It’s true: road trips are more fun when you know the stats.
Looking for the latest statistics on road trips? We’ve got you covered.
If you love road trips, but don’t know where to find the most current and relevant statistics, then this is the article for you. This list of road trip statistics will help you plan your next adventure with confidence!
Whether it’s your first time taking off on an epic road trip adventure or your umpteenth time hitting the open road, no matter what kind of traveler you are—this list has got something for you!
Road Trip Statistics – Editor’s Choice
Many studies show that travel can make us happier, help us relieve stress and anxiety, and make us physically healthier. Moreover, traveling can help us bond with our families.
That is why many Americans enjoy road trips so much. In fact, they enjoy road trips so much it’s their favorite travel type.
The following statistics prove exactly that!
- Road trips are the most popular type of travel for summer 2022.
- Most Americans will go on a road trip within 500 miles of their home.
- 65% of all Americans on a road trip feel the safest mode of transportation is rental cars.
- 87% of Americans feel that road trips are best for all families to bond.
- 71% of American travelers do not want to go on a road trip without their significant other or spouse.
- 71% would take their pets RVing, compared to only 57% willing to take their kids on RV trips.
- 45% of Americans on a road trip choose to visit the beach during their travel.
- The most popular road trip destinations in the United States are in the Southwest.
As you can see, planning and going on road trips is in the blood of many Americans. So, continue reading if you want to discover even more fascinating statistics about this unique method of traveling.
General Road Trip Statistics
1. Road trips are the most popular type of travel for summer 2022.
Almost 80% of American adults plan to go on a summer road trip this year. That makes road trips the most popular travel type in the United States for 2022.
Out of that 80%, about 60% are planning to travel within the borders of the United States. The remaining 20% are planning to travel internationally. Moreover, almost 45% said they would travel more than once.
So, have you planned your next road trip destination yet?
2. 6.75% of Americans planning a road trip plan to drive more than 1,000 miles from home.
The Vacationer has asked Americans whether they plan to go on a road trip. A massive 79.93% or about 206 million people responded positively.
But how far are they planning to drive? Well, let’s see the results.
- 20.07% – Zero, not going on a road trip
- 18.70% – within 100 miles from home
- 21.35% – within 500 miles from home
- 11.59% – within 1,000 miles from home
- 6.75% – more than 1,000 miles from home
3. 90% of Americans went on a road trip in 2021.
In 2021, 90% of Americans have taken a road trip. That’s right—the vast majority of the US population has hit the road at least once that year, and many (75%) have ventured out more than four times.
So there’s no doubt that road trips are becoming more and more popular. What’s even more exciting is that this trend is only going to continue in the future.
Why? Because there are so many things to do and see out there! Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or you’re just exploring your hometown, a road trip is definitely the way to go.
3. Most Americans consider 13 hours of driving an ideal road trip time.
According to a survey by Utires, there is a perfect road trip formula.
Based on the answers of 1,260 American drivers, the ideal road trip consists of 13 hours of driving. In other words, Americans enjoy the most when they drive for about 6.5 hours in one direction.
The survey also revealed that the perfect road trip lasts five days and includes four passengers in an SUV/Crossover.
Other notable discoveries from the survey include that the best time for a short break is every two hours. The most popular snacks are crackers, chips, and jerky, and 41% of all survey participants couldn’t endure a road trip without a smartphone or tablet.
4. Listening to music is the most popular way to pass the time on the road.
Nearly half, or more precisely, 46% of American adults enjoy listening to music the most while on a road trip. Another 29% prefer to pass the time on the road with a conversation, 11% listen to audiobooks or podcasts, and 8% play games. Only 6% choose to daydream or look out the window during their travels.
The same research discovered that Justin Bieber is the most famous musician to listen to while on a road trip. Eminem was in second place, followed by Taylor Swift in third place.
5. Nearly two-thirds of all Americans on a road trip feel the safest mode of transportation is rental cars.
Most American adults feel the safest in a rental car while on the road.
