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AAA Mid-Atlantic: Nearly 100 Million Americans Will Embark on Family Vacations this Year
Road trips reign supreme for family getaways
PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 21, 2019) – Spring has sprung, closing the door on Old Man Winter and opening the door to family vacation season. According to a recent AAA Travel survey, nearly 100 million Americans – 4 in 10 U.S. adults – are planning to take a family vacation in 2019, slightly more than last year. Spring and summer road trips will top many of these families’ vacation plans.
AAA’s Travel survey reveals:
- Two-thirds of all family travelers (68 percent) will embark on a summer getaway, while just under half (45 percent) are making plans to travel as a family this spring.
- Regardless of the season, the great American road trip remains a major draw for these families; about half of traveling families (53 percent) expect to pack up their cars for a road trip this year.
- Travelers in the Northeast are less likely to be making plans for a family trip this year (35 percent) than travelers in the South (62 percent).
A welcome gift to road trippers, gas prices have averaged nearly a quarter cheaper so far in 2019 compared with the first few months of last year. While gas prices are increasing now, summer prices are expected to be cheaper than last year. Another recent AAA survey found that 33 percent of Americans would go on at least one additional summer road trip if gas prices remain low.
“The great American road trip is still one of the best ways for families to relax and reconnect with one another,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “This is quickly shaping up to be another busy year for family travelers, both on the roadways, as well as other popular travel destinations and attractions. To make the most of their vacations, AAA recommends families plan and research as far ahead as possible to avoid missing out on popular activities and fun.”
To help inspire would-be road trippers, AAA’s travel editors have curated more than 450 pre-planned road trips nationwide with 46 in the Mid-Atlantic area. The top five routes for summer travel according to AAA member road trip routing data are as follows:
- Las Vegas to National Parks
- Northern California and Southern Oregon Coast
- Northern New England
- Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
- Black Hills, South Dakota
For more destination recommendations, travel tips and expert advice from AAA inspectors and travel editors, visit AAA.com/TravelTips.
AAA’s travel experts offer these top tips for a perfect family road trip:
- Be prepared – For passengers, pack books, games, or music for the ride, and a pillow. Bring information on your destination to keep kids and other passengers entertained. Pack healthy snacks for kids, especially if you can’t stop for a full meal while traveling.
- Safety first – Drivers should plan frequent stops, about every 100 miles or two hours, to remain alert. Make sure everyone is restrained by seat belts or a child safety seat to prevent injury in case of a sudden stop, swerve or crash. AAA members who are renting a car through Hertz can request a complimentary infant car seat or toddler booster seat.
- Pack your patience – Be prepared for busy roads and long airport security lines throughout the summer. If hitting the road during a holiday weekend, consider leaving earlier or later than the typical holiday travel times to avoid heavy traffic. Same goes for air travel, and be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours before scheduled take-off.
- Do your research – To make the most of your trip, map out your route in advance, using a tool like AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner. For extra guidance, seek the advice of a knowledgeable travel agent. And be sure to download the AAA Mobile app to find AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, gas prices and fun stops along the way.
- Be road trip ready – Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. In case of an emergency, always carry a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water. Visit a AAA Car Care Center throughout the mid-Atlantic region or to locate a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop in your area, visit AAA.com/AutoRepair.
Passengers are one of the most precious cargo on a trip, be it 5 or 50 miles down the road. AAA recommends drivers keep their attention on the road by pre-programing GPS devices and adjusting seats and mirrors before driving. So a driver can remain focused safely on driving, enlist the help of passengers and don’t use handheld or hands-free cell phones while driving.
AAA’s family travel research is the result of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,007 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted January 24-27, 2019. This study has an average statistical error of ±3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.