With the economy improving, more than 4 out of 5 respondents (83 percent) said they plan to take an overnight leisure trip of more than 100 miles roundtrip this summer, up from last year’s survey (78 percent).
In fact, the majority of these travelers (53 percent) expect to take two or more leisure trips this summer.
Shrinking regional air routes and rising airline fees may drive a return of the classic American road trip. Fully nine in 10 respondents (90 percent) planning summer holiday trips will make the journey by car, the survey found.
“The great American road trip is back,” said Steve Joyce, president and CEO, Choice Hotels. “I believe people are becoming more confident about their jobs, and they’re planning to hit the road this summer. At the same time, travelers are looking for value, like free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, so they can spend that extra money on theme park tickets or an additional meal out with families and friends.”
“Road trips have always been a great way for families to create memories together,” said Ann Hallock, editor-in-chief, FamilyFun magazine. “The editors of FamilyFun are excited to see families are making the most of this precious time together with great ideas, from the latest apps and mobile devices to tried-and-true car trip pastimes that are fun for the whole family.”
Here is a snapshot of this summer’s family traveler, according to the survey.
- Why Road Trips Rule. Priorities on getting good value, taking charge and bonding with family are among the key reasons for choosing road trips, the survey revealed. Identifying the main influential factors in their decision to drive instead of fly, most families said driving is less expensive (54 percent). Nearly half the respondents pointed out that “driving gives us more control over our schedule (46 percent), while more than 2 in 5 noted car trips “let us take as much luggage/gear as we like” and allow us to “take in scenery/attractions along the way” (42 percent and 41 percent respectively). Among the other reasons cited: Driving is easier” (30 percent), and it “gives us better family bonding time” (22 percent).
- Famous Family Travel Companions. Which famous family would respondents most want sharing the backseat (or minivan) with them? The frontrunners for famous families to take on a road trip are the Obamas and Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and family, chosen by more than one in five respondents (23 percent and 22 percent respectively). Third on the list, Angelina Jolie,Brad Pitt and family, trailed far behind, as the first choice of 8 percent of families surveyed. Topping the list of Worst Celebrity Family Road Trip Companions: Honey Boo-Boo’s family and the Kardashians (33 percent and 21 percent respectively).
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