Survey: 85% of U.S. Travelers Plan Road Trip Within Six Months

SANTA MONICA, CA—A recent survey by travel digital media brand OnlyInYourState, found that, despite continued spikes in COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S., consumers are eager to travel again, with 77% of those surveyed expressing interest in traveling within the next six months. Though only 28% of respondents said they plan to board a plane, more than 85% said they are planning a road trip in the next six months.

This renewed interest in day trips and road trips is prevalent in current consumer travel behavior, with the majority of those surveyed interested in road trips within two-to-five hours from home and more than 74% of respondents seeking out travel opportunities to connect with nature. Compared to OnlyInYourState’s April consumer survey, nearly twice as many September survey respondents reported visiting an attraction (i.e., state park, monument, landmark, etc.) in the past two weeks.

OnlyInYourState surveyed more than 12,000 readers from Sept. 16-28 to identify consumer comfort with travel —which is somewhat impacted by sanitization procedures at accommodations and attractions—as well as current behaviors and planned future activities over the next six months. This consumer insights report is the latest from Leaf Group’s portfolio of digital brands, where recent studies have highlighted new and shifting consumer behaviors due to current events, including the ongoing pandemic.

Consumers are also becoming increasingly more comfortable with the idea of staying at a hotel, especially relative to those comfortable with air travel; 41% of respondents said they are somewhat or very comfortable staying overnight at a hotel, while only 17% of respondents are somewhat or very comfortable with traveling by plane. For those considering spending the night somewhere for travel, sanitizing procedures was the most important factor (38% ranked this the top priority) in selecting a place to stay, followed by price and location, each of which ranked as the top factor by 24% of respondents.

“It is promising to see such strong expectations to travel within the next six months and a renewed passion for the Great American Road Trip,” said Scott Messer, SVP, media at Leaf Group. “Most readers indicated that travel safety is a top concern, and part of our study helps show where and how brands should reposition themselves to match those needs. OnlyInYourState’s highly engaged audience proved to be a fantastic resource for uncovering consumer behaviors when it comes to travel, we look forward to shedding light on these insights to help shape our editorial and brand partnerships.”