ARE WE THERE YET? FORD EXPLORES THE REINVENTION OF THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP
CONTENTS TRAVEL LANDSCAPE 4 GENERATIONAL TRENDS 6 DESTINATIONS 16 CHOOSE YOUR RIDE 20 ROAD TRIPS IN POP CULTURE 24 ARE WE THERE YET? 28
AS SUMMER NEARS, PEOPLE LOOK TO ESCAPE THEIR DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES AND HIT THE ROAD FOR ADVENTURE.
But with the rapid introduction of new
eﬃciency, new driver-assist features and
technologies and travelers’ anticipation of
thoughtful design – all inspiring confidence on
capturing enviable content, today’s road
the journey ahead.
trips are not what they used to be. Instead of packing up the car, grabbing a trusty map and
But technology continues to unfold at
heading out onto the open road, Americans
breakneck pace, prompting greater reflection
are utilizing connectivity at every turn to make
on the impact it has on our lives. How will the
their road trips more enjoyable – and more
nostalgic road trips of yesteryear marry with
shareable on social media.
our modern, digitized world? What eﬀect will these new dynamics have on our personal
Since the turn of the twentieth century, Ford
social circles, on travel and tourism, and on
has owned the summer road trip. From the
the destinations we hold dear? And finally,
first trip into town in a Model T, to braving
when self-driving cars hit the road, how will
cross-country exploration in America’s
they reinvent the way we move around?
favorite SUV, the Explorer, summer road trips have been synonymous with Ford. And with
As you turn the pages, we invite you to rethink
each chapter, our vehicles have evolved to
the Great American Road Trip as you know
empower drivers to make the most of their
it – and reflect on the cultural trends and
modern road trip, helping them go further
technological factors that will reshape our
through better technology, greater fuel
travel experience in 2017 and beyond.
TRAVEL LANDSCAPE: 2017 THIS YEARâ€™S FORECAST
of Americans are planning to take a vacation 50 miles or more away from home
more families are expected to take road trips compared to 2016
of trips are “to spend quality time with other family members”
are to “create lifelong memories for the family members”
167,533,054 total posts on social for #travel #roadtrip is the 10th most-used hashtag with 25,776,004 posts
SHERYL CONNELLY CORPORATE FUTURIST, FORD MOTOR COMPANY
@Ford “As we reflect on today’s road trip, acceleration of ubiquitous technology and generational trends are two of the key factors contributing to its evolution. Today’s vehicle is so much more than the necessary means to an end – a way to get from point A to point B. Instead, younger generations are enjoying the journey just as much as the destination, as they leverage the rapid introduction of connectivity, entertainment and safety features.”
Sheryl Connelly has served as Ford Motor Companyâ€™s futurist for more than a decade. She is responsible for identifying global trends, exploring potential implications and cascading these insights on futuring to organizations throughout the company, including design, product development and corporate strategy. She is a member of the Global Advisory Council on transportation for the World Economic Forum, one of Fast Companyâ€™s Most Creative People in Business (2013 and 2015), and a featured speaker at TED Global.
THE MILLENNIAL MINDSET
EMBRACING THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY
72% prefer to spend more money on experiences than material items
AN EYE FOR ADVENTURE
more motivated by “going on an adventure” compared to older generations
update their social media accounts while traveling
of Millennial travelers seek to explore the world with their friends, 20% more than any other age group
domestic trips planned this year by Millennials on average, compared to Gen Xers at 3.6
ROAD TRIP MOTIVATIONS
Our 2017 trend report, Looking Further with Ford, revealed that younger consumers aim to collect enriching experiences, rather than traditional status symbols. Road trips satisfy senses of nostalgia and the desire to spend quality time with loved ones. For more from Fordâ€™s 2017 trend report, visit www.fordtrends.com
In our on-demand world, time is a currency we spend, and value, diﬀerently than we did in the past. While air travel may oﬀer eﬃciency and global access, road trips allow drivers and their passengers to turn transit time into productive moments to connect with each other, aided by vehicle connectivity and infotainment advancements.
