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The road trip still thrives in the U.S.

March 04, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • A mural in Needles along Route 66. A recent survey confirmed Americans are turning to cheaper vacation alternatives including road trips.
A mural in Needles along Route 66. A recent survey confirmed Americans are… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

Gas prices may be rising, but that hasn’t dampened Americans’ dreams to hit the open road.

About 25% of men and 33% of women say they have not driven across the country but “always wanted to,” according to a survey released last week by the travel website And 41% of Americans and nearly half of men who were surveyed said they’ve already driven cross country at least once in their lives.

The survey of 2,262 adults by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia went beyond Americans’ automotive bucket lists. It confirmed what previous surveys and studies have found: Tough economic times have forced Americans to turn to cheaper vacation alternatives.

“We believe that Americans are proving to be resilient in a down economy, by driving instead of flying and taking more frequent, shorter trips,” said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager of Expedia.

Travel statistics released by the U.S. Department of Commerce show that overseas travel from the U.S. dropped 6% in 2010, compared with the previous year. Fewer than one in four Americans (23%) are likely to travel internationally in the next year, according to the Expedia survey. Meanwhile, travel to neighboring countries, Mexico and Canada, increased slightly during the same period, according to the federal agency.


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