U.S. consumers to focus spending on travel this summer

With consumer confidence slowly beginning to show improvements, many analysts are wondering how the most robust economy since the recession began will progress through the busy summer months.

With consumer confidence slowly beginning to show improvements, many analysts are wondering how the most robust economy since the recession began will progress through the busy summer months.

According to a survey released this week by Ally Bank, it appears that travel is the top spending plan among American consumers this summer. The report found 26 percent of respondents plan to focus their spending on travel and vacation - more than any other option.

"With so many Americans hitting the road this summer, easy access to vacation money is important," said Ally product innovation executive Diane Morais. "When traveling it's helpful to have your funds at your fingertips and not have to pay fees to access it."

Still, most consumers remain cash-strapped, especially in light of rising energy and food prices. Accordingly, the report also found that 22 percent of respondents are considering picking a local spot for their summer getaways. In addition, as much as 37 percent of consumers plan to spend less than $500 on their trips.