Road trips continue to grow in popularity, with 64 percent of Americans agreeing that they want to hit the road on a spontaneous vacation, according to a new survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll on behalf of car rental company Sixt.
The study, which delved into the top road trip destinations in the United States, found that the Southwest was the most popular, at 38 percent. Next up was the Northeast (27 percent) and the South (26 percent).
The Grand Canyon (44 percent), Yosemite National Park (32 percent) and Yellowstone National Park (32 percent) are the most sought-after stops on a road trip from a prequalified list of 30 destinations across the United States.
The survey also examined what makes an ideal road trip. Classic family road trips are still in fashion, with four in 10 preferring to spend time with their family, but Americans have a strict three-day limit when it comes to these. This may have to do with the potential of six "car-guments" (car arguments) a family will have over that period of time – that’s an average of two a day.
From road trip essentials and routes to take, the average road trip takes at least two to four weeks to plan out and a further one in 10 are more particular, taking more than three months to plan a road trip.
The top essential for Americans on the road isn’t water – or even a first aid kit – but rather snacks. The average American eats at least four snacks during a five- to six-hour trip, according to the report. Half of respondents chose pretzels or chips as their go-to road trip snack, with candy and chocolate closely behind, at 43 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Modern times seem to have taken a toll on classic road trip games, though, as three in 10 prefer to keep to themselves and play games on their phone or tablet. A quarter of Americans do keep the nostalgia alive, however, opting to play I spy and the license plate game.
More than three in 10 Americans would actually prefer to take a longer route to enjoy the scenery, with 48 percent also opting for local or country roads rather than major highways.
Americans were also asked about their car preferences for both a one-day road trip and a week-long road trip. Three quarters of Americans would like to drive around in a convertible or sports car for a day trip, but when it comes to a week-long trip, Americans prefer an SUV or truck – at 62 percent.