THE GOOD LIFE 2.0
TIME WELL SPENT
of adults globally agree that prosperity today is more about happiness than wealth
of adults globally agree that their definition of wasting time is diﬀerent than it was in the past
HITTING THE ROAD WITH GEN X
TYPES OF TRIPS PLANNED
Working while away has become more prevalent, even when traveling with family.
36% of Gen Xers say they will find time to work while on family vacation in 2017.
REASONS FOR TRAVEL
time with family
escape the everyday
travel for an event
visit dream destination
CONNECTING WITH KIDS
Technology has transformed how children engage with a trip through a wealth of digital aids: Google Earth to see what their destination looks like before they arrive; search engines to help locate fun things to do while away; and of course Skype or social media to share stories with family and friends back home. LONELY PLANET
of adults globally agree that there is a dark side to technology that’s making us dumber, while 63% claim it makes us less polite
of adults globally agree that technology has a more positive than negative impact on children’s development – but in the U.S., more than half disagree
Technology has made life more convenient and eﬃcient – nowhere is this more true than in travel. Yet we also have shorter attention spans, lower retention capacities and a greater likelihood to allow gadgets to do our thinking for us. And as parenting styles proliferate, so, too, does judgment – particularly when it comes to tech’s role in child-rearing. Road trips are an opportunity to better engage children with shared experiences through technology, leveraging their digital aptitudes to share in planning and entertainment decisions as a family.
SHERYL CONNELLY 15
Rebecca Warren is the managing editor of Lonely Planetâ€™s US magazine and previously served as the destination editor for the Eastern US. She started at Lonely Planet with more than 10 years of publishing experience, and she comments on travel trends for CNN.com, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, ELLE, American Way, Consumer Reports, Forbes and more. Â
CHOOSING YOUR DESTINATION
REBECCA WARREN MANAGING EDITOR, LONELY PLANET @LonelyPlanet â€œThe modern road trip will continue to evolve as people integrate travel into their lives beyond the traditional summer vacation. The constant connectivity of the modern digital era is encouraging people to leave behind their daily routines in search of mental and physical restoration. Road trips provide the perfect way to escape the daily grind and explore the world, both near and far, curated specifically to personal preference. Continual advances in technology allow modern conveniences, such as Wi-Fi and GPS, to be integrated into vehicles, giving people the freedom to roam into parts unknown without excessive planning in advance.â€? 17
CHOOSING YOUR DESTINATION
WHERE TO NEXT?
2 3 4
VERMONT ROUTE 100 Spanning nearly the entire length of the state, Vermont’s revered Route 100 travels through legendary ski resorts and past charming general stores, with the verdant Green Mountains always at its side. This route really shines during autumn when travelers are greeted with a spectacular array of colors as the foliage puts on its annual show.
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY The new bridge in Big Sur isn’t open until Sept, but Highway 1 is still one of the most incredible drives in the country. This drive is on bucket lists across the globe for good reason. Miles of curvy highway hugs the Pacific coast, giving travelers unfettered views across the sparkling Pacific.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK The nation’s most visited national park is well worth a few days of motoring around. From the peaks of the Appalachian mountains, to depths of river gorges carved from millennia of water winding its way down the mountains, this drive oﬀers a gorgeous backdrop in every season.
NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY
HUDSON RIVER VALLEY
This ancient road has been in use for centuries, bringing goods from the Port of Natchez up into the center of the continent. Now a 444-mile scenic byway completely free of commercialization, driving through the cypress swamps and cotton fields provides a meditative experience.
Less than two hours north of NYC, the Hudson Valley is a perfect way to escape the concrete jungle. Enjoy quaint riverside towns lined with streets full of shops and restaurants, wineries, and plenty of places to stretch your legs on hikes or waterside walks.
CHOOSING YOUR RIDE
“The right vehicle is a critical ingredient to a successful road trip. From fuel eﬃciency to comfort and connectivity features, the ride can make or break the trip. As consumer demand for SUVs continues to grow, Ford is well-positioned for this growth with plans to add five all-new SUVs to its North American lineup by 2020. Ford’s vehicle lineup truly oﬀers a model for every driver. The all-new fun, capable and connected EcoSport helps drivers go small and live big, while the all-new Expedition is a perfect fit for big family adventure, whether your definition of family includes grandparents, friends or neighborhood kids, with seating and connectivity for every passenger. Our technology-packed Escape, stylish Edge crossover and rugged and versatile new Explorer round out Ford’s SUV lineup providing choice and customization for everyone. From friends seeking spontaneous adventures, to families looking to pack in the neighborhood for a camping trip, America’s best-selling SUV brand has your trip covered.”
