Memorial Day Travel Survey 2022 — 60% of Americans to Travel (118% Increase YoY), Nearly 54% Think High Gas Prices Will Affect Their Plans, Despite This 57% to Road Trip, 58% to BBQ
September 7, 2022 Update – With Memorial Day travel behind us, it is time to move to the 2022 Holiday Travel Season. While our holiday travel survey for this year is still in the works, you can read about the Best & Worst Days to Fly for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2022 now.
We previously released our Summer 2022 Survey which revealed nearly 81% or 208 million Americans will travel this summer. This is a large uptick from summer 2021 as COVID continues to decrease. For many Americans, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. This year Memorial Day is on May 30 and it should be warm across the majority of the USA.
We decided to run this Memorial Day 2022 travel survey to mark the unofficial beginning of summer. How many Americans intend to travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year? Will high gas prices affect their travel plans? Are many Americans considering road trips for the holiday? What activity are Americans most likely to take part in? Below you can find the results to these questions, demographic comparisons, key takeaways, and a complete methodology.
You can also check out our Fourth of July 2022 Travel Survey to see how many Americans will be on the move compared to Memorial Day.
Will you travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year?
Let’s take a look at the survey results:
- Yes, primarily by car. — 50.10%
- Yes, primarily by plane. — 6.70%
- Yes, primarily by public transportation such as bus or train. — 2.52%
- No. — 40.68%
Interesting Demographic Comparison — The youngest generation of American adults aged 18-29 is most likely to travel for Memorial Day. 70.21% of those aged 18-29 say they will travel. In fact, as Americans increase in age, they are less likely to say they will be traveling. 63.09% of those aged 30-44 say they will. And, 59.29% of American adults aged 45-60 will. Lastly, only 41.57% of people over age 60 intend to travel for Memorial Day.
Key Takeaway — Nearly 60% of American adults will travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year. The 59.32% equates to nearly 153 million people based on the current census. That is a 118.329% increase from last year where 27.17% said they traveled on Memorial Day!
More than half of American adults intend to travel primarily by car. Almost 7% or more than 17 million people will travel primarily by plane for Memorial Day. Lastly, the 2.52% that will travel primarily by public transportation accounts for 6.5 million American adults.
Let’s take a look at the survey results:
- Yes, because I want to drive. — 40.49%
- Yes, because high gas prices are affecting airfare prices. — 13.11%
- No. — 46.41%
Interesting Demographic Comparison — American adults in the Mountain region are least likely to say high gas prices will affect their Memorial Day travel plans. The Mountain region consists of the states Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Only 42.86% of people in the Mountain region said high gas prices will affect their plans. On the other hand, 57.75% of people in the East South Central region said high gas prices will affect their travel. This was the most by any region. The East South Central region consists of the states Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Key Takeaway — More than half of American adults say high gas prices will affect their Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend travel plans. The 53.59% equates to more than 138 million people. This includes 40.49% of American adults or more than 104 million people that say the high gas prices are on their minds because they want to drive. While this may not deter many people from actually traveling for Memorial Day, it likely will cut back on how much they spend elsewhere. Additionally, the figure includes the 13.11% or 34 million people that are worried high gas prices are affecting airfare prices.
Will you take a road trip for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year?
- No. — 43.30%
- Yes, within 100 miles of my home. — 32.33%
- Yes, within 250 miles of my home. — 13.40%
- Yes, within 500 miles of my home. — 6.80%
- Yes, within 1,000 miles of my home. — 2.91%
- Yes, more than 1,000 miles from my home. — 1.26%
Interesting Demographic Comparison — Men are more likely than women to say they will take a road trip for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year. 59.03% of men said they will. On the other hand, only 54.69% of women said they will be taking a road trip. Interestingly, the women who say they will road trip for Memorial Day weekend will likely go longer distances than the men. 4.69% of women said they will road trip more than 500 miles from home. Meanwhile, only 3.57% of men said they will road trip this far.
Key Takeaway — Nearly 57% of American adults say they will take some sort of road trip for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend. The 56.7% equates to more than 146 million people road-tripping. This includes the 45.73% or nearly 118 million that will road trip within 250 miles of home. It also includes the 10.97% or more than 28 million American adults that will road trip more than 250 miles during Memorial Day weekend. Of those, 4.17% or nearly 11 million intend to road trip over 500 miles from home. And, 1.26% or more than 3 million American adults say they will road trip more than 1,000 miles from home.
Let’s take a look at the survey results:
- Parade. — 3.98%
- BBQ or Cookout. — 57.57%
- Fireworks. — 6.50%
- Beach. — 13.40%
- Lake. — 9.42%
- Sporting Event. — 2.91%
- Movie Theater. — 6.21%
Interesting Demographic Comparison — The youngest generation of 18-29 is least likely to be at a BBQ or cookout for Memorial Day weekend this year. Only 51.06% of American adults aged 18-29 said they will which is below the average. On the other hand, 61.80% of people over age 60 will be at a BBQ or cookout. To make up for not attending a BBQ or cookout, the 18-29 age group is most likely to be at fireworks, the beach, or the movie theater.
Key Takeaway — Nearly 6 out of every 10 American adults say the activity they are most likely to take part in for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend is a BBQ or cookout. The 57.57% who said this account for more than 148 million people. While many Americans will likely take part in more than one of these options, it’s interesting that more than half selected a BBQ or cookout as the one they are most likely to do. The second most likely activity is the beach at 13.40% which is about 35 million American adults. In third place, we have a lake activity at 9.42% or 24 million people. Interestingly, 6.21% of American adults or 16 million people say their most likely activity for Memorial Day weekend is the movie theater.
The Vacationer Tip
Don’t forget to leverage your credit card to save money when you travel this Memorial Day. If you do not have a travel rewards credit card, our highest recommendation is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. We also highly recommend the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
This 2022 Memorial Day Travel Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. In total, 1,030 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on May 1. Of those surveyed, 46.21% were male and 53.79% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 18.25% in the range 18-29, 28.93% in the range 30-44, 35.53% in the range 45-60, and 17.28% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±3.116%. You can learn more about SurveyMonkey’s sampling method by clicking here.
The questions were chosen and the results were analyzed by the post author, Eric Jones, who is a Mathematics and Statistics Professor at Rowan College South Jersey.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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