According to a survey by Hertz that included over 1,500 Americans, 65% said that rental cars made them feel the safest. Of those, 45% enjoy the most if they fly somewhere to start their road trip, while almost 29% would choose a rental car over their car even if they are not flying.
There are a few reasons for this: avoiding adding extra miles on their car and enjoying a brand-new convertible for a week.
6. The most common unexpected trouble during a road trip is having to sleep in the car.
No matter how much you plan for your road trip, the chances are that something unexpected will happen. According to a survey by Utires, the most unexpected road trip trouble is sleeping in the car, with 66% or two-thirds of Americans experiencing this.
Other typical road trip troubles include vehicles that broke down (29%), getting carsick (27%), and peeing in a bottle (25%). The list goes on with two issues that surely anyone on a long road trip has experienced – getting a speeding ticket (25%) and nodding off while driving (23%).
According to NHTSA, nodding off while driving has led to 697 deaths in 2019. If you feel that you are getting sleepy, we highly recommend pulling over and taking a short nap before continuing your road trip.
7. When it comes to road trips, 74% agree that the journey is more important than the destination.
Though the ultimate destination of a road trip is always important, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents agreed that the journey is more important than the destination.
The journey is what you’re looking forward to, and it’s what you remember when it’s over. The destination is just a marker on your way there—something to look forward to and celebrate once you arrive. A road trip is meant to be enjoyed in its own right, but also as a way of getting somewhere else.
On your way to a new place, you get to experience places you’ve never seen before and meet people who are different from yourself. You get to learn things about yourself (and others) through these encounters, because they’re new experiences for you!
And then, when you arrive at your destination, all these memories from the journey help contextualize the new place in your mind—and make it feel even better than it would have otherwise!
We think this is a great way to look at life—and not just road trips! It’s true in our daily lives too: sometimes we get caught up in the destination and forget about the journey. The destination is usually just a way to get to where we want to go—but if you’re not enjoying the ride along the way, you might not enjoy reaching your destination either.
So maybe next time you’re on a road trip with your friends or family, try focusing less on where you’re going and more on enjoying the ride!
8. On average, Americans take about seven road trips in their lifetimes.
It’s no surprise that Americans are pretty big on road trips. In fact, the average American has taken about seven road trips in their lifetime, according to a recent survey.
It’s no secret that Americans love taking road trips. We’re a nation of explorers, and it’s only natural that we’d want to take the opportunity to explore our own country whenever possible.
You might be surprised at how many people haven’t taken any road trips yet, or how many people have taken dozens. But the numbers aren’t really what matters here: what matters is that you’re getting out there and seeing the world!
Family Road Trip Statistics
9. A bit under 90% of Americans feel that road trips are best for all families to bond.
Regarding family bonding, 87% of American adults find road trips the best way to do it. While on a road trip, families can spend quality time together away from all the usual distractions. They can also reconnect through talking and doing group activities.
On the other hand, 86% of American adults believe that road trips are one of the best ways to test their romantic relationships. That said, one if four have had sex in a car during a road trip. So, it seems a road trip is a great way to awaken your naughty side too.
The following table shows the top choices for road trip companions, as voted by the respondents.
|Road Trip Companion
|Spouse or partner
(Utires, Economy Bookings)
10. Nearly three-fourths of American travelers do not want to go on a road trip without their significant other or spouse.
It seems that road trips are all about the family!
According to a survey by Hertz, 71% of American adults don’t think they would enjoy a road trip without their significant other or spouse as a companion. Moreover, almost half said the road trip would take them to visit family members.
11. About 71% would take their pets RVing, compared to only 57% willing to take their kids on RV trips.
Traveling with pets can be difficult because not many airlines and hotels accept them. This is slowly changing due to emotional support for animals, but we are still a long way from being able to find a hotel taking pets at any time.
That is why RV traveling is the number one choice for people with pets, with 71% saying they would bring their pets on an RV trip.
The situation is slightly different for children, with only 57% of parents saying they would bring their children on RV trips.
