Americans are embracing unplanned adventures



A recent survey unveils a growing trend among American travelers who prioritize spontaneity, companionship, and affordable experiences.

Traveling on a whim is becoming increasingly popular among American adults, with more than three in five respondents (67%) admitting that spontaneous trips are their preferred way to explore new destinations, according to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Motel 6. The study involved 2,045 adults with travel plans this year, revealing a shift in travel attitudes and behavior.

Spontaneity is not the only factor at play, as 22% of respondents also claimed they base their travel decisions on personal preferences and last-minute decision-making. This new approach to travel is highlighted by the fact that almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents are open to visiting surprise destinations.

The journey itself is no less important, with 75% of surveyed Americans agreeing that the act of traveling is just as enjoyable as the final destination. Travel companionship is also essential, with 78% preferring to travel with others and 28% planning trips with their pets.

Gone are the days of adhering to a traditional “travel season,” as 47% of Americans are equally likely to travel during peak seasons, off-seasons, or weekdays. A notable 29% even stated they prefer to travel during quieter times.

Visiting family and friends (53%), taking a break from daily life (50%), and exploring new cities (35%) were identified as the top reasons for planned trips. The majority of these trips aren’t just quick escapes, with 70% planning to travel more than three hours from their hometown.

Travelers are eager to change up their travel experiences this year, with 44% aiming to do so. A majority of these respondents (57%) plan to visit new destinations, 34% intend to explore multiple locations in a single trip, and 32% are taking longer vacations than before.

To achieve their travel goals, Americans are adopting budget-savvy strategies such as traveling during off-peak seasons (33%) and bringing their own snacks (32%) to avoid extra costs on the road. Budget-friendly lodging is also a priority for 30% of respondents, while 24% choose to avoid tourist hotspots and experience local culture instead.

Nearly half (49%) of travelers this year plan to stay at hotels or motels, with 66% stating that rewards programs are crucial when booking accommodations. By saving money on lodging, 43% of respondents intend to splurge on experiences like guided tours and dining out.

Julie Arrowsmith, President and Interim CEO of Motel 6, emphasized the importance of budget-friendly travel, stating, “A vacation doesn’t have to break the bank in order to be memorable.” The survey results suggest that Americans are more inclined than ever to embrace spontaneous adventures, prioritize companionship, and seek affordable experiences on their travels.

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