Stats: Americans Taking Short Road Trips Close to Home This Summer

family packing a car for road trip vacation
Photo by Imgorthand/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Generali Global Assistance (GGA) has announced the findings of its “Future of Travel” survey conducted by Ipsos, which surveyed 11,000 individuals across 11 countries in the U.S., Europe, and Asia between June 5 and June 12. The “Future of Travel” surveyed respondents in the United States on their upcoming travel plans and preferences when it comes to accommodations, destinations and the mode of transportation they plan to use on their next trip.

Some of the key highlights from this year’s survey are below: 

Planned Travel in 2020: While the coronavirus has slowed down travel, Americans are opting to take domestic road trips over a long weekend to more isolated destinations this summer. Seventy-three percent said they plan to go on a vacation this year, which is lower than Europeans as a whole, of which 81 percent said they planned to take a trip. Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) indicated they would be traveling domestically this summer for their main trip; only 5 percent said they would travel outside the U.S. 

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Duration and Budget: For their post-lockdown summer trip, most U.S. travelers said they prefer a long weekend getaway with a few close traveling companions. One-third (34 percent) said they would be taking a long weekend getaway for three to four days this summer, while 35 percent said they would go on a week-long summer trip. One-quarter (24 percent) indicated they would travel with one other person while. Surprisingly, 18 percent said they would travel with four to five people this summer. Americans will budget $2,450 for their main trip this year, close to $650 more than their European counterparts. 

Accommodations: Despite the potential for crowds, hotels were still the most popular accommodation for U.S. travelers. One-third (33 percent) indicated they would stay at a private rental—up 17 percent from last summer. Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans indicated they planned to stay at a hotel this summer. Fifteen said they’ll be going camping.  

Mode of Transportation: Preferences in mode of transport generally matched the shorter domestic trips people indicated they’d take this summer. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) indicated they’d be taking their car to their post-lockdown getaway this summer. One (9 percent) would be using a rental car this summer. One-quarter (23 percent) of U.S. travelers said they would travel by plane this summer. 

COVID-19 Trip Protection: In the wake of the current pandemic, it’s no surprise that most travelers are concerned about the coronavirus on their next trip. While delay and cancellation was still the top reason to buy insurance, COVID-19-related health concerns was close behind.  In fact, 81 percent of insurance buyers think it’s important to have specific info on their COVID status before departure and during the trip. Eighty-seven percent says it important to be covered for emergency medical and hospital expenses. Nine in 10 (91 percent) of Americans find it important to be covered for delays and cancellations.

Destinations: When U.S. travelers do go on their post-lockdown getaway this summer, these destinations were their top choices:

  • 32 percent plan to visit friends and family after a long period of self-isolation
  • 22 percent plan to take a “well-deserved” beach holiday
  • 15 percent preferred a quiet trip to the countryside

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