You might not expect an automaker to care a whole lot about how people are spending their summer vacations. But road trips, after all, are taken in vehicles.
According to the 32-page white paper from Ford Motor Co., 79% of Americans are opting to hit the open road for their next vacation. Millennials will take 4.7 domestic road trips this year and Gen Xers 3.6.
But the road trip is about more than just the end destination; it’s about the journey, according to "Are We There Yet? Ford Explores the Reinvention of The Great American Road Trip."
The report includes sections on generational trends, destinations, road trips in popular culture and of course, how to choose your ride. While this is the first year Ford has issued a travel report, the company has published an annual trend book for the past five years.
“As we reflect on today’s road trip, acceleration of ubiquitous technology and generational trends are two of the key factors contributing to its evolution,” writes Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s corporate futurist. “Today’s vehicle is so much more than the necessary means to an end — a way to get from point A to point B. Instead, younger generations are enjoying the journey as much as the destination, as they leverage the rapid introduction of connectivity, entertainment and safety features.”
Some 35% of Americans are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home this year, according to the study. More than 75% of Millennials prefer to create their own travel itinerary and 71% of Gen Xers seek exploration while traveling.
With the rise of the “experience economy,” it’s no surprise that 72% of Millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than material items, according to the report. From creative road snacks and throwback playlists to the drive-time vent sessions and amazing, Instagrammable sightseeing, there’s nothing like a good road trip to create unforgettable memories.
Travelers like to share their experiences on social media and #Roadtrip is the 10th most used hashtag with 25 million+ posts.