Do You Travel More Than The Average American?

If you RV, you might wander if your travel habits are different from the average American. Obviously, if you’re a full-timer, you’ll certainly cover more miles. But what about if you’re a weekend warrior or enjoy taking a few camping trips a year? Let’s dive in and look at the statistics and trends about travel in America!

How Much Does the Average American Drive Per Year?

Although driving habits vary from age to age, state to state, and income to income, the average American drives approximately 14,000-15,000 miles each year.

Collectively, Americans drive over three trillion miles annually. These miles are a cumulation of trips to work, the grocery store, doctor visits, school, and other daily activities. The mileage isn’t just based on vacations or road trips.

When you consider 14,500 miles per year, that’s about three round-trip road trips between Los Angeles and New York every month!

Californians drive the most, which is no surprise as it’s the most populous state in the country. On the other hand, residents of Rhode Island, New York, Washington, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. drive the fewest miles.

Do Travel Habits Change With Age?

Restrictions on teen driving around the country mean this age group drives the fewest miles. Often these kids drive to and from school, and that’s about it.

Retirees also drive less than the average American since they don’t have to commute to work every day.

Older adults also drive less frequently at night. So, the majority of American racking up the mileage are working adults.

What Are the Most Important Factors When Americans Travel?

Let’s look more closely at the travel industry as a whole, including cruise, train, plane, and vehicle transportation. Expedia did a poll a few years ago to uncover the most important factors for travel among adults.

The two top priorities among the majority of respondents were relaxation and connecting with family and friends. Americans like to travel with loved ones and get away from the daily grind.

Younger adults also ranked food and drink as a high priority, planning trips to foodie towns and places with excellent breweries or wineries. Locations like Austin, New York, Napa Valley, and Denver are popular among this generation.

Surprisingly, event travel wasn’t a top contender among factors when planning a trip. Although concerts and sporting events are popular, many Americans don’t consider taking a long trip to enjoy these types of festivities. With social media and entertainment reaching far more people now, we’re seeing more people stay home to watch a concert or big game.

How Far In Advance Do Americans Book Travel Plans?

RVers cover the spectrum when it comes to travel planning. Some people prefer to fly by the seat of their pants and wing, while others make reservations six months or more in advance. When traveling to popular destinations like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, it’s almost impossible to get campsites last minute. So, to some degree, it is important to plan ahead depending on where you’re traveling. 

As a whole, the majority of travelers book reservations one to three months in advance. These include campsites, hotel stays, Airbnbs, and other accommodations. Because most adults have to ask off work, it can be difficult to plan too far in advance or book a spur-of-the-moment getaway. One to three months is a comfortable booking window.

But this does vary based on gender and family status. Men tend to book less than a month in advance, while women like having reservations farther out. Also, families are less likely to make trips less than two or three weeks out. Folks with no kids schedule those last-minute trips more often.

How Do Most Americans Choose Their Travel Destinations?

So, how do you choose your destinations when traveling? Many RVers rely on friends’ advice, and this is true for other segments of the American population, too. While TripAdvisor and Yelp offer some guidance, people prefer to trust their friends and family. Younger travelers are more likely to scour Instagram and other social media for inspiration.

While older generations may have used guidebooks, it seems social media is taking their place these days. But, we still suggest buying the most up-to-date travel guides when visiting some places like Alaska or Nova Scotia. They offer excellent tips and tricks for planning getaways.

How Many Trips Do Americans Take Per Year?

The majority of Americans travel domestically only once or twice a year. If you RV, you likely travel much more than this. You may find yourself planing a camping trip every month or at least five or six times a year. If you travel more than five times a year, you’re certainly in the minority, as less than ten percent of Americans make this many trips.

Retirees are more likely to travel more often, which makes sense because they don’t have a job to tie them down to a set location. They also tend to have more savings to spend on vacations and road trips. We would also add that homeschooling families and remote workers tend to travel more often since they, too, aren’t tied to a single location for long periods of time.

Most trips last three to seven days. Families with one child, couples, and singles tend to travel for longer periods, while families with two or more children limit their vacation stays. This could be a result of overall cost as a larger Airbnb or multiple hotel rooms cost more. It’s also just harder to travel with multiple kids for long periods of time.

Do You Travel More Than the Average American?

So, now that you know the trends and statistics, do you travel more than the average American? We certainly do! We guess that most other RVers take advantage of their home on wheels. When you compare a week at a hotel with a week at a campground, the cost is much cheaper. Plus, you probably don’t eat out as often when you have a kitchen and pantry at your fingertips. 

We love traveling the country to relax, visit friends and family, enjoy local cuisine, and take in the magnificent sights of our country! What’s your favorite part of RVing?

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