Nearly 100 million Americans will embark on family vacations this year

Memorial Day weekend travel tends to be hectic. But savvy travelers with some flexibility can take steps to make their trips less stressful. Metro News Service photo
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Memorial Day weekend travel tends to be hectic. But savvy travelers with some flexibility can take steps to make their trips less stressful. Metro News Service photo

Road trips reign supreme for family getaways

From coast to coast, families are gearing up for another year of travel adventures with their loved ones. According to a recent AAA Travel survey, nearly 100 million Americans – 4 in 10 U.S. adults – are planning to take a family vacation in 2019, slightly more than last year. Spring and summer road trips will top many of these families’ vacation plans.

Two-thirds of all family travelers (68 percent) will embark on a summer getaway, while just under half (45 percent) are making plans to travel as a family this spring.

Regardless of the season, the great American road trip remains a major draw for these families; about half of traveling families (53 percent) expect to pack up their cars for a road trip this year.

Travelers in the South are more likely to be making plans for a family trip this year (62 percent) than travelers in the Northeast (35 percent).

“The great American road trip is still one of the best ways for families to relax and reconnect with one another,” said Stacey Barber, executive director, AAA Travel Information & Content. “This is quickly shaping up to be another busy year for family travelers, both on the roadways, as well as other popular travel destinations and attractions. To make the most of their vacations, AAA recommends families plan and research as far ahead as possible to avoid missing out on popular activities and fun.”

For destination recommendations, travel tips and expert advice from AAA inspectors and travel editors, visit AAA.com/TravelTips.

AAA’s travel experts offer these top tips for a perfect family road trip:

  • Be prepared – For passengers, pack books, games or music for the ride, and a pillow. Bring information on your destination to keep kids and other passengers entertained. Pack healthy snacks for kids, especially if you can't stop for a full meal while traveling.
  • Safety first – Drivers should plan frequent stops, about every 100 miles or two hours, to remain alert. Make sure everyone is restrained by seat belts or a child safety seat to prevent injury in case of a sudden stop, swerve or crash.
  • Pack your patience – Be prepared for busy roads and long airport security lines throughout the summer. If hitting the road during a holiday weekend, consider leaving earlier or later than the typical holiday travel times to avoid heavy traffic. Same goes for air travel, and be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours before scheduled take-off.
  • Do your research – To make the most of your trip, map out your route in advance, using a tool like AAA's TripTik Travel Planner. For extra guidance, seek the advice of a knowledgeable travel agent. And be sure to download the AAA Mobile app to find AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, gas prices and fun stops along the way.
  • Be road trip ready – Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. In case of an emergency, always carry a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water. To locate a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop in your area, visit AAA.com/AutoRepair.