12. More than two-thirds of families on a road trip together had a great time and plan on going again.
As we already mentioned, Americans find road trips one of the best ways to bond with their families and take any opportunity they have to travel.
Families enjoy their time on the road, which is confirmed by 70% of them saying they had a super fun time and will do it again. On the other hand, about one-third (34%) claim that they felt stressed during the road trip but still enjoyed it.
That said, not all families experience the perfect road trip. According to the same survey, 13% of all families had a family member with a meltdown within the first hour of the journey.
An additional 12% experienced much more fighting than at home, and 9% had a family member with a meltdown even before they left the neighborhood.
Road Trip Destination Statistics
13. During a road trip, Americans prefer visiting remote areas, beaches, and natural settings rather than city centers and hotspots.
According to the Daily Travel Index by Arrivalist, Americans love going on road trips that lead to remote and secluded areas, hidden beaches, and other natural settings where there aren’t many people.
In fact, the fewer people, the better. That is why most of them avoid city centers and hotspots. This thinking leads to Nevada, New York, Florida, Maryland, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Texas, and Illinois being the top road trip destinations for spring 2021.
All these states offer hidden natural gems for nature lovers.
14. Nearly half of Americans on a road trip choose to visit the beach during their travel.
With 45% of American travelers choosing to travel to the ocean, the beach is the most popular destination for a road trip. Cities are a close second choice, with 41% selecting another city to visit during their road trip.
Other popular destinations include but are not limited to national parks (21%), lakes (17%), and resorts (14%).
The same research shows us that 59% find their road trip traveling inspiration on travel websites, 40% on Facebook, 25% in magazines, and 24% in guidebooks.
15. The most popular road trip destinations in the United States are in the Southwest.
The Southwest is the most popular travel destination in the United States, with 38% choosing it as their end destination for a road trip. The Northeast is in second place with 27%, and the South is in third place with 26% of all road trips.
The poll made by Sixt also included 30 destinations across the United States, out of which the top three most popular stops are the Grand Canyon, with 44% of all votes. Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park share second place with 32% of all votes for each.
16. South Carolina, North Carolina, and Colorado have taken the most road trips.
South Carolina is the number one state that has taken the most road trips in the United States, followed by North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, and New Mexico.
Regarding the cities that have been taking the most road trips, Raleigh-Cary, NC, is number one in large metros, Durham-Chapel Hill, NC in midsize metros, and Albany, GA in small metros.
17. Orlando, Destin, and Gatlinburg are the most researched spots on American travelers’ lists for 2022.
A survey by Expedia shows us that 59% of American adults are planning domestic-only trips in 2022. The most researched cities for domestic road trips are Orlando, Destin, and Gatlinburg. Many American travelers also explored Pigeon Forge, Panama City, and Maui.
Not all American travelers will stay within the borders, with 37% planning to go on both domestic and international road trips in 2022. This summer’s most researched international spots are Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Rome, Bali, London, and Paris.
These figures show that Americans aren’t afraid to rent a car while abroad to fulfill their road trip dreams.
18. International road trips are on the rise, with an increase of 33% for international driving permits.
Americans seem to love going on international road trips as much as they love driving in the US.
According to a survey by AAA, about 80% of Americans have been on vacation outside of the United States. Moreover, there has been an increase of 33% in international driving permits in the past decade.
These figures show that more and more US travelers are abandoning the habit of staying in resorts all the time. Instead, they now rent vehicles and explore destinations as much as possible. Good for you guys!
19. Rome is the most popular international travel destination for a road trip.
The same survey of 1,002 American adults conducted by AAA revealed that the most popular international travel destination for a road trip is Rome, Italy.
The list also includes Cancun, Mexico, London, England, Dublin, Ireland, and Paris, France, as other popular choices for an international road trip.
According to ItalyCar.net, the average vehicle rental price in the country in July was $598, while the average daily car rental price was $100. This year’s average rental duration was six days, and travelers mostly go for the Economy package.
These are some figures that Americans and all other international travelers need to keep in mind if they dream of a road trip in the City of Rome area.
