• Survey shows travelers prefer the open road


    A recent survey has revealed some interesting trends and predictions for the travel industry this summer. Choice Hotels found that nearly 90 percent of Americans are planning to take a vacation this summer, and the results of their survey showed how they are likely to travel.

    Eyes on the road
    One of the biggest trip trends this summer is in how people get to their destinations in the first place. People embarking on United States travel this summer overwhelmingly said that they would prefer to go by car. More than 75 percent of respondents planned to take a car trip this summer, driving an average of 689 miles. Half of people surveyed said that for trips under two hours, driving was preferable to taking any other form of transportation.

    The driving trend started with the first holiday of the summer this year. In May, AAA forecasted that 36.1 million people would drive to their destinations over Memorial Day weekend, more than the average over the last decade and the second-highest number of drivers that weekend since 2000.

    Top trips
    As for their destination, travelers reported a strong preference for sun and sand. Beaches were the most popular spots for August vacations, winning 43.1 percent of the vote. Next up were the mountains, which 12.3 percent of respondents said they would prefer. Just 10.4 percent would most like a vacation to the city. Camping, viewed by some as a summer staple, was ranked the least appealing way to spend time off. Almost 40 percent of respondents said that a camping trip was the least attractive kind of summer vacation.

    In with the new
    No matter where they're going, travelers wanted to seek new experiences. More than 65 percent of people surveyed said that they would rather take a trip to a place that they had never been than to return to a destination for a second time. Whether they're seeing new sights or returning to old favorites, just under 29 percent said that they would prefer to dine out at places they can't find at home. However, the figures change for family travel. Nearly 25 percent of people traveling with children under 12 said that they would rather stick to familiar chain restaurants, possibly to satisfy the picky eaters among them.

    Overall, the summer of 2014 is set to be big for travel. The survey predicted a 17.2 percent increase in the amount of trips taken, though the total number of days spent on vacation is expected to drop 9.4 percent.

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