Here’s what stresses out parents on holiday road trips with family


Holiday road trip.

Those three words can cause both joy and stress.

Joy for the things we celebrate during the holiday season. Stress for millions of Americans who will be getting into their vehicles for the traditional holiday adventure.

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A survey conducted by Harris Poll for Chevrolet reveals what stresses holiday travelers most.

Here’s what the survey found:

The vast majority of American parents enjoy taking road trips, and so do their kids.

  1. About 93 percent of all parents surveyed said they like or love taking road trips with their families, including more than half (53 percent) who “love” it. Of those who take road trips, 95 percent like or love them, including 55 percent who say they “love” them.
  2. Children like spending time on the road with their families as well, said 90 percent of parents.
  3. About 86 percent of parents who took road trips growing up said they have “a lot of fond memories” from family road trips, including nearly half (49 percent) who strongly agree.

Family time and new explorations drive America’s love of road trips.

  1. Spending time with family (80 percent) and exploring and stopping at interesting locations and destinations (69 percent) are parents’ two favorite aspects of family road trips.
  2. Unplugging from everyday life (49 percent), indulging in foods and snacks (44 percent) and being out on the open road (45 percent) round out the top five favorite road trip experiences.

What stresses parents out the most on family road trips? It’s not the kids.

  1. Traffic and other unexpected delays are by far the most stressful parts of family road trips, according to nearly two in three parents (63 percent) surveyed.
  2. Only about one in four parents (26 percent) are most stressed by getting asked “are we there yet?” and just under a third (31 percent) find it stressful to keep the kids entertained.

The survey of 1,063 parents with children under 18 years old also found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) would prefer to take a road trip in an SUV, preferably a large SUV with three rows of seating; the “perfect” length of a family road trip is about six hours; parents bring 6.6 mobile devices along, and 67 percent of parents who take road trips involve their children in the planning.

“Despite stressful or unexpected moments,” according to Chevrolet, “the spirit of the American family road trip remains alive and well.”

Happy holidays!