Americans are ready for the return of summer travel, according to Cars.comTM (NYSE: CARS), a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider. More than half of Americans (60%) plan to get away this Memorial Day weekend, up more than 66% compared to last year, according to Cars.com's national survey. Despite growing vaccination rates and rising gas prices, 89% of travelers will drive to their holiday destination, up from 85% during Memorial Day weekend 2020.
"It's clear that car ownership will prove to be a durable post-pandemic travel trend," said Jenni Newman, Cars.com's editor-in-chief. "Memorial Day marks the first major travel holiday since vaccination efforts began across the country, and Americans are excited to finally see family and friends in person. But even after widespread vaccination availability, we continue to see people prioritize travel by car because they don't quite trust other forms of transportation yet."
Additional insights revealed by Cars.com's survey on Memorial Day travel include:
The car is the star, regardless of rising gas prices. Only 12% of respondents say they will fly this year, and nearly half (46%) say that in the face of increasing costs at the pumps, they plan to drive anyway.
Dosed and ready to travel. More than 40% of Memorial Day travelers are fully vaccinated, with 12% still in the process and 15% planning to get their shots before traveling. Only 21% plan to travel unvaccinated.
Lack of rental car availability prompts travel in personal cars. More than 1 in 3 respondents say the limited availability of rental cars somewhat or greatly impacted their decision to drive a personal vehicle instead of flying to their destination.
Family reunions? Check. For those leaving town, most (40%) say they will visit family, signaling a long holiday weekend filled with many overdue hugs. Travelers also plan to hit the beach (28%) and visit friends (24%).
GET. ME. OUT. Last year's travelers focused on shorter trips close to home, contrasting with the 57% of road warriors who plan to travel as far from home as possible this year.
"Despite the majority of vacationers reporting full or partial vaccination status, we still recommend that anyone traveling for Memorial Day weekend follow the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," added Newman.
To learn more about the recent Memorial Day survey, great deals and other car-buying tips and tricks, please visit Cars.com/events/Memorial-Day.
Cars.com's survey conducted May 8-11, 2021; 1,365 responses
CARS is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace site Cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.
In addition to Cars.com, CARS brands include Dealer Inspire, a technology provider building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations and connected digital experiences; FUEL, which gives dealers and OEMs the opportunity to harness the untapped power of digital video by leveraging Cars.com's pure audience of in-market car shoppers, and DealerRater, a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform.