Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some plan local RV vacation this year

Daily American Online - Somerset,PA,USA
Vacationers budgeting out their yearly trips may have to put more money into their fuel funds this summer.

As gas prices approach $4 per gallon, some people may plan a local vacation.
"I think that is definitely a possibility," said Bevi Powell, director of communications for AAA East Central office in Pittsburgh. "It could be a good year for local attractions."

Powell said there is a slight downtrend in the number of people planning vacations that take them far from home.

"A lot of people use tax refunds and the stimulus checks for vacations," she said. "We expect travel to pick up then."

Local campgrounds may be one option for area people looking to cut costs during their vacation.

A few local campground owners quoted a seven day stay for between $130 and $250. Prices can vary based on the number of people camping and if water and electric is used.

Dennis Daumit, Belle Vernon and Jim McAleer, Altoona both have seasonal campsites at Pioneer Park Campground in Bakersville. Both have trailers parked in their campsites.

"You can stay all week (at a campground) for what you spend on gas and hotel rooms," Daumit said.

McAleer said in the 1980’s, his family would drop $1,600 to go to a beach in New Jersey. Prices have only risen since then.

Now, McAleer invites up to 24 of his family members to the campground in late July.

"I have always been into camping," said McAleer, who agreed with Daumit that camping might give some families a cheaper vacation option than traveling to the ocean.

Both Daumit and McAleer said they get gas mileage in the single digits when towing their trailers.

For that reason, campers may look to permanent parking arrangements for relief.

"More people are looking for permanent sites," Grace Shoffstall, owner of Woodland Campsites Inc. of Somerset said.

Shoffstall said there are 100 sites on her campground. Sixty of those sites are used by permanent campers.

Even with rising costs, Powell said, the desire to travel may outweigh saving money for some people.

"Americans still tend to travel," she said. "Last year we hit record high gas prices during Memorial Day and people still traveled."
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