Must-Know Travel Statistics
20. About 88% of Americans believe traveling is essential to their lives.
Traveling, road trips included, is a crucial part of all Americans’ lives.
According to many studies, traveling helps with stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also one of the most popular ways to bond with your family.
Regardless of whether they are taking a road trip or visiting a national park, 44% are taking three to four trips during one year.
21. Over 80% of American adults plan to travel at least once during the summer.
Over 36% of American travelers plan to travel at least once this summer, and over 44% plan to travel more than once.
Those living in the East South Central region are most likely to travel this summer (over 85% are planning a trip), while those living in the Mountain region are least likely to travel this summer (less than 75% are planning a trip).
22. Over 42% of American adults plan to travel more during the summer of 2022 due to fewer COVID-19 restrictions.
With fewer COVID-19 restrictions, 2022 is the year when traveling makes a comeback. Over 42% of American adults plan to travel more than last year.
Interestingly, more men (45%) said they would travel this year compared to the previous year than women (40%). Moreover, 14% of American women said they would travel less this year than only 9% of American men.
23. Nearly half of the travelers still feel uncomfortable traveling in an airplane, while 31% said they might never feel comfortable in a plane again.
COVID-19 changed the entire world, as well as how we experience travel. Many Americans have started traveling by airplane in 2021 and 2022. Still, 40% are not planning to get on a plane.
Furthermore, 45% are not feeling comfortable boarding a plane at the moment, while 31% said they may never feel comfortable in an airplane ever again.
This trend is helping the concept of road trips to rise. Driving in a car with your family or closest friends feels much safer than sharing a plane with strangers. So, many people will shift from airplane travel to going on road trips, at least for the 2022 season.
24. Americans spend $642 billion on domestic trips and $38 billion on international trips.
American travelers spent $649 billion on domestic trips in 2021, which is significantly lower than in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, domestic travel spending is expected to reach up to $1.06 trillion by 2025.
On the other hand, American travelers also spent 93 billion on international trips, road trips included last year, which is expected to grow to $198 billion by 2025.
Road Trip Demographics Statistics
25. More than three-thirds of Gen Zers would go on a road trip without being vaccinated.
Priceline often conducts surveys whose results get published on National Road Trip Day. In 2021, unsurprisingly, the focus was on COVID-19 and how it affected road trips among different traveler demographics.
For 78% of Gen Zers, not being vaccinated wouldn’t affect their desire for a road trip. After all, 80% of them responded that they just wanted to escape their homes and “quaranteam.”
Another thing important to them, however, was the concentration of infections, as 78% would pick a spot with a low number of cases.
26. Millennials take more road trips per year than any other generation.
While Gen Zers really wanted to go on a road trip, Millennials and Gen Xers actually did it. The average number of road trips among Millennials was seven, while among Gen Xers was six.
Travelers from these generations were also more open to longer road trips, with the preferred average duration being eight days.
27. Men are more open to renting cars for a road trip than women.
Priceline’s survey discovered that most Americans who go on a road trip (59%) rent vehicles for their trips. The reasons vary, but the most common ones include not putting mileage on their vehicles and wanting a fun ride, 57% and 59%, respectively.
However, it’s interesting to note that men are more open to this concept than women. Namely, nearly two-thirds (65%) of men would rent compared to a much lower 46% of women. And it’s cool to point out that men would rent a vehicle to have a fun riding experience. So, they often go for a convertible.
The reasons for going on a road trip differ between men and women. Men would go on a road trip to be alone, while women would visit family.
In any case, both genders seem equally interested in visiting destinations that offer outdoor activities when they go on a road trip.
Thanks for reading our article on road trip statistics. Hopefully, by now you have a better understanding of the motivations behind taking a trip on the open road and are equipped with the knowledge to make the most of your journey.
Whether you’re currently traveling or planning your next trip, these statistics will help you make the most of your journey and experience everything that is unique and special about it.
Be warned – once you start plotting your journey, putting it off might be hard!
If you have any questions about planning a road trip or anything related to this article’s data, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on social media.
Until next time!