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Road Trips Top Americans' List of Fall Travel Plans


ORLANDO, Fla. — Temporary lifestyle changes as Americans continue to work from home and attend school virtually are giving consumers the opportunity to travel this fall.

Approximately 80 percent of trips this fall will be road trips, according to a recent AAA Travel survey. In a sign of the rising popularity of auto travel this fall, use of AAA's TripTik road trip planning tool has doubled compared to the spring and early summer.  

"As many Americas continue to work from home and attend school virtually, this temporary lifestyle change opens up new and exciting possibilities for fall travel — particularly for those who deferred summer travel plans," said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. "For those who choose to travel, the great American road trip continues to be the preferred method of getting out and exploring the United States. AAA advises these travelers to plan ahead and take precautions to be a responsible traveler."

Lower prices at the gas pump may also be motivating some would-be travelers to hit the road this fall. On average, gas prices nationally are nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year and are the cheapest fall prices since 2016.

As part of their fall travel plans, vacationers are showing a preference for destinations that allow for socially distanced, outdoor recreation. The top 10 road trip destinations are:

  1. Denver, Colo.
  2. Las Vegas, Nev.
  3. Los Angeles, Calif.
  4. San Diego, Calif.
  5. Seattle, Wash.
  6. Keystone, S.D.
  7. Portland, Ore.
  8. Phoenix, Ariz.
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"Trips that allow people to take advantage of the great outdoors are particularly appealing this fall. From hiking and exploring state and national parks, to visiting beaches and outdoor gardens, all of these top road trip destinations feature activities that allow families to enjoy America’s backyard within their individual comfort levels," Twidale added.

Although American travelers are making vacation plans through the end of the year, they remain cautiously optimistic about those future plans. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults planning a vacation before the end of the year report some degree of uncertainty that they will actually be able to take their vacation.

As a result, some are opting for spur-of-the-moment travel decisions as they take coronavirus implications into account. According to AAA's survey, one in five who are planning a trip before the end of this year but haven’t booked yet expect to do so within one week of traveling.

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