It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year for a large swath of Americans. If there’s one bright spot from the pandemic, though, it’s that it has forced people to get out and explore the country in their vehicles.
A recently study conducted by General Motors and Chevrolet indicates that some of the happiest memories for Americans from summer 2020 were when they were on a road trip. With many bars, restaurants and sporting events closed, it’s not much of a surprise that Americans took to their vehicles to stay entertained and maintain their sanity.
Chevrolet’s study found that “nearly 80 percent of Americans credited road trips as helping to keep their sanity during the pandemic,” while 89 percent said their car “allowed them to get out of the house safely for a much-needed change of scenery.” Among road trippers, 41 percent said they took a road trip to a place they had never been before during the pandemic, while 20 percent said they visited a national park for the first time on a road trip. Some of the most popular road trip activities included going to the beach (41 percent), hiking (31 percent), fishing (29 percent) and going to national parks (27 percent).
This may have a lasting effect on how American’s spend their free time, too. Chevy’s study found that roughly 4 in 10 road trippers say that they now have a greater appreciation for the outdoors (43 percent) and for traveling within the United States (38 percent). Additionally, 56 percent said their vehicle has become “part of the family” during the pandemic downtime as they rely on it for a quick and easy escape.
This is all good news for Chevrolet, as campers and outdoorsy types are more likely to buy one a capable vehicle like a Chevrolet Tahoe or Silverado. These big, comfortable SUVs are also described by Chevy as the “ultimate road trip vehicles,” making them the ideal way to escape the COVID-19 noise.
“This desire to pack up family and cargo and get out is part of these iconic SUVs’ DNA,” said Bob Krapes, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director. “The all-new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban have been completely redesigned to offer more space, comfort and technology to make road trips enjoyable and memorable.”
Four-wheel-drive vehicles like the Tahoe and Suburban are also ideal for winter road trips – and many folks who enjoyed summer drives are expected to carry that practice over into the cold months. Chevy’s survey found that of those planning to road trip through the end of the year, 41 percent plan to road trip over the Thanksgiving or winter holidays.
The poll surveyed 1,000 Americans and was conducted in partnership with Harris Poll.