Survey: More Americans Prefer Shorter Road Trips

When it comes to vacations, 66% of Americans prefer shorter weekend road trips while 31% of travelers would rather go on a week-long vacation, according to the 2014 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Leisure Travel Survey. More than half (57%) of respondents would drive up to 300 miles one way for a weekend trip, and almost 75% prefer to drive to their destinations over other modes of transportation.

The Enterprise survey was conducted from May 14-21, 2014, with 1,001 U.S. travelers who have taken at least one road trip during the last year.

“Our study found that Americans are willing to drive long distances for a little rest and relaxation, even if it’s just over a weekend,” said Steve Short, Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s vice president. “With car rental branches located within 15 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, Enterprise makes it easy and convenient for drivers to travel to their destinations.”

The study identified other trends including:

  • 42% of men were likely to take a road trip because they like to drive, compared to a quarter of women. In contrast, women were 1.5 times more likely than men to report that they take road trips because they come back rejuvenated and refreshed.
  • 41% of women reported they’re likely to have rented a vehicle for a road trip to prevent wear and tear on their own cars, versus merely a quarter of men.
  • Millennials (ages 25–34) report having the least amount of time to take road trips. More than half (51%) are unable to take more trips because they can’t be away from work. 
  • On average, Midwesterners are willing to drive the farthest for road trips.
  • Westerners are almost three times more likely than those in other regions to take a road trip for outdoor recreation. Almost one-third (31%) drive to their destination because of its remoteness.
  • Southerners are almost twice as likely to involve family in their road trip decision compared to their counterparts in other regions (19% vs. 10%). 
  • Northeasterners take the fewest number of days for leisure trips and report traveling most often for entertainment (e.g. concerts, sporting events).

Graphic courtesy of Enterprise.
Graphic courtesy of Enterprise.

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