Pent-Up Demand Spikes Spring Break Travel: 70% of Travelers Opt for Road Trips as Americans’ Vacation Plans Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels

Cars.com Reports 57% of Americans Plan to Travel for Spring Break; 2 Out of 3 Travelers Say  COVID-19 Impacted Their Decision to Drive1

CHICAGO, March 25, 2021 — As the pandemic continues, Americans are ready to hit the road for spring break, reports Cars.comTM (NYSE: CARS), a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider. According to the company’s latest research, 57% of Americans plan to take a trip this spring, up from 32% in 2020 and 54% in 2019. Importantly, 70% of spring breakers are opting to drive to their destinations. A persistent trend since the start of the pandemic, Americans are relying on their cars as a safe form of transportation and a much-needed escape from the confines of their home. More than 40% of spring break road trippers say their main reason for travel is they ”have to get out of my house.”

“Many Americans are ready for a much-needed change of scenery after a year at home. Spring break travel in 2020 fell 22 percentage points versus 2019, and now we clearly see that pent-up demand for travel as this year’s numbers outpace pre-pandemic travel levels,” said Kelsey Mays, Cars.com assistant managing editor. “It’s no surprise that we continue to see Americans prioritize cars as their primary mode of transportation amid ongoing concerns of social distancing during these times. With national vaccination efforts underway, Americans are ready to grasp some sense of normalcy and hit the open road.”

However, travelers know the pandemic is not over, as 53% of spring break travelers surveyed expressed concern about COVID-19 exposure while traveling. And of the 26% of people choosing not to travel, 60% state the pandemic as the main reason. 

As Americans are driving more often and for longer distances, Cars.com reports an increased desire for additional comfort and safety features in shoppers’ vehicle searches. Cars.com searches for “sunroofs” and “moonroofs” increased 8% year-over-year, while tech features like “blind spot monitoring” saw a 12% increase in searches year-over-year. Additionally, “LED headlights” were up almost 20% year-over-year.2

“The CDC is recommending people don’t travel this spring break, but if you must travel we recommend you follow CDC guidelines for safely hitting the road,” Mays said. “Do your research, be prepared with masks and hand sanitizer, and plan out your stops. Take it a step further and pack meals and snacks to limit road breaks and avoid crowds.”

For more information about pandemic travel, visit Cars.com/news/coronavirus/.

1 Cars.com’s survey results Feb. 26, 2021; 1,017 responses

2 Cars.com internal data

About Cars.com

CARS is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace site Cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.

In addition to Cars.com, CARS brands include Dealer Inspire, a technology provider building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations and connected digital experiences; FUEL, which gives dealers and OEMs the opportunity to harness the untapped power of digital video by leveraging Cars.com's pure audience of in-market car shoppers, and DealerRater, a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform.

The full suite of CARS brands include Cars.com™, Dealer Inspire®, FUEL™, DealerRater®, Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com™ and NewCars.com®. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.

 

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