By Marie Haaland // SWNS
The average American hasn’t left their home state in about three and a half years, according to new research.
For some, that might be due to a prioritization of in-state travel — 67% of survey respondents said they have “so much” left to see in their own state.
The survey of 2,000 Americans (who have ever taken a road trip) found many took advantage of in-state travel this past year, and half of respondents said they’ve had more time to explore their local area as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While less than 10% said they’ve been out of their home state in the past year, there’s good reason for that: 52% said they feel the safest traveling within their state this summer since safety guidelines and restrictions vary per state.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Visit Anaheim, the survey looked at in-state travel, but it also delved into road trips and asked respondents to plan their “perfect road trip.”
With its beaches, mountains and everything in between, California was revealed to be the best state for road trips (38%), followed by Arizona (29%) with its red rocks and the Grand Canyon.
June was found to be the top month in which respondents would take a road trip (23%), followed by May (14%), and their perfect trip would take place over about four and a half days.
There might be a reason it’s not a quick trip: 44% said it’s the journey and not the destination that matters — preferring to make stops and sightsee along the way.
Interestingly, men were much more evenly split between wanting to drive without stops (36%) versus sightsee along the way (34%), while women preferred to take their time (51% vs. 20%).
“Road trips are such a safe and fun way to get outside, begin traveling again and see your state,” said Jay Burress, president & CEO, Visit Anaheim. “Road trips are a great way to explore and give travelers a chance to travel at their own pace — whether they prefer to take their time or drive straight to their destination. If you’re road tripping through California, Anaheim offers a variety of attractions for road trippers of all kinds and is calling all characters to come experience its nostalgia and magic.”
Respondents were asked to pick their “road trip persona” from a list, and results found 35% identify as navigators, making sure they get to the right place by way of careful attention to GPS, maps and road signs.
A fifth (22%) said they’re typically the driver, making the trip possible, and 11% identified as the “snacker” — the person eating most of the snacks from the backseat.
The top places respondents would like to visit on their “perfect road trip” included a river or lake (46%), the ocean (45%) and a hiking trail (37%).
Those surveyed were split on whether their road trip would be spontaneous (36%) or pre-planned (34%), but respondents did agree they’d like to have two friends along for the ride.
That said, do be careful who gets an invite — respondents said four hours and 23 minutes was too long to consecutively spend in the car with friends, and their tolerance for family was even lower (three hours and 46 minutes).
And men in general seemed to be more pro-road trip: 75% said road trips are “here to stay” as their main way of traveling, compared to 43% of women.
Regardless of gender, 56% said they’ve taken a “perfect road trip” and that number may increase, as 61% are hoping to take more road trips than ever this summer, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited travel in 2020.
“After this year, we all deserve a vacation and we encourage you to travel safely and embark on a ‘perfect road trip’ this summer,” said Burress. “We love seeing California as the best state for a road trip because from our theme parks to our professional sports to our craft breweries and eclectic dining, California and Anaheim specifically have everything you’re looking for to create memories that will last a lifetime.”
WHAT WOULD THE “PERFECT ROAD TRIP” INCLUDE?
- Travel during June (23%) or May (13%) over the course of about four and a half days
- Drive through four different states and visit five different landmarks
- California (38%), Arizona (29%) and Alabama (27%) were found to be the best states for a road trip
- The top places respondents would like to visit include a river or lake (46%), the ocean (45%) and a hiking trail (37%)
WHAT ARE THE BEST ASPECTS OF TAKING A ROAD TRIP?
- The opportunity for spontaneous diversions along the way 56%
- Seeing more of the states I pass through than I would by flying 53%
- The opportunity to spend time in close proximity with family or friends 47%
- The opportunity to be loud and play games with my trip-mates 37%
- Being able to stop anytime I want 37%