MICHAEL Oâ€™BRIEN SUV GROUP MARKETING MANAGER, FORD MOTOR COMPANY
CHOOSING YOUR RIDE
WHAT TO DRIVE Driven by a deep understanding of the needs of our customers, Ford’s latest SUV lineup oﬀers the perfect ride for every life stage, every road trip, every destination and all the shared memories in between.
Smart storage solutions are a must. The
If staying connected is crucial, check
2018 Expedition’s second- and third-row
your car’s coverage. With Ford’s first
seats quickly fold flat to reveal a 4x8-
wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot
foot wide cargo space, and adjustable
supporting up to 10 devices at once – up
shelf behind the third-row oﬀers more
to 50 feet away – the 2018 Expedition
has you covered for work and play.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS? Look for on-demand entertainment features, and skip the back-seat bickering. The dualheadrest rear seat entertainment system in the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition can livestream cable or satellite TV via SlingPlayer.
Look for smart perks so your ride’s on the
Smart safety features are crucial. Adaptive
ready. SYNC Connect with FordPass lets you locate, start and unlock your 2018 Ford EcoSport remotely, plus view fuel level from the mobile app.
FordPass, available with 2018 EcoSport
Cruise Control with collision warning and brake support, Cross-Traﬃc Alert, Blind Spot Information System, and Lane Keeping Aid all come standard on higherseries models of the new 2018 Explorer.
THE ROAD TRIP IN POP CULTURE
BRIAN BALTHAZAR POP CULTURE AND TREND ANALYST @BrianBalthazar “Road trips are such an intrinsic part of our lives, it’s no surprise they’ve got such a strong footing in pop culture. Countless movies have chronicled the great American road trip, from National Lampoon’s Vacation to Little Miss Sunshine, and the epic road trip ranges from full on hilarity to a deep spiritual journey. But these trips – and how we take them – are evolving at a lightning fast pace! As the ubiquitous question ‘are we there yet?’ is replaced by GPS-estimated time of arrival, and postcards are replaced by shared photos on social media, the next wave of road trip trends – from how we get there to what we take home as a souvenir – are just in their infancy.”
Brian Balthazar is a pop culture and trend analyst. He frequently appears on NBCâ€™s Today show, The Wendy Williams show, and HLN to discuss news, trends, culture and entertainment. As a television producer he launched Todayâ€™s fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda, and several home renovation and real estate shows on HGTV and diy network.
ROAD TRIPS IN POP CULTURE
TRENDS TO WATCH
WHEN IN ROME Do as the locals do. Rather than defaulting to highway exit pit stops, road travelers are seeking out local haunts that feature regional resources and artisans, from food stops to retailers.
EATS OVER ALL
In the not-so-distant future, A.R. apps will help travelers plan road trips and experience destinations with enhancement. Tulum’s archeologists are already capitalizing on A.R. to transform the ruins in visitors eyes, and other historic sites, national parks and museums are not far behind.
With 61% of Millennial travelers citing culinary discovery as a primary travel goal, future road trips will feature ‘culinary crawls’ over Top 10 tourist attractions.
ROAD TRIP RECLAIMERS Rising interest in salvage, restoration and sustainability has refueled the road trip, establishing popular flea market routes and spawning a new approach to souvenirs.
IT ’S ABOUT THE JOURNEY & THE DESTINATION While it’s still true that growth lies in the journey, socially-aware, health-conscious travelers are seeking destinations with added opportunities for volunteerism, spiritual wellness and education on vacation.
