Stats: 57 Percent of Families Stressed About Summer Road Trips

Rear view of young happy people enjoying road trip in their convertible and raising their arms up
Photo by g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Summer road trip season is in full swing, with 66 percent of Americans planning to travel this summer, according to an IPSOS research study released June 8. But before they have a chance to unwind at their road trip destination, more than half of those parents (57 percent) will hit the road feeling stressed about where they are going to stop along the way, according to a new report.

To learn about the needs of traveling families, Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. parents who take family road trips and have children under the age of 18. The study revealed that when driving on a family road trip, finding a stop with clean bathrooms and fresh food options are both crucial factors - and common pain points – for parents. Specifically, the study found:

Fresh Food

Millennial parents (65 percent) are particularly stressed out about finding travel centers (rest stops, truck stops, gas stations, restaurants, etc.) with fresh food options that will make everyone in the family happy, as compared to Generation X parents (51 percent) and Baby Boomer parents (42 percent).

Nine in ten parents (88 percent), say that they would be more likely to stop at a particular travel center, if it were to offer fresh food options.

Where to stop to eat – is the top source of stress and family arguments when on a road trip.

Clean Restrooms

Three-quarters (74 percent) of parents have stopped during a road trip at a particular travel center, because of its reputation for having clean bathrooms.

Nearly all parents (98 percent) say that clean bathrooms are an important factor when deciding where to stop while driving on a family road trip.

Total Experience

Eighty-five percent of parents (including 91 percent of Millennial parents) say they would be surprised to come across a travel center that has both great, fresh food options, and clean bathrooms and facilities.

Source: Pilot Flying J