Summer Travel Returns: 10% more Americans hit the road on the weekend of June 12th than on Memorial Day, Travel Industry Index Finds.

Published on Jun 16, 2020 in Blog, Daily Travel Index

Summer travel returns as road trips taken by US travelers on the weekend of June 12th exceeded the volume of road trips observed over Memorial Day weekend 2020, according to Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index.

The Daily Travel Index hit +81.8% on Friday, June 12th–a full ten points higher than the index of +71.5% observed on Friday, May 22nd, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The past weekend’s measured road trip activity was on par with activity seen in the weeks leading up to the pandemic, including the weeks where most schools in the U.S. dismiss for Spring Break. 

Data as of June 16, 2020

The increased travel activity was widespread with 48 of the 50 states showing more road trip activity than the average day in February, widely considered to be the last period before COVID-19 pandemic impacted travel in the United States.

Data as of June 16, 2020

At its nadir, April 12, 2020, Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index sank to (-84.2%) below the index baseline meaning that Americans embarked on 84.2% fewer road trips of 50+ miles on that date than in the average day in February.

The increased summer travel came amidst a backdrop of social tensions, protests, and concerns about increasing cases of COVID-19. Several cities, including Nashville, reinstated stay at home orders over the same weekend to prevent further spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, large parts of New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania reopened their economies back in the last 2 weeks, which could help explain the surge in road trip travel over the last weekend.

While longer road trips predominated on Memorial Day weekend, shorter trips prevailed on the weekend of June 12th.

  • Trips of 50+ miles indexed at 58.1% on June 13, compared to 29.2% on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
  • Trips of 100-250 miles indexed at 118.8% compared to 117.2% on Memorial Day weekend
  • Trips of 250+ miles indexed at 143.9% compared to 182% on Memorial Day weekend.

Road trips are widely considered to be the leading indicator of the travel industry’s recovery. The Daily Travel Index, which was developed to provide a way to measure the impact of COVID19 on American travel patterns. It also serves as a leading indicator of the return of travel. The index measures activity based on the origin of the user’s trips.

The leading origin market states which saw the highest increase on June 12th compared to Memorial Day weekend were:

  • New Jersey +38.4% increase compared to Memorial Day
  • Pennsylvania +24.1% increase compared to Memorial Day
  • Ohio: +18.5% increase compared to Memorial Day
  • Massachusetts: +11.8% increase compared to Memorial Day
  • Indiana: +10.1% increase compared to Memorial Day