< See All Research
Staying Local: A Study of the U.S. Road Traveler
Report | Published: July 2013

"Your research and presentation proved to be a great investment."

US $995 · CA $1,236 • £659 • €882
Free For: Global Subscribers
  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Methodology

Publication Summary

Road trips are a quintessentially American way to vacation and a crucial segment of the U.S. domestic travel market. In fact, in 2012, nearly a quarter of U.S. adults took a road trip that included a hotel stay or car rental. But while highways are just as important as skyways in delivering travelers to their destinations, the importance of road travel is often overlooked by a flight-centric industry. Phocuswright's Staying Local: A Study of the U.S. Road Traveler provides a comprehensive view of traveler trends within the U.S. domestic drive market. Key metrics – including driving distances, trip frequency and duration, travel party composition and travel expenditure – explore the fundamentals of road travel behavior, and help travel companies track and understand this dynamic segment. The report also provides rich insight into the road travel planning process, including the destination decision, advance versus last-minute travel planning, the impact of local travel deals, mobile and more. Topics include:

  • General road traveler behavior, including travel incidence, trip distance, frequency and duration, as well as travel party composition and travel spend
  • Purchase incidence and booking trends for car rental, lodging and destination activities
  • Road trip motivators and destination selection, including timing, influential factors and information sources
  • Advance versus last-minute planning trends
  • Shopping and booking channels/methods
  • Impact of local travel deals and mobile
Purchase Phocuswright's Staying Local: A Study of the U.S. Road Traveler to gain the insights you need to effectively target and influence the U.S. road traveler. Not sure this is the report for you? Contact our experts to find the research that fits your needs. +1 860 350-4084 x501

Table of Contents

27 Pages

Section 1: Overview, Methodology and Research Highlights
Research Highlights

Section 2: General Road Travel Behavior

Section 3: Road Trip Motivation and Destination Selection
The Destination Decision
Media Used for Destination Research

Section 4: Shopping and Booking


Road Travel Incidence

Trips Including Paid Lodging/Car Rental

Road Travel Distance

Trip Duration

Travel Party

Average Spend, by Component

Reasons for Taking Road Vacations

Importance of Vacation Experiences

Timing of Destination Selection

Importance of Destination Characteristics

Factors That Influence Destination Decisions

Destination Activity Types

Factors That Influence Driving Times

Information Sources Used During Destination Selection

Websites Used to Pick Destinations

Percentage of Hotel Stays Booked Spontaneously From the Road

Information Sources Used During Travel Shopping

Websites Used in Shopping Travel Components

Unplanned Trip Considered Due to Travel Offers

Booking Methods

Age and Gender

Household Income and Education


Household Size and Number of Children in Household


Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey November 13-30, 2012 through Global Market Insite, Inc., targeting the general population of U.S. adults who have Internet access. To qualify for participation in the study, respondents had to have taken at least one overnight road trip for leisure in the past 12 months that included a stay in paid lodging and/or a rental car. Additional screeners required consumers to have played an active role in planning their leisure trips and to have selected at least one road trip destination independently within the past 12 months. Qualified respondents are referred to as "U.S. road travelers." This group represents 24% of the general U.S. adult population with Internet access. The term "lodging" refers to the broad range of paid accommodations - hotels and other nightly priced lodging products, as well as timeshares and vacation rentals. Phocuswright received 5,151 qualified responses, and results can be projected on the U.S. adult population with Internet access at a 95% level of confidence, with a margin of error of \302\2611.4%. A total of 26,707 respondents were surveyed to obtain baseline metrics about travelers and nontravelers within the general online population. Totals may not always add to 100% due to rounding.