Locals planning vacations are counting the cost - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Locals planning vacations are counting the cost

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) As many locals plan their family vacations, the battle continues between flying and driving. The budget usually gets to make the final call. Travel agents say the most popular vacation destination for locals is a cruise to the Caribbean. 

Here are the numbers for a family who wanted to drive to Fort Lauderdale to catch a cruise. If driving the family car with gas at $3.74, it could cost about $200. Add that to the cost of the cruise which could be $2,000-$2,300. Flying is a different matter. For a round-trip, non-stop flight on spirit airlines for a family of 4, expect to shell out about a thousand. Add to that baggage fees and shuttle expenses. Now airlines are going to have to refund you if they lose your luggage.
Travel agent, Ashley Jackson, says that even though money is tight for many people, sometimes we need a chance to get away from it all. "Going on vacation is just a feel good thing, and it helps people to forget about all the things that are bothering them, and then when they get home they feel renewed, refreshed, their ready to regroup and face all the challenges they were facing before."
Several moms with young kids say traveling at all is not worth the headache. They say they are going to stay home at the beach until the kids get a little older. Some say for those who already live at the beach, why pay to go elsewhere? Others claim it is a necessity to get away.
Travel agents say Grand Strand and Pee Dee families are choosing cruises if they do get away. It has been a popular choice because the cost is somewhat all-inclusive. One price pays for your food, port charges, taxes and all your on-board activities.
Travel agents say most people have cut back on the length of vacation time, only staying away for seven days instead of 14. For moms like Jessica Hudacko, vacationing with family is still going to hit the pocketbook. "We are driving this year because of money and even the gas is going to hurt us but it will be less than flying now so especially with the kids we have now so we're driving but it's probably going to be an expensive trip just to go to Connecticut and New Jersey because of the money issues that are going on right now."

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