Categories News

The Surprising Statistic That Proves Americans Love Road Trips More Than Flying

In a surprising twist, a recent poll reveals that the vast majority of Americans still prefer traveling the open road over flying when it comes to vacation travel. In a world where immediate gratification is the norm, when it comes to getting places, people prefer to take their time.

The survey, commissioned by Michelin for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, sheds light on the appeal of the classic American road trip.

The Joys of the Open Road

Nearly three-quarters of the 2,000 American drivers surveyed preferred driving to their vacation destination over flying. 

The reasons behind this preference are as diverse as the landscapes that unfold along the way. Touring transportation museums along the East Coast is an excellent example of why road trips rock. From the views of NYC to the Jersey shore, a car will let you see many more sites than a plane can. And lets not forget the amazing foods you can smell, from greasy grilled cheese to pizza.

Road trip veterans cited the joy of seeing new vistas (50%), the freedom of escaping their daily routines (26%), and the thrill of the drive itself (25%) as the top perks of hitting the open road.

Seasoned Travelers

The survey also revealed that road trip enthusiasts are seasoned, with nearly half (43%) considering themselves experienced travelers and a fifth (21%) even labeling themselves experts. 

Respondents have embarked on an average of 16 road trips in their lifetime, a testament to the enduring allure of the American road trip.

Safety First

While the lure of the open road is strong, safety remains a top priority for road trippers. Respondents cited concerns such as having a reliable car (35%), navigating traffic (32%), and staying alert and aware of dangerous drivers (27%) as their biggest worries.

To combat these challenges, savvy travelers employ a range of tactics, from listening to music and audiobooks (57%) to maintaining a check-in schedule with loved ones (68%).

Overcoming Obstacles

No road trip is without its challenges, and the survey respondents shared tales of flat tires, broken-down vehicles, and even weather-related mishaps.

However, these obstacles only strengthen the resolve of true road trip enthusiasts, with 93% agreeing that a reliable car is essential to thoroughly enjoying the journey and making lasting memories.

Preparing for the Adventure

In anticipation of their travels, most road trippers (79%) prefer to have their vehicles inspected, either by themselves or by a professional. This attention to detail reflects the importance of being prepared for the unexpected, ensuring the journey is smooth and stress-free.

As the warmer months approach, the allure of the open road beckons to countless Americans, eager to embark on new adventures and create lasting memories. With a focus on safety, preparation, and the sheer joy of the drive, the classic American road trip continues to captivate the hearts and minds of travelers across the nation.

Survey respondents stated the following as reasons they prefer road trips over flying.

  • Seeing new landscapes and scenery — 50%
  • Listening to music — 43%
  • Getting a break from my routine — 26%
  • Enjoying the feeling of driving — 25%
  • Trying local food along the way — 24%
  • Getting to my destination — 24%
  • Talking to the people I’m driving with — 23%
  • Getting a chance to clear my head—  19%
  • Getting some peace and quiet — 16%
  • Listening to podcasts — 8%
  • Calling friends or family — 6%

Michelin commissioned this random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American drivers between Feb. 9 and Feb. 20, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership in the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Aviation Museums For Aircraft Enthusiasts

Have a passion for aviation? Visit some of the best museums to see vintage and modern planes from all over the world.

View aircraft museums across the US

Take A Tour Of Gold King Mine in Arizona

gold king mine car
Jill Caren Photography

You may not consider a junkyard a great place for vacation. But, I am here to tell you it is! From vintage trucks to tools there are acres of land to explore and history to learn. The entire area makes for a great road trip! 

Explore Gold King Mine


Leave a Comment