A poll out this week shows that the high price of gasoline is causing a lot of people to cut back on or cancel entirely their vacation travel plans. Some are even cutting back on everyday driving and being more cautious with their home energy use.
Two-thirds of people said they have cut back on driving and have reduced the use of heating and air conditioning. Half now say they have trimmed their vacation plans.
Of course, there are plenty of folks who can’t or won’t do anything to trim back on their energy consumption.
“Now, I’m just going to work and coming home — not doing anything else,” said Kathleen Roberts, who makes a daily, 100-mile round trip from York, Pa., to her teaching job in Baltimore.
The polls shows an even more ominous trend–even the middle class is starting to stress out over rising gas prices.
Just over six in 10 of those who make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year now say gas prices are a hardship — up from four in 10 a year ago. And more people say they will reduce driving, travel and utility use.
Unfortunately, even with prices expected to climb up to $4 for a gallon of unleaded, it doesn’t sound like Americans are going to give up their gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks anytime soon.
A year ago, four in 10 said they were considering getting a car with better mileage–the same number who say that now…
In short, many would rather drive big honkin’ cars that get 15 miles a gallon and give up a nice family vacation. Even the prospect of a $12,000 Honda hybrid doesn’t seem to be enough to entice people away from their houses on wheels.
But maybe that’ll change once we hit five dollars a gallon in summer of 2007.