Jun 15, 2010

Splash Into Summer: Top Summer Vacation Destinations

Ann Koerner's, Director of MapQuest Consumer Products, family  vacation to the beach.

We recently conducted an online survey asking people what their summer vacation and driving plans were for this year. The survey was completed by nearly 1900 individuals ranging in age from 17 to 60 and older. When considering that 66% of the respondents said that they are taking a summer vacation and 49% said they are taking more than one summer vacation, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on summer travel and driving.

Top Summer Vacation Destinations
The top three summer vacation destinations people are choosing to visit this summer are: the beach, the mountains and historical/educational summer vacations. Those 60 and older chose historical/educational vacations as their number one choice, while all other age groups noted the beach as their first choice.

Beach Summer Vacation – Ideas and Tips
If you’re looking for a great beach, check out a list of 35 fantastic US summer beaches or if you are just looking for sand-and-surf getaways for the summer season take a look at this list of secret beaches of the US.

With the recent oil spill in the Gulf, many people may be worried about their Gulf Coast beach vacation, and with good reason. There are some travel companies that have already implemented booking guarantees – make sure you check to see if yours is one of them. Another good resource is the NOAA Map, which provides a view of the ever-changing conditions. In addition, you can use Twitter (some examples: @AlabamaBeaches, @APTravel, @USoceangov) and Facebook (including, Alabama Beaches, Destin Area Chamber) to see real-time updates and photos of your destination to help you make a decision.

Hitting the Road
Nearly 60% of respondents are using their vehicles for summer vacation travel this year — up from those using their vehicle for summer vacation in 2009. For all of you driving this summer, we think the guys at Car Talk have compiled a good list of summer driving trips to get your car ready.

And with 87% of you driving your car for vacation – compared to 6% who will be driving a recreational vehicle and 2% taking a motorcycle – it is important to know how to pack the car for your destination. Check out these tips before you start loading up the car.

No matter if you are traveling to the beach, the mountains or Washington DC, summer vacations are important for your mental health. It gives you time to recharge batteries and enjoy the great outdoors. So grab the sunscreen, flip flops, cooler and sunglasses and get your summer started!

Photo taken by Ann Koerner, Director of MapQuest Consumer Products, of her own family vacation to the beach!