ARE WE THERE YET? The age-old question on any road trip: are we
As we move toward the introduction of autonomous
there yet? From the first road trip in Henry Ford’s
vehicles, travel and the road trip dynamic will
Model T, to today’s impressive lineup of road trip-
undoubtedly change. Without hands on the wheel
ready vehicles, Ford is poised to continue defining
and eyes on the road, drivers will, for the first
the Great American Road Trip, seeing it through
time, be fully present with their passengers. With
technological transformation and into the future.
that change, the greatest innovation in automotive
But innovation doesn’t stop there.
technology could ultimately prompt a return to tradition: could the road trips of the future become
Ford has five all-new SUVs coming to its North
the new family dinner?
American vehicle lineup by 2020, including an all-new fully electric SUV to deliver an estimated
Change is and will be the only constant, but with
range of at least 300 miles – meeting demand to
road trips, we at Ford are confident that road trips
make travel more aﬀordable, and easier on our
will continue to hold a special place in the hearts
environment. But vehicles are just one factor in the
of travelers, and we will continue to help them go
dynamic of a truly great road trip.
SOURCES The Travel Landscape: 2017 • 35% of Americans are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home in 2017 (AAA, February 2017). • Compared to summer 2016, 10% more families are expected to take road trips this year, despite average gas prices that are 52 cents higher (AAA, March 2017). • 71% of trips are “to spend quality time with other family members” and 51% are to “create lifelong memories for the family members” (Global Traveler, 2017). • Social media and travel go hand in hand – #travel has 167,533,054 total posts on social, while #roadtrip is the 10th most-used hashtag and claims 25,776,004 posts (Lonely Planet, December 2016). • Other top 10 travel hashtags include: #sunset, #travelgram, #wanderlust, #vacation, #instatravel, #adventure, #view, and #travelphotography (Lonely Planet, December 2016).
The Millennial Mindset • 72% prefer to spend more money on experiences than material items (Harris Group, 2016), and 78% want to learn something new while they travel (Topdeck Travel, October 2016). • Compared older generations, Millennials are 230% more motivated by “going on an adventure” (AARP, 2016), and over 75% prefer to create their own itinerary in lieu of a packaged tour (AirBnB, 2016). • 90% update their social media accounts while traveling, and Facebook (94%) and Instagram (71%) reign supreme from the road (Topdeck Travel, October 2016). • 58% of Millennial travelers seek to explore the world with their friends, 20% more than any other age group (PGAV “Meet the Millennials” Survey, 2016). • Millennials are planning an average of 4.7 domestic trips this year, compared to Gen Xers at 3.6 (2016 MLive Data, Multiple Sources: Virtuoso, Adweek, TripAdvisor).
Identifying Motivations • 72% of adults globally agree that prosperity today is more about happiness than wealth (BAV Consulting for Ford Motor Co., Global Survey 2016), and 68% care less about material possessions than they did in the past (BAV Consulting for Ford Motor Co., Global Survey, 2016). • 72% of adults globally agree that their definition of wasting time is diﬀerent than it was in the past (BAV Consulting for Ford Motor Co., Global Survey, 2016).
Hitting the Road with Gen X • Of trips planned for 2017, 36% are summer vacations, 35% are multi-generational, 37% are weekend getaways, 21% are holiday travel, and 18% are romantic getaways (2016 MLive Data, Multiple Sources: Virtuoso, Adweek, TripAdvisor). • When Gen Xers travel, 71% seek exploration, 61% seek nature, 48% want time with family, 39% aim to escape the everyday, 16% travel for an event, 13% travel to visit a dream destination, and 3% look to relax (2016 MLive Data from Multiple Sources: Virtuoso, Adweek, TripAdvisor). • The old school family road trip (79%) and visits to national parks (51%) remain the most popular types of vacations for families planning road trips in 2017 (AAA, February 2017). • Working while away has become more prevalent, even when traveling with family – 36% of Gen Xers say they will find time to work while on family vacation in 2017 (2016 MLive Data, Multiple Sources: Virtuoso, Adweek, TripAdvisor).
Connecting with Kids • 47% of adults globally agree that there is a dark side to technology that’s making us dumber, while 63% claim it makes us less polite (BAV Consulting for Ford Motor Co., Global Survey, 2016). • 61% of adults globally agree that technology has a more positive than negative impact on children’s development – but in the U.S., more than half disagree (54%) (BAV Consulting for Ford Motor Co., Global Survey, 2016).