ORLANDO, Fla. — According to a recent AAA Travel survey, American travelers are making vacation plans through the end of the year, but remain cautiously optimistic about those future plans. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults planning a vacation before the end of the year report some degree of uncertainty around actually being able to take their vacation. As a result, some are opting for spur-of-the-moment travel decisions as they take coronavirus implications into account. According to AAA’s survey, one in five who are planning a trip before the end of this year but haven’t booked yet expect to do so within one week of traveling.
The vast majority of trips this fall (80 percent) will be road trips, according to AAA data. In a sign of the rising popularity of auto travel this fall, use of AAA’s TripTik road trip planning tool has doubled compared to the spring and early summer. Additionally, more Americans are heading to destinations known for outdoor recreation and socially distanced fun than in previous years.
“As many Americas continue to work from home and attend school virtually, this temporary lifestyle change opens up new and exciting possibilities for fall travel—particularly for those who deferred summer travel plans,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “For those who choose to travel, the great American road trip continues to be the preferred method of getting out and exploring the United States. AAA advises these travelers to plan ahead and take precautions to be a responsible traveler.”
Lower prices at the gas pump may also be motivating some would-be travelers to hit the road this fall. On average, gas prices nationally are nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year, and are the cheapest fall prices since 2016.
Top Road Trip Destinations
This fall, vacationers are showing a preference for road trips and U.S. destinations that allow for socially distanced, outdoor recreation, according to data based on TripTik.AAA.com searches from June 15 through September 14, 2020. New additions to the list of top road trip destinations this year include Keystone, South Dakota—home to Mount Rushmore—and Colorado Springs.
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Keystone, South Dakota
- Portland, Oregon
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
“Trips that allow people to take advantage of the great outdoors are particularly appealing this fall. From hiking and exploring state and national parks to visiting beaches and outdoor gardens, all of these top road trip destinations feature activities that allow families to enjoy America’s backyard within their individual comfort levels,” Twidale added.