Politics and news driving more people to escape to the open road in 2018

Looking to get away in the coming year? You’re not alone. According to the Enterprise Annual Weekend Getaway Survey, 85 percent of respondents say they plan to escape on a weekend trip in 2018, up from 78 percent in 2017. When asked why they want to escape more in 2018 than 2017, the top reasons are stress (43 percent), news (39 percent), the current political climate (38 percent) and social media (24 percent).

IMAGE FROM PIXABAY.COM

This year’s survey also suggests that people are prepared to travel farther and spend more on the getaway. The percent of respondents who plan to spend $1,000 or more on a weekend getaway doubled in this year’s survey, and a quarter have their sights set on a beach vacation.

“Year-over-year we’ve seen a steady increase in both the number of (people) planning a weekend getaway and how much they anticipate spending on the trip, but this year we got more insight on what is driving them to get away,” said Steve Short, vice president at Enterprise. “In past years, respondents wanted to get away to relax. While that’s still important, many will be using the weekend trips as a way to get a break from politics, news and work. Weekends are meant to help people connect with their loved ones, discover new places and things, and just recharge, so it’s great to see that more Americans are planning to take full advantage of the weekend.”

Of those planning a getaway in 2018, 93 percent say they want at least one of their trips to be a true escape — one where they leave work and other stressors at home. For many respondents, a true escape means not reading news or email while they’re away, and one in four respondents say getting off social media enables them to truly get away.

Overall, the majority agrees that a true escape is more about what you leave behind rather than where you go. But they also have an appreciation for the journey that gets them to the destination. More than 70 percent of respondents agree the car ride is part of the trip to be enjoyed, and that a road trip offers more flexibility and spontaneity, potentially leading to seeing more places than with other modes of transportation. And a majority says that renting a vehicle can contribute to the overall experience of the getaway.

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