Thirty-one percent of Americans plan to hit the road this summer, down 44% from last year, according to GasBuddy’s 2020 Summer Travel Study.
However, consumers have not completely ruled out fitting in a road trip this summer just yet. While 18% definitively said there will be no road trips, 51% still have not made a decision.
“We are starting to see a rebound in fuel demand from our Pay with GasBuddy program since mid-April,” said Sarah McCrary, CEO of GasBuddy. “There could be a surge in last-minute, shorter road trips in the second half of summer as people continue to access the situation.”
Seventy-two percent said that COVID-19 has directly impacted their summer travel plans: taking fewer road trips than previously planned (48%), canceling trips that require flying (36%), and making shorter trips (24%).
Between U.S. regions, the percentage of people planning to take summer road trips are similar, ranging between 28-34% despite varying reopening schedules among states.
The Southwest has the highest percentage (34%) of anticipated travelers, largely due to Texas, the nation’s second largest state, while the Northeast saw the smallest percentage at 28%.
Low gas prices are playing a role. For those who are planning to hit the road, 36% said the low prices are playing a factor in their decision to do so, compared to just 6% saying so the year before and 5% in 2018.
As for destinations of these road trips, 60% plan to visit friends and family, followed by to the beach or lake (38%), and a National Park (24%).
GasBuddy Summer Travel Survey was completed by 1820 GasBuddy members between April 30 and May 4, 2020. Summer travel is defined as the period between May 22 and Sept. 7, 2020 (Memorial Day through Labor Day).
For budget-minded drivers, GasBuddy is the travel and navigation app that is used by more North American drivers to save money on gas than any other. Unlike fuel retailer apps, as well as newer apps focused on fuel savings, GasBuddy covers 150,000+ gas stations in North America, giving drivers 27 ways to save on fuel. That’s why GasBuddy has been downloaded nearly 90mm times — more than any other travel and navigation app focused on gas savings. GasBuddy’s publishing and software businesses enable the world’s leading fuel, convenience, QSR and CPG companies to shorten the distance between the North American fueling public and their brands.