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A new study from Halfords Autocentres reveals that 8 out of 10 of us (82%) are planning day trips this summer and provides an insight into the factors that influence our choice of destination as well as those that concern us most about the journey.
The Summer Daytripper Study researched the habits of men and women of all ages and found that with money tight, motoring costs rising and leisure time in short supply, we have to make some tough decisions before departure.
Halfords Autocentres' research found that most of us are planning to make day trips by car (87%), undertake a journey of no more than a 100 miles (64%), to a destination that has something to appeal to the whole family (34%).
The key consideration governing how far we are prepared to travel on a day trip is fuel, the cost of which is a prime concern for four out of ten people (40%). All age groups agreed on this ? highlighting that both young and old are keen to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
Whilst most agree that the destination should be somewhere that appeals to everyone who is going, there is disagreement over whether somewhere they have visited before or somewhere new and different is preferable. Some 21% favour revisiting a previous destination while 24% want to seek out new and different locations.
Looking at the things we fear will spoil our day trips, the study found that breaking down is the chief concern for more than a third of us (34.5%). Being stranded at the roadside with passengers and belongings now concerns more of us than the weather (34%) and traffic jams (21%).
Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres said: "Worryingly our study found that, despite the fact that daytrippers are planning to drive further for one day out than they do during an average week, more than 1 in 10 (14%) wouldn't conduct a mechanical check on their cars before the journey.
"Almost a third (28%) said that they would only consider a check necessary if they were travelling between 100 and 200miles and a further 15% said the journey would need to be more than 200 miles before they would bother."
The fear of getting lost or bored during the journey - often the source of arguments - has almost disappeared from drivers' list of concerns with just 6% and 4.5% of us respectively citing these once major considerations.
This is likely to have been overcome by our increasing use of technology on the move. Over half of daytrippers (54%) said they were planning to use technology including satellite navigation devices, smart phones, tablet computers and DVD players during the journey ? making it far less likely that drivers will be asked ?Are we there yet?'
Halfords Autocentres has worked with leading psychologist Dr Geoff Rolls to interpret the study's findings and recommend actions that daytrippers can take which are more likely to result in a holiday harmony for all.
Dr Geoff Rolls commented: "We remember the extraordinary rather than the mundane and so a memorable day trip is important for recharging the batteries and for our psychological well-being.
"Halfords Autocentres has conducted some fascinating research that shows not only how keen the nation is on day trips but how people intend to make the most of their time and money.
"The good news is that with some forethought and planning the things that people fear as well as their stress levels can be substantially reduced ? making it more likely that the day trip will live up to expectations. A truly memorable day trip could be closer than you think and needn't break the bank."
Dr Geoff Rolls' simple steps to a stress free day trip
- Choose your destination with care - consider less well known destinations that could surprise and delight you and your passengers
- Share the responsibility of getting ready - give children a role and make it fun
- Pack a picnic and plan a stop somewhere picturesque to break-up the journey
- Use in-car entertainment & technology to enrich the journey - download new music, a book you've been dying to read or radio programme you don't usually listen to
- Brush-up on traditional travel games that everyone can play to pass time during the journey
- Hope for the best and plan for the worst - take alternate clothing and plan an alternate route to enable you to adapt to minimise the chances of being caught out
- Take care of the basics - ensure you or a qualified technician check the car over for faults before setting off to avoid the day trip ending prematurely
- Go with the flow - don't set your expectations too high and they are more likely to be exceeded
To download a copy of the full Summer Daytripper Study visit: www.halfordsautocentres.comWatch our Apprentice of the Year guide you through some simple pre-MOT checks »