US study reveals road-trip habits

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What people eat, how they spend their time and where they stop on road trips are among findings of a new ‘Summer Drive Study’ released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) in the US.

The study also highlighted that convenience stores sold about 80 per cent of the petrol bought across the US and served about 155 million customers every day for drinks, snacks, meals and other convenience items.

It was also revealed that most holiday-goers travelled by car (85 per cent of those surveyed), followed by air (36 per cent) and rail (eight per cent). Long hours failed to deter travellers, the study showed, with 32 per cent of travellers interviewed saying they planned to travel 12 or more hours on a round trip.

Habits the survey sought to establish included why road-trippers stop along the way, where they stop, how they plan trips, why they argue, and what they indulge in on their summer drive?

Why do they stop along the way?
The three top reasons people stop during summer drives are to use the bathroom (96 per cent of respondents), fill up with petrol (95 per cent) and buy food or drinks (91 per cent). In a distant last place was stopping to see a landmark or attraction (68 per cent).

Where do road-trippers stop?
In determining where to stop along the way, consumers cited several factors: convenient location (93 per cent), clean restrooms (89 per cent), fuel prices (87 per cent), trusted or known brand (76 per cent), fresh food options (70 per cent), a wide selection of beverages (66 per cent) and a wide selection of snacks (66 per cent).

What do people indulge in during their summer drive?
According to the survey, many Americans broke their usual purchasing habits while on holiday. Travellers indicated that when on summer holidays they were likely to splurge on salty snacks (41 per cent), lollies (36 per cent) and drinks (33 per cent) that they don’t normally consume.

“There’s only one place that can satisfy all three of the top reasons for stopping during a road trip: a convenience store,” NACS Vice President of strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard said. “From restrooms and fuel pumps to indulgent snacks and healthy options, you can stop once and make everyone happy. And that can certainly make a road trip more fun.”