President Barack Obama is taking his own advice and taking his family to the Gulf Coast on vacation next month, something he and first lady Michelle Obama have been urging others to do to help the area's suffering economy.
Obama has made four trips to the Gulf region, including an overnight stay, since an underwater well exploded in April and began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. First lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to make her second visit the area on Friday.
On their trips to the region, both the president and Mrs. Obama have made a point of encouraging people to visit Gulf Coast beaches that are open and oil-free to help boost an area economy battered by the sharp decline in tourism that followed the spill.
"One of the best ways that fellow Americans can help is to come on down here and spend some money," Mrs. Obama said this month in Panama City Beach, Fla., where she strolled barefoot in the sand and bought a cup of chocolate ice cream.
Since the explosion that killed 11 workers, the Obamas — sometimes without daughters Malia and Sasha — have escaped Washington for brief vacations in Asheville, N.C., their home in Chicago, and Bar Harbor, Maine, last weekend.
The White House did not say where in Florida the Obamas would be spending their time.
But wherever the family ends up, it will just be three Obamas — the president, the first lady and 9-year-old Sasha — instead of the usual foursome. Sister Malia, 12, will be away at camp for the first time — also at a location not disclosed.