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Gas prices shouldn’t hurt summer travel

A combination of factors, including some cheaper airfares, lower gas prices and overall greater consumer confidence, could inspire more people to go on vacation this year, travel experts say. For instance, 86% of people surveyed by travel site TripAdvisor said they are planning to travel for fun this summer, up 7 percentage points from last year. Three in four people surveyed by TripAdvisor said they would be driving to their summer destinations this year, and 64% will be flying.

Fuel costs, long a major factor in determining how people might spend their free time, are likely to be less of a concern for many travelers this year. That is partly because gas prices sat at a national average of $3.59 a gallon in mid-May, compared with an average $3.96 a gallon for the same time in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and TripAdvisor. The share of people worried that gas would impact their summer travel plans was only 13% in May, down significantly from 39% in 2011, according to the survey...