Industry NewsMotel 6: Most U.S. Travelers Enjoy Driving to Summer Destinations

Motel 6: Most U.S. Travelers Enjoy Driving to Summer Destinations

DALLAS, Texas—New data from Motel 6 and Studio 6 reveals that nearly eight in 10 U.S. travelers who will drive to their summer travel destination said that driving makes the experience more enjoyable (77 percent). The study, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. travelers with summer leisure plans, also found that travelers agree there is a distinction between a “trip” and a “vacation” (80 percent).

“There’s nothing better than cruising on the highway with the windows down, sun shining, and music playing, especially when you’re surrounded by your loved ones—even those on four legs,” said Julie Arrowsmith, president and CEO of G6 Hospitality, parent company of Motel 6 and Studio 6.

Methods of transportation are varied this summer; most intend to drive to at least one destination (60 percent), while others will fly (55 percent) or ride the train (8 percent). On the road, many admit to taking on classic roles such as the “relaxation reminder” (23 percent), “trip coordinator” (28 percent), “activities and excursion guide” (22 percent), and “backseat driver” (10 percent). Although the vacation journey can be an adventure, arriving at the hotel or destination is the top indicator to travelers that they are officially on vacation (59 percent).

Almost nine in 10 (87 percent) of those with summer leisure plans say that cost and budget will impact their travel. This may also be why discount programs while traveling are more important now than in previous years (79 percent, an increase of 13 percent since 2023).

With a variety of lodging options to choose from, most will stay at a hotel (61 percent), followed by rental homes (27 percent) and staying at a family member’s home (22 percent). When staying in a hotel, most travelers admit to not unpacking and keeping their items in their luggage (57 percent), though many still use the dresser (34 percent) or closet (47 percent).

Vacations look different for everyone, and over half (53 percent) defined “vacation” as travel for relaxation. Others feel that a “trip” is defined as travel for a purpose (32 percent), such as an event, or as simply getting out of their hometown (30 percent). Travelers are looking to relax and unplug this summer (59 percent), so it’s no surprise that nearly half will attend a family or friend reunion (48 percent), and over one-third will explore a new city (36 percent). When considering the timing of their adventure, only 9 percent believe holiday weekends are the ideal time to travel, while over two-fifths (43 percent) enjoy a mix of holiday and off-holiday weekends.