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More Texans Are Traveling This Summer -- But They're Staying Close To Home

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 11:00 AM

Vintage roadside lodging in La Marque, Texas. Photo by Gail Delaughter/KUHF

(Houston, TX — Gail Delaughter, KUHF)  "The sun has riz, the sun has set, and we ain't out of Texas yet."  The old saying is attributed to a train-hopping hobo but it still holds true for the modern traveler barrelling across Texas on I-10 or I-20. East-west driving distance from the Louisiana state line to El Paso is close to 800 miles. Drivers traveling out of central Texas face many hours on the road before they even get out of the state.

That could be the reason why many road-tripping Texans like to stay close to home. According to a new survey by AAA-Texas,  the two top destinations for Texas travelers this summer are San Antonio (home of the Alamo and the Riverwalk), and Galveston, the Gulf of Mexico resort town south of Houston. Other popular destinations include Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Big Bend National Park.

AAA-Texas spokesman Doug Shupe says they polled about 400 members and found that 75 percent are planning to travel this summer. That's about three percent more than last year. Forty-four percent of travelers say gas prices are affecting their travel plans very little or not at all. Gas prices in Texas have been dropping steadily over the past month, with prices in the Houston area now as low as $3.21 a gallon.

But Shupe says prices at the pump are still too high for some Texans. Nineteen percent of respondents say they're not going anywhere this summer. Of that group, 42 percent cite gas prices.

Other Texans say they're not traveling because of too many household expenses, or they can't afford rising prices for hotels and meals on the road.

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