Summer is traditionally a hot time for … well, everything. And from temperatures to travel plans, 2022 is proving no different. Air travel is making headlines due to rising prices and grounded routes. Along with the lingering effects of the pandemic and rising prices, consumers are paying close attention to how they travel. Now, new data from Hankook Tire shows 60% of Americans expect to take a road trip by the end of summer, although how and where they are going is shifting gears.
Here are 5 things to expect from travel this summer:
1. Attitudes toward travel signal an emotional lane change.
As the last two years had Americans feeling a bit nervous about travel, Hankook found that most (79%) are excited or hopeful about their next summer vacation or trip. Another 1 in 10 (11%) are determined to make it happen. While some remain apprehensive about travel, according to Deloitte, that now has more to do with the cost of travel rather than lingering safety concerns.
2. Most travelers will get behind the wheel.
With concerns about air travel rising, more Americans are hitting the road. For those who plan to travel this summer, most will pack their trunks: 71% say they will travel by car as their next vacation’s primary mode of transportation. In general, this is due to overall preference for automotive travel (42%) or seeking added flexibility (40%). And while last summer, safety was the number two reason most travelers chose to go by car, this summer, it’s slipped to fifth on the list, behind preference and cost.
3. For those who are weary, gas prices play a part.
Though prices are leveling out in some parts of the country, the cost of gas remains top-of-mind for many drivers this summer. Most (78%) say the cost of gas currently has a major to moderate impact on daily driving habits — including travel. So while those who are willing to travel may be considering a road trip, they may stick to their planned routes, rather than detour for the fun of it to save on gas.
Pro tip: checking traffic conditions before heading out can also be a small way to save on gas mileage, helping potentially avoid any bumper-to-bumper conditions. Also, be mindful of how much you pack, as heavier loads will take their toll on mileage efficiency.
4. Still, many will go the distance.
Despite worries over gas prices, a renewed appetite to return to travel has over one-third of travelers mapping out longer routes. Of the half of Americans who have already taken a vacation this year, Hankook found that 35% traveled long distances.
5. With travel recovery, comes busy roads.
Without question, optimism around travel plans signals a positive sign for many businesses and cities hoping to make up for lost time the last two years, even amid inflation’s impact. But for those planning to hit the road, it can also mean a traffic nightmare. According to the U.S. Travel Association, Fridays throughout June, July and August are some of the busiest travel days of the year (sometimes beating even major holidays!) So for those among the 13% of drivers who told Hankook they find their time spent driving can be a stressful experience, be sure to plan ahead and avoid the rush — and “pack your patience!”