US Car Use Expected to Spike 72%

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

According to a new U.S. consumer summer travel survey, after months of being cooped up inside, Americans plan to get out and hit the road in big numbers this summer. In a survey commissioned by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and conducted by OnDevice Research, more than half of all consumers plan to get away on a summer vacation this year and they’re getting there by car. Road trips will be back in a big way this summer with 62% of vacationers planning to travel by car, a whopping 72% increase from last summer.

The survey has some heartening news for businesses around the country that are looking to bounce back quickly from the COVID-19 lockdown. 69% of all vacationers surveyed plan to spend the same or more than last year, with almost one-quarter planning to spend more than USD 2500 on their vacation. 65% of vacationers surveyed plan to travel for the same length of time or more than last year; and younger adults ages 18 – 34, are planning to take the longest vacations and travel the farthest.

OAAA President & CEO Anna Bager told us “This survey confirms what we’ve all suspected, that consumers around the country are eager to get out of their homes in a safe way and travel this summer, primarily via the sanctuary of the car. With restrictions easing, people are craving the open road especially to see family and friends. And while consumers may be changing their vacation habits from years past, they’re still planning to travel. This is great news for advertisers whether they’re local or national and for businesses that cater to summer travelers – including overnight accommodations, dining, shopping, fuel, recreation and tourism.”

Additional key findings also show that 79% plan to travel more than 100 miles (roundtrip) with 54% planning to travel more than 400 miles (roundtrip). Almost half (47%) of vacations will be groups of three or more and for 72%, their group size will be the same or larger than last year. Top planned activities are: time with family and friends (36%); dining out (35%); visiting beach/lake (34%); shopping (30%); recreational activities (28%); and sightseeing (27%).

The proprietary OnDevice Research Study, conducted from May 22 through June 1, consisted of 1,000 online survey respondents, ages 18+, matched to national representation for age and gender, and was conducted on behalf of the Out of Home Association of America.

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