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Memorial Day Travel Survey - 60% to travel

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More than 50% say their primary mode of transportation will be by car. Nearly 7% say they will fly, while the remaining 2.52% will take public transportation.

The Vacationer conducted a survey to find out how many Americans will travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day Weekend this year, their primary mode of transportation, if high gas prices are affecting their plans when it comes to filling up their car's gas tank or the impact on flight prices, and how many will take a road trip. 

The anonymous survey included 1,030 American adults over the age of 18 and was conducted online using SurveyMonkey's interface/audience on our behalf on May 1, 2022. Eric Jones, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Rowan College South Jersey, analyzed the survey.

Key Stats:

  • Nearly 60% (which is nearly 153 million American adults) plan to travel for Memorial Day/Memorial Day Weekend
  • More than 50% say their primary mode of transportation will be by car. Nearly 7% say they will fly, while the remaining 2.52% will take public transportation.
  • Nearly 54% say high gas prices are affecting their Memorial Day travel plans. 40.49% say because they want to drive, while 13.11% say because they want to fly and the high gas prices are increasing airfare.
  • Despite high gas prices, nearly 57% say they will take some sort of road trip for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend. 
  • 58% say BBQ or Cookout is the activity they will most likely take part in during Memorial Day weekend.

Here are the full results:

1. Will you travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year?
Yes, primarily by car. - 50.10%
Yes, primarily by plane. - 6.70%
Yes, primarily by public transportation such as bus or train. - 2.52%
No. - 40.68%

Key Takeaway - Nearly 60% of American adults will travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year. The 59.32% equates to nearly 153 million people based on the current census. More than half of American adults intend to travel primarily by car. Almost 7% or more than 17 million people will travel primarily by plane for Memorial Day. Lastly, the 2.52% that will travel primarily by public transportation accounts for 6.5 million American adults.

2. Will high gas prices affect your Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend travel plans?
Yes, because I want to drive. - 40.49%
Yes, because high gas prices are affecting airfare prices. - 13.11%
No. - 46.41%

Key Takeaway - More than half of American adults say high gas prices will affect their Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend travel plans. The 53.59% equates to more than 138 million people. This includes 40.49% of American adults or more than 104 million people that say the high gas prices are on their minds because they want to drive. While this may not deter many people from actually traveling for Memorial Day, it likely will cut back on how much they spend elsewhere. Additionally, the figure includes the 13.11% or 34 million people that are worried high gas prices are affecting airfare prices.

3. Will you take a road trip for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year?
No. - 43.30%
Yes, within 100 miles of my home. - 32.33%
Yes, within 250 miles of my home. - 13.40%
Yes, within 500 miles of my home. - 6.80%
Yes, within 1,000 miles of my home. - 2.91%
Yes, more than 1,000 miles from my home. - 1.26%

Key Takeaway - Nearly 57% of American adults say they will take some sort of road trip for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend. The 56.7% equates to more than 146 million people road-tripping. This includes the 45.73% or nearly 118 million that will road trip within 250 miles of home. It also includes the 10.97% or more than 28 million American adults that will road trip more than 250 miles during Memorial Day weekend. Of those, 4.17% or nearly 11 million intend to road trip over 500 miles from home. And, 1.26% or more than 3 million American adults say they will road trip more than 1,000 miles from home.

4. What activity are you most likely to take part in for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year?
Parade.  - 3.98%
BBQ or Cookout. - 57.57%
Fireworks. - 6.50%
Beach. - 13.40%
Lake. - 9.42%
Sporting Event. - 2.91%
Movie Theater. - 6.21%

Key Takeaway - Nearly 6 out of every 10 American adults say the activity they are most likely to take part in for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend is a BBQ or cookout. The 57.57% who said this account for more than 148 million people. While many Americans will likely take part in more than one of these options, it’s interesting that more than half selected a BBQ or cookout as the one they are most likely to do. The second most likely activity is the beach at 13.40% which is about 35 million American adults. In third place, we have a lake activity at 9.42% or 24 million people.

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