NEW YORK — Using data from its widely adopted Daily Travel Index, leading travel data company Arrivalist predicts that Americans will take 38.5 million road trips over Memorial Day weekend this year. Compared to last year, when many states issued stay-at-home orders amid the Covid-19 pandemic, road trip activity will be up a whopping 46% percent. Travel even is expected to exceed pre-Covid levels by 2.4% when compared to 2019 road trip activity.
“Americans continue to seek respite on the road,” said Cree Lawson, Arrivalist Founder and CEO. “Vaccination elation seems to be overpowering sticker shock at the gas pump. These latest projections are a promising sign for the travel industry that says, ‘We’re back.’ We continue to see outdoor attractions, from beaches to parks to mountains, hitting record levels of visitation and being filled to capacity in some cases. The fact that a spike in gas prices has yet to curb this trend makes us pretty enthusiastic about the prospects for the great outdoors having another strong summer and some downtown areas possibly seeing some recovery, too.”
The Daily Travel Index is a daily measure of road trip activity taken by residents of all 50 U.S. states, with volume indexed against the average daily volume of 2019 travelers. It was designed as a free online resource available on Arrivalist’s website to provide the travel industry with insights to help plot its path to recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic. Site visitors can compare visitation in 2021 to activity from the same period in 2019, not just the timeframe when travel slowed to a virtual standstill in 2020. Additionally, a customized Daily Travel Index is available to clients, which allows them to compare activity in their market to a nationwide index.
How the Data is Calculated
Arrivalist’s methodology is based on a representative balanced panel of GPS signals representing road trips taken specifically in cars (excluding travel by air). A trip is measured as one where the user has traveled a minimum of 50 miles and spent a minimum of two hours at the destination. Commuter travel or other frequently repeated trips—i.e., cargo deliveries or other reoccurring activities—are excluded from the Daily Travel Index.
Arrivalist is the leading location intelligence platform in the travel industry. The company uses multiple location datasets to provide actionable insights on consumer behavior, competitive share, media effectiveness, and market trends. Over 200 travel marketers, including 100 cities, 40 U.S. states, and four of the top 10 U.S. theme parks, use these insights to inform media strategy, operations, and destination development. Arrivalist is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco and Toronto.
Cars.com Finds 89% of Memorial Day Travelers Prefer to Road-Trip Even as More Americans Become Vaccinated
CHICAGO — Americans are ready for the return of summer travel, according to Cars.comTM (NYSE: CARS), a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider. More than half of Americans (60%) plan to get away this Memorial Day weekend, up more than 66% compared to last year, according to Cars.com’s national survey. Despite growing vaccination rates and rising gas prices, 89% of travelers will drive to their holiday destination, up from 85% during Memorial Day weekend 2020.1
“It’s clear that car ownership will prove to be a durable post-pandemic travel trend,” said Jenni Newman, Cars.com’s editor-in-chief. “Memorial Day marks the first major travel holiday since vaccination efforts began across the country, and Americans are excited to finally see family and friends in person. But even after widespread vaccination availability, we continue to see people prioritize travel by car because they don’t quite trust other forms of transportation yet.”
Additional insights revealed by Cars.com’s survey on Memorial Day travel include:
- The car is the star, regardless of rising gas prices. Only 12% of respondents say they will fly this year, and nearly half (46%) say that in the face of increasing costs at the pumps, they plan to drive anyway.1
- Dosed and ready to travel. More than 40% of Memorial Day travelers are fully vaccinated, with 12% still in the process and 15% planning to get their shots before traveling. Only 21% plan to travel unvaccinated.1
- Lack of rental car availability prompts travel in personal cars. More than 1 in 3 respondents say the limited availability of rental cars somewhat or greatly impacted their decision to drive a personal vehicle instead of flying to their destination.1
- Family reunions? Check. For those leaving town, most (40%) say they will visit family, signaling a long holiday weekend filled with many overdue hugs. Travelers also plan to hit the beach (28%) and visit friends (24%).1
- GET. ME. OUT. Last year’s travelers focused on shorter trips close to home, contrasting with the 57% of road warriors who plan to travel as far from home as possible this year.1
“Despite the majority of vacationers reporting full or partial vaccination status, we still recommend that anyone traveling for Memorial Day weekend follow the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” added Newman.
To learn more about the recent Memorial Day survey, great deals and other car-buying tips and tricks, please visit Cars.com/events/Memorial-Day.
1 Cars.com’s survey conducted May 8-11, 2021; 1,365 responses
CARS is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace site Cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.
In addition to Cars.com, CARS brands include Dealer Inspire, a technology provider building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations and connected digital experiences; FUEL, which gives dealers and OEMs the opportunity to harness the untapped power of digital video by leveraging Cars.com’s pure audience of in-market car shoppers, and DealerRater, a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform.
Source: Cars.com Inc.