By Chrissy Blasinsky
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—It’s hot in some places and still snowing in others. Record-high gas prices. 40-year-high inflation. The political climate is tense. Supply chain issues continue to wreak havoc on the most vulnerable. Russia’s war on Ukraine persists. Workers are hard to find. Who wouldn’t want to get away?
My hand is raised, and so are the hands of 34.9 million people who say they plan to travel 50 miles or more to take a much-deserved road trip this summer. That’s according to AAA’s annual Memorial Day travel forecast.
AAA’s survey is an indicator of what the roads will look like until Labor Day. According to Andrew Gross, national public relations manager at AAA, and a recent guest on our Convenience Matters podcast, the forecast has never shown a strong Memorial Day and then a downer summer. People typically take a shorter trip over the Memorial Day holiday as a precursor to a longer vacation later in the summer.
However, we are in unchartered waters, Gross said. COVID-19 is still around, and high prices are not going away, so that begs to question whether travel will change. While we won’t know until the fall, it will be observable as the months tick on.
All said, we’re almost back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of how many folks plan to travel this summer. We’re not there yet, but nearly 35 million people is no small sack of potatoes. And where do these drivers pit stop? Convenience stores.
Read the rest of the story in this month’s Convenience Corner blog post.
Chrissy Blasinsky is the content communications strategist at NACS. Her favorite road trips are the ones where she’s driving.