Will Your Summer Be Fun?

Christina Lewellen
May 23, 2012

Happy almost-long-weekend everyone! We're just a few days away from Memorial Day weekend, three days that many consider the unofficial start to summer. Our community pool is opening up this weekend and my kids are counting down their final days of school. The mild weather also helps with my summery state of mind.

Occasionally, we take an opportunity with the Talk to ask a question that isn’t too industry specific, but might be topical given other things that are happening. This week, I’d like to ask you about your summer plans. We’ve asked similar poll questions once or twice in the last couple of years to gauge how the economic downturn was impacting discretionary spending and our ability as consumers to feel confident enough to make plans—including forking over the money to plan a vacation that might not happen until several months from now.

So what’s on your agenda for the summer? Do you plan to take the big trip you’ve been putting off for a few years, or are you sticking close to home? Is it tough to schedule time off of work with more work to handle and/or a leaner staff? Please take a moment to send me an email or post a comment about your plans. C’mon… give me something to make me jealous—I’m sticking close to home this summer, so perhaps I’ll live vicariously through you.

Happy Memorial Day, and many thanks to those who serve or have served our country. Be safe and have fun!


Survey Results for 05/23/2012 :


This summer, I plan:

No travel; I am staying home




To have a more modest vacation closer to home




To hit the road (or sky) with a big trip




To do something, but I am not sure what yet.




Most window and door people, it appears, have modest plans for the coming summer. As the comment below indicates, there are ways to have fun on a budget... camping is the perfect example (for some of the more rustic, back-to-basics types).

If I can just pontificate for a moment, I would like to add that I believe this poll questions reflects how we've changed as consumers in the last couple of years. The fact that nearly half of participants are staying home this summer, and another 20+ percent are opting for a modest vacation, is reflective of how many of us feel about major purchases, including homes, cars and non-essential "toys." Sure, we could argue that it's because consumer confidence, while making impressive gains, has been bruised and battered as a result of the downturn and perhaps people are still afraid about making their mortgage payments if they lose their jobs. But I think it's just as likely that we've changed the way we think about money--we're more conservative, perhaps. More reasonable. More likely to succeed in the "new normal" of the economy.

 Adjusted to the "new normal" or not, you won't catch this girl camping. Even if it is for a reasonable $14 a day.

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.


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