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Huckleberries Online

Question: Are You Vacationing Less, Enjoying It Less?

In August, when much of the world is hard at work trying to do nothing, Jeff Hopkins and his wife, Denise, usually take a week to chase fish in Olympic National Park — a ferry ride and two tanks of gas from here with a boat in tow. But this year, their summer vacation is dead, a victim of $3-a-gallon gas and job uncertainty. “This is our vacation,” said Mr. Hopkins, loading up his drift boat for an evening of fishing in the city just after getting off work at the Boeing plant, where he has been employed for 15 years. Even before toothpaste could clog an airport security line and a full tank of gas was considered an indulgence, Americans had begun to sour on the traditional summer vacation. But this summer, a number of surveys show that American workers, who already take fewer vacations than people in nearly all industrial nations, have pruned back their leisure days even more. The Conference Board, a private research group, found that at the start of the summer, 40 percent of consumers had no plans to take a vacation over the next six months — the lowest percentage recorded by the group in 28 years. (For the rest of the story about the rise of the shrinking vacation syndrome, click here.)

Question: Has gas prices, terrorism caused you to change your vacation plans this year?



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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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