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National Household Travel Survey Long Distance Travel Quick Facts

National Household Travel Survey
Long Distance Travel Quick Facts

Long Distance Trips are more than 50 miles from home to the furthest destination.

How We Travel

  • Nine out of 10 long-distance trips are by personal vehicle
    • 7 percent of long distance trips are by air
    • 2 percent of long distance trips are by bus
    • 1 percent of long distance trips are by train
  • Personal vehicles are used for almost all trips less than 300 roundtrip miles
  • Nearly three-fourths of trips over 2,000 roundtrip miles were made by airplane

How Far We Travel

  • Americans total 1.3 trillion person-miles of long distance travel a year on about 2.6 billion long distance trips.
  • The median distances on these trips are:
    • Air - 2,068 miles
    • Bus - 287 miles
    • Personal vehicle - 194 miles
    • Train - 192 miles

Why We Travel

  • 56 percent of long distance trips are taken for pleasure — vacations, sightseeing trips, visiting friends or relatives, outdoor recreation
  • Business trips are 16 percent of long distance trips
  • Commuting to work is 13 percent of long distance trips

Where We Travel

  • 98 percent of long-distance trips are to destinations within the United States
  • 62 percent of long distance trips are to destinations within the traveler's home state (intrastate travel)

Who Travels

  • Men make 57 percent of long distance trips
  • Women make 55 percent of long distance trips taken by bus — men make the most long distance trips by personal vehicle, air and train
  • 57 percent of long distance trips are made by travelers with a total household income of $50,000 or more
  • Almost two-thirds of long distance trips are made by travelers age 25 to 64

SOURCE: National Household Travel Survey, 2001-2002. For further details, see our Frequently Asked Questions.