the pictures and is never in any of the photos.  That’s usually the person who winds up hiring us to capture memories that include everyone,” Hawkins told ABC's Good Morning America in an interview that aired Friday.

Hawkins’ clients are part of a growing trend: people paying to have their vacations professionally photographed.

Genevieve Shaw Brown, travel editor for ABC News, said social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, were a big driving force behind this phenomenon.

“People want to create the illusion that they’re having the perfect vacation or they have the perfect life and a professional photographer is certainly going to help you do that,” she said.

The Internet is full of vacation photo package deals, ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.  Those packages are available all over the world, from Disney resorts to the quaint streets of Paris.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Bosses Are Taking Vacations than Employees

Steve Mason/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The recession may have forced many Americans to forget about taking an annual vacation, but a new survey finds more bosses than workers are still finding time to get away.

A survey commissioned by finds 81 percent of managers have or plan to take vacation this year, compared to 65 percent of full-time employees.

Additional findings from the survey:

-- 17 percent of workers took or planned to take a vacation for 10 days or more.  That’s down from 24 percent in 2007.

-- 30 percent of workers contact work during their vacation.

-- 37 percent of managers say they expect their employees to contact work while on vacation, although a majority say that’s only if a worker is involved in a big project or there’s a major issue going on within the company.

-- 15 percent of workers say they gave up vacation days last year because they didn’t have time to use them.

-- "Stay-cations" are still popular.  Thirty-eight percent of workers stayed home or are planning to stay home this year.

-- 23 percent of workers say they once had to work while their family went away on vacation without them.

-- 19 percent of workers say they can’t afford to go on vacation this year, down from 24 percent in 2011.

-- 12 percent of respondents say they can afford vacations, but have no plans to take one.  That percentage is consistent with previous years.

The survey of 2,303 hiring managers and 5,772 workers was conducted online by Harris Interactive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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


World’s Most Expensive Cities for Travelers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans have an average summer vacation budget of $1,180 per person, according to a recent survey by American Express.  That may sound like a lot but it may not be enough to foot the bill to one of the world's most expensive cities.

A new study from ranks the world’s priciest cities based on four criteria: The price of a hotel room, the price of cocktails and dinner for two and the price of a round-trip taxi ride.

London ranks as this summer’s priciest destination, and it’s no wonder.  As the host of the 2012 Summer Olympics and a barrage of recent media coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the city is on everyone’s hot list right now.

New York was the only U.S. city to make the top 10, coming in sixth.  Although the average hotel rate in Boston is actually higher than that in New York, it’s those added expenses, like a taxi and a night on the town, that can take a bite out of the budget.

“For American travelers planning city trips, it’s important to have an understanding of the day-to-day destination expenses,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor.

So which other cities made the top 10?  Here’s the list:

1. London
2. Oslo, Norway
3. Zurich
4. Paris
5. Stockholm
6. New York City
7. Moscow
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
9. Sydney
10. Singapore

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Vacations in 2012 Despite Economic Uncertainty

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- People intend to travel more this year than last, according to Travelocity’s annual Traveler Confidence Report, released this week.

Fifty-three percent of respondents to the survey, released Tuesday, said they plan to travel more in 2012 than in 2011 despite a lack of confidence in the state of the economy. That’s an 18 percentage point increase as compared with 2011.

“Our findings are really encouraging for us and our supply partners,” Carl Sparks, president and CEO of Travelocity Global told ABC News. “I’m particularly pleased that respondents are planning vacations with longer durations and that are further away from home this year versus last.”

Of those that plan to travel more, two-thirds are planning on spending more, as well. The remaining one-third who plan to travel more without spending more will do so by increasing comparison shopping, booking vacation packages and opaque hotels -- booking a hotel without knowing the name before the booking transaction is complete -- and using flash sales to save on hotel stays.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents anticipate spending the same or more on flights in 2012. Travelocity data shows air fares for the first three months of 2012 are up nine percent on both domestic and international flights as compared to last year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Poll Shows 55 Percent of Americans Will Not Take Summer Vacation

Medioimages/Photodisc(POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.) -- The majority of U.S. adults -- 55 percent -- say they will not be booking a summer vacation this year, according to an annual survey by Marist Poll. Only 18 percent said they will take several shorter weekend trips while 16 percent said they will take one or more long getaways. The remaining 11 percent said they will do both or "other."

Of the 45 percent of adults who say they will take a vacation this year, 41 percent said they will take several shorter weekend trips, though drivers in Los Angeles bracing themselves for the closure of the major 405 freeway, or "carmageddon," may opt to stay very local this weekend.

The national poll results show the continuing waning of a traditional summer vacation, according to Lee Miringoff, director of Marist Poll at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Marist's survey has asked American adults if they were planning summer vacations since 2000. Those answering affirmatively were 66 percent in 2000, compared to 45 percent this year, the lowest since the survey began. The figure decreased slightly from last year, when 48 percent said they planned to take a summer vacation.

"This is clearly driven by economy," Miringoff said. "The idyllic image of traditional 'pack your bags and head away for a couple weeks' is not what's going on."

Marist conducted the survey from June 15 to June 23 with 1,003 adults over 18. The margin of error was three percentage points.

The unemployment rate rose in June to 9.2 percent, with employers adding only 18,000 jobs that month.

Miringoff said the data may be driven both by lower incomes and less confidence in the economy or one's financial security.

Of the respondents, 34 percent said they have changed their vacation plans this year to save money while two-thirds of respondents said they have not. Mirinoff said there has been little change in the survey results since 2009 when the recession officially ended.

The U.S. recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research in September 2010, though the organization did not state the economy has returned to "normal capacity."

In 2009, 65 percent of surveyed results said money concerns did not alter their vacation plans while 35 percent said they were financially restricted.

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


Protect Yourself When Booking Vacations

Medioimages/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- As the busy summer travel season approaches, it's worth considering ways to protect yourself from cancellations and other problems that may arise when planning a vacation.

"It's a good idea to actually get travel insurance," says George Hobica with

Using a big online travel agent can also help if you have a dispute.

"You sometimes have more power than if you're just a consumer going to the airline," Hobica says.

And when speaking to an airline about a problem, don't always take no for an answer.

"Try and try again and try to get a different answer.  Case by case basis.  You know it really depends on who you speak to," he says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio