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Road Trips are a popular form of travel among the 45-plus leisure travel audience, with 87% taking part in this mode of travel approximately three times a year.
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Key findings include:
- On average, the one-way drive time for a Road Trip is 9 hours. Upon arrival at the final destination, road trippers spend approximately 5 days, making the total Road Trip a 7-day excursion.
- Regardless of drive time, the 45-plus road tripping audience consistently cites their trips involve 2-3 family members driving together in only one vehicle (95%) - likely a car (55%) or SUV (30%).
The 45-plus travel audience has embraced Road Trips, with 72% claiming it as their favorite way to travel, and 45% indicating the trip is about both the journey and the destination. The most popular reasons why travelers choose road trips are to have a vehicle at their destination (58%), for flexibility (46%), and for cost (35%).
Some common Road Trips must haves:
- Water, sunglasses and snacks top the list of non-tech items.
- And when it comes to tech must-haves (beyond a cell phone), 62% cite cell coverage as imperative, followed by an iPad/Tablet (40%) and a digital camera (39%).
Road trip activities show some differences between Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers:
- Gen-Xers are more likely to use technology to assist them on their road trip than are Boomers. Seventy percent of Gen-Xers used the Internet to plan their most recent road trip, compared to just 47% of Boomers.
- Boomers are more likely than Gen-Xers to do some routine maintenance on their vehicle prior to their trip.
- Boomers are more likely to use a car on their road trip, while Gen-Xers are more likely to drive an SUV.
A 10-minute online survey was conducted among males and females age 45-plus who have taken at least one Road Trip in the past year. The survey was fielded from May 5 through May 13, 2015. Final data has been weighted to the U.S. Census for analysis. For more information contact Vicki Gelfeld at VGelfeld@aarp.org.
Kulwicki, Allison, and Vicki Gelfeld. AARP Travel Research: Road Trips. Washington, DC: AARP Research, June 2015. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00106.001