AUSTIN, Texas, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Are road trips the most economical summer vacation option? According to recent surveys conducted by RetailMeNot ( www.retailmenot.com), the largest digital offers destination in the United States, in conjunction with The Omnibus Company ( www.omnibus.com), the vast majority of Americans surveyed (95%) believe that people typically end up splurging and spending more money than they planned to during road trips. Food/restaurants (72%) and gas (62%) top the list of expenditures, followed by hotels (40%) and entertainment costs (40%).
"Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) surveyed are planning to take a road trip this summer," says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. "While the cost of traveling by car may seem cheaper compared to the cost of airfare, there are a variety of other factors to consider when budgeting for a road trip, like souvenirs, food costs, fluctuating gas prices and even car maintenance issues that often arise." Almost all survey respondents (98%) who took a summer vacation last year plan to do so again this year and will spend the same amount of money or more on their 2014 getaways (81%). Parents (47%) are more likely than those without kids (27%) to spend more on vacations than last year. Open Road, Open Wallets Driving from town to town allows road trippers to set their own pace and explore new areas. It also creates more spending choices for travelers on a budget. One in 3 (33%) survey respondents imagine they'd stop for a souvenir from a specific town or attraction if they were on a road trip. In fact, 73% of respondents who have taken road trips report that they typically stop every two to three hours, if not more often. Parents are almost twice as likely than those without kids to stop once an hour or more (13% vs. 7%).