Americans still road tripping despite coronavirus this summer: Survey

Low gas prices affected their decision, respondents say

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The coronavirus hasn’t stopped some Americans from going forward with their summer road trips this year, according to one survey.

On Tuesday, travel app GasBuddy published a report on Americans’ summer travel plans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Of the respondents, 31 percent said they planned to take a road trip this summer, according to the survey of GasBuddy users. That’s down 44 percent from last year.

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Among that 31 percent, 60 percent said they plan to visit friends and family, 38 percent said they plan to go to a beach or lake and 24 percent said they plan to visit a National Park.

However, 51 percent of respondents haven’t decided whether they’ll take a road trip or not. Only 18 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t take a road trip at all this summer.

GasBuddy CEO Sarah McCrary said in a press release that since mid-April, the company has had a rebound in demand for fuel.

“There could be a surge in last-minute, shorter road trips in the second half of summer,” McCrary said.

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One of the factors affecting travelers' decisions is the price of gas, according to the survey.

In fact, 36 percent of respondents who are road-tripping this summer said low gas prices played a role in their plans. That’s up significantly from 6 percent of respondents last year and 5 percent of respondents from 2018.

This year, the national average is more than $1 per gallon cheaper than it was last year, GasBuddy reported.

Cars drive on Interstate 40/85 in Mebane, N.C., on May 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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The survey found that 72 percent of respondents said the coronavirus has impacted their plans for summer travel.

Of those, 48 percent said they were taking fewer road trips than they had planned, 36 percent said they were canceling trips that require flying, 24 percent said they were traveling shorter distances, 19 percent said they were canceling international travel and 17 percent said they were traveling with fewer people.

Meanwhile, 8 percent of respondents said they were taking more road trips than previously planned and 4 percent said they were traveling longer distances.

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