Profile of an American road trip: Where we go, what we eat, what we spend

A sudden remnant of giant redwood forest appeared on the drive along Lucas Valley Road in Marin County, Calif. (Simon Peter Groebner/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
Caption
A sudden remnant of giant redwood forest appeared on the drive along Lucas Valley Road in Marin County, Calif. (Simon Peter Groebner/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Credit: Simon Peter Groebner

Credit: Simon Peter Groebner

Nearly 75 percent of Americans will take a road trip this year, and California is considered the preferred destination. Alaska and Florida finished second and third, respectively.

Those are among the findings of the 2017 Road Trip Survey of more than 1,300 U.S. drivers. For the purposes of the study, a road trip was considered to be any vehicle-based vacation of at least 200 miles.

Other takeaways from the study:

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WHERE WE GO

25 percent indicated that visiting a national park was on their itinerary

20 percent said they would be doing some sort of cross-country trip

WHAT WE LIKE TO EAT

39 percent prefer eating the food for which the local area is known

29 percent prefer fast food

11 percent prefer diner food

31 percent consider chips to be their favorite road trip snack

15 percent said beef jerky is their go-to snack food

WHAT MAKES THE TRIP COMFORTABLE

45 percent of respondents indicated an SUV is the preferred vehicle for trips (only 3.8 percent cited a sports car for such a trip)

51 percent said ample leg room was the most-important vehicle feature on a trip

45 percent said the sound system was critical

OUR PREFERRED TRAVELING COMPANIONS

58 percent are willing to spend more than 20 hours with their significant other in a car

19 percent are willing to spend only up to six hours in the car with their significant other

4 percent indicated they would most want to go on a road trip with either of their parents

6 percent said they preferred to go on a road trip alone than with a sibling

WHAT WE SPEND

49 percent consider hotels their largest expense on long trips

17 percent spent more than $1,000 on their trips

48 percent were planning to pay for everything by credit card

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Methodology: The survey, sponsored by the GM BuyPower Card, surveyed 1,314 licensed drivers 25-55 years old