NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading location data company Arrivalist predicts 37.9 million Americans will travel by automobile over Memorial Day weekend this year. This volume is tracking slightly above 2019 and 2021 Memorial Day traffic levels. Overall, 2022 U.S. road travel is tracking 8.5 percent above 2021 volume.
“The American road trip is thriving,” said Cree Lawson, Arrivalist Founder and CEO. “We are projecting an 8.5 percent increase in year-over-year road trips compared to 2021. As a whole, U.S. road trips have been steadily increasing all year.”
According to Arrivalist’s observations, the nature of road trips has changed over the past year as well. In April 2022, the company observed:
- More overnight stays; fewer day trips
- An increase in road trips in the 250+ mile range (perhaps due to a 26 percent increase in airfares)
- Higher volume of midweek travel
"While rising gas prices are an important factor in determining travel plans, we’ve observed that the recent increase in airfare motivates travelers to take longer road trips,” said Lawson.
The increase in midweek travel between 2019 and 2022 is especially important in projecting Memorial Day travel because the holiday falls over a weekend. Road trips that begin on a Friday in 2022 are one percent above 2019 levels over the past 28 days. Road trips that begin on any day of the week, in contrast, are up 6.6 percent compared to 2019.
“We expect a significant amount of road trip volume over the Memorial Day Weekend. In fact, our forecast shows that the travel volume may even exceed 2019 levels by a small margin,” said Balakumar Raghuraman, Vice President of Analytics.
When calculating holiday travel predictions, Arrivalist considers the following factors:
- Trending information from the Daily Travel Index
- TSA numbers
- Gas prices
- COVID-19 case counts (COVID-19 case counts had a lower weighting this year; gas prices had a higher weighting)
Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index tracks U.S. travel patterns, providing consumers with timely updates within 48-hours of a specific date. Launched in April 2020, the platform was built as a free tool to help the travel industry track the pulse of the pandemic’s recovery. Earlier this year, Arrivalist updated the Daily Travel Index with three new improvements, including the addition of overnight stay data on the website, up to four years of trending travel data (2019-2022) available for free, and the ability to compare trending travel data across all 50 states.
How the Data is Calculated
Arrivalist’s methodology is based on a representative balanced panel of GPS signals representing road trips taken specifically in cars (excluding travel by air). A trip is measured as one where the user has travelled a minimum of 50 miles and spent a minimum of two hours at the destination. Commuter travel or other frequently repeated trips—i.e., cargo deliveries or other reoccurring activities—are excluded from the Daily Travel Index.
Arrivalist is the leading location intelligence platform in the travel industry. The company uses multiple location data sets to provide actionable insights on consumer behavior, competitive share, media effectiveness, and market trends. Over 200 travel marketers, including 100 cities, 40 U.S. states, and four of the top 10 U.S. theme parks, use these insights to inform media strategy, operations, and destination development. Arrivalist is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco and Toronto.