2017 Road Trip Survey Uncovers That Nearly 75% of Americans Plan to Take a Road Trip This Year

Survey Commissioned by the GM BuyPower Card® Notes Trends on How Much Road Trippers Will Spend, What They Eat and Where They Travel While On The Road

Memorial Day is almost here, bringing with it the unofficial beginning of summer and endless vacation possibilities. Summer is nicknamed “vacation season” for a reason – adults take advantage of accrued time off and kids are out of school – all in the name of fun and relaxation. As air travel gets more expensive and more destinations cater to travelers, many Americans are forgoing plane tickets in favor of the freedom of the open road. In fact, nearly 75% of Americans plan to take a road trip this year, according to the 2017 Road Trip Survey, which was commissioned in April by the GM BuyPower Card.

The survey, which included more than 1,300 licensed drivers in the United States, also revealed that more than half (51.6%) of participants consider summer weekends to be the best time to take a road trip. It also revealed that more than one quarter (25.1%) will be on their way to a U.S. national park, with almost half (47.6%) paying for everything by credit card and nearly one third (30.8%) snacking on chips on the way.

Some of the other intriguing findings from the 2017 Road Trip Survey include:

Hitting the Road Is a Popular American Pastime

  • The majority of Americans (73.5%) have traveled by car 200 miles or more than four hours from home within the past year and, by the end of 2017, nearly three-fourths (74.2%) plan to hit the road again on another road trip.

Consumers Say Hotels, Gas Are Largest Road Trip Expenses

  • Almost half of respondents (49.3%) consider hotels their largest expense on long road trips, with nearly a third (33.1%) considering gas their largest road trip expenditure.

  • Think road trips are cheap? Think again. More than 40% (40.4%) indicate that on their last road trip, they spent a total of $500 or more (including all expenses) – with 17.2% saying they spent more than $1,000.

  • Nearly half (47.6%) pay for their road trip expenses by credit card. For those who use their GM BuyPower Card, every road trip purchase helps Cardmembers earn toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. Cardmembers receive 5% Earnings on their first $5,000 in purchases each year, then 2% unlimited Earnings on purchases after that.

The SUV Is the Most Preferred Road Trip Vehicle

  • Nearly half (44.6%) of respondents indicated that an SUV is the preferred vehicle for a road trip, but 3.8% prefer a sports car for a long road trip. For all the frequent road trippers, the GM BuyPower Card provides a great way to earn toward a new GM vehicle that has features perfect for them. With the GM BuyPower Card, there are no limits to how much you can earn or redeem, so every road trip taken gets Cardmembers closer to the GM vehicle of their dreams.

  • Survey respondents said that the most important vehicle feature when going on a road trip is ample leg room (50.5%), while almost 45% said the sound system was critical to their road trip comfort.

California Dreaming: Consumers Want to Go West for Road Trips

  • California wins hands down, with 15.4% choosing the Golden State as the place they most like to visit. Second and third place goes to Alaska (8.26%) and Florida (7.73%).
  • More than a quarter (25.1%) of respondents indicated that they would want to visit a U.S. national park like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, etc. Nearly one in five (19.7%) respondents said they want to take a cross country / coast-to-coast trip, and 18.2% would choose to visit a beach or lake.

Love on the Road: Spouses Lead List of Best Road Trip Partners

  • More than half (57.6%) are willing to spend more than 20 hours with their significant other in a car, while nearly one-fifth (18.9%) are only willing to spend up to six hours in the car with their significant other.

  • On the other hand, only 4.2% indicated they would most want to go on a road trip with either of their parents. In fact, more people would rather go on a road trip alone (6.1%) than with their sibling (5.6%), or even their favorite celebrity (1.7%).

What Are You Hungry For?

  • On road trips, nearly 40% (38.8%) prefer eating the food the local area is known for. Fast food comes in second, with 28.5% indicating this as their cuisine of choice while on road trips. Diner food is a distant third at 11.0%. While people love pizza, it’s not a road trip favorite – only 2.8% consider it their preferred food while on a road trip.
  • Chips are the snack food of choice while on road trips, with nearly 1/3 (30.8%) of respondents indicating that this is their preferred snack food. Healthier options are also popular, with fruits and vegetables coming in second at 17.7%, significantly higher than candy (9.4%) or pretzels (5.7%). Don’t forget the beef jerky, which at 14.7%, comes in third as the go-to snack for road trips.

No matter what your destination is, a road trip calls for a reliable vehicle that fits your needs. The GM BuyPower Card is a great resource for travelers – every expense generates Earnings that get them closer to the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.

Learn more about the GM BuyPower Card by visiting www.buypowercard.com.

<< Back