(BPT) — The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of Americans in many ways, including making families from coast to coast cancel or postpone their vacation plans. However, a new survey reveals that nearly half of U.S. adults are planning to get out and take a trip again soon and a road trip is the way to get there.
The survey, conducted on behalf of Toyota, also shows how attitudes about travel — from destinations to modes of transportation — have changed since the pandemic began.
How do Americans feel about traveling now?
While 4 in 10 (42%) U.S. adults said that they are likely to go on a vacation or travel by the end of this year, over half (56%) of them reported that they are less likely to venture beyond their home state.
Another effect of the pandemic, not surprisingly, is that the majority of respondents (69%) said they would prefer to only travel with their immediate family members (such as their spouse/partner and children) from their household.
The results confirmed a strong preference for outdoor vacation experiences such as trips to the beach/swimming, state parks/hiking and camping. Most respondents anticipate driving 4-6 hours to reach their vacation destinations.
How are Americans planning to get there?
Perhaps the most striking difference compared to pre-COVID days was revealed when the survey asked about preferred modes of travel since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 3 out of 4 (72%) said they would much rather take a vehicle than a plane to get to their destination. The reason for this choice makes sense: Over half (56%) said they felt their vehicle was a "safe haven" from the coronavirus.
And what features help make a road trip a better choice for traveling? Drivers revealed that the three most important features are fuel economy, ride comfort and advanced safety features.
The top three choices for what type of vehicles respondents believed would result in the most comfortable road trip are:
• 56% SUV
• 34% Sedan
• 17% Minivan
More road trips mean more interest in upgrading vehicles
Perhaps because over half (54%) of the survey respondents said that their vehicle has become more important to them due to the pandemic, interest in buying a new vehicle is strong. Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. adults reported some interest in purchasing a new vehicle within the next year, and 31% reported that they were likely to purchase a vehicle in the next year.
If you and your family are planning a road trip vacation this year and need a new vehicle, find more information at Toyota.com.