Gas Prices Not Driving Families From Taking Road Trips

REDMOND, Wash., May 10, 2000 — Even as gas prices recently hit an all-time high, American families remain determined to embark on their annual summer roadway adventures. According to a recent survey* commissioned by Microsoft® Streets & Trips 2001, half (49.7 percent) of America’s households will be hitting the road this summer.

The majority (73 percent) of those taking trips this summer said the difference in gas prices had no impact on their decision to travel by car, while the remainder (27 percent) said the price of gas was taken into consideration or influenced their choice of destination. Of those staying at home, only a few (12.6 percent) blamed their decision on prices at the pump.

So if fuel prices aren’t putting a dent in family car trips, what is? According to Rudy Maxa, host of public radio’s

The Savvy Traveler TM ,”
the most common problems associated with travel that families need to overcome are poor planning and poor timing.

“We’re in a strong economy; therefore, a little extra pinch at the gas pump is not a big enough reason to cancel the annual trip to Disney World,”
Maxa said.
“What we’re seeing is people being smarter in planning their trips. In fact, by using the latest technology, families can actually reduce the time they spend traveling and extend the time they spend vacationing. Given the changes in how people are using technology to plan their trips, there are seven tips I give families to help get them started.”

Seven Savvy Tips for Smarter Travel

  • Take the road most traveled (just not when everyone else does). The trend is for families to take shorter trips and not travel during the traditional summer holidays. The survey results confirmed this, with the majority (60.7 percent) of households saying they set out during off-peak times.

  • Properly routing a map takes more than a highlighter. Unexpected construction delays, time lost by following inaccurate directions, and uncertainty about which highway exits feature ATMs and high-quality restaurants are all a thing of the past, thanks to leading-edge mapping software.

  • An orange road sign doesn’t qualify as an


    advance warning.
    Microsoft Streets & Trips 2001 has found the best Web sites on which to find up-to-the-minute construction information. This will help travelers pick an alternate route before the backups start, and these routes can even lead to unique excursions.

  • Plan the best pit stops. The comprehensive listings and links inside Streets & Trips 2001 mean never again worrying about running low on cash or straying too far from an available restroom or decent restaurant.

  • Have no reservations about making reservations. It is better to sleep in the hotel bed than in the hotel parking lot. Streets & Trips 2001 enables users to calculate how far they can travel every day as well as locate trusted hotels along the way or at their final destination.

  • Enjoy the local flavor. Travelers can take a breather from the chain restaurants they eat at near home: The best restaurants are not always the ones that cater to tourists, but the ones that serve authentic local cuisine to residents. Users of Streets & Trips 2001 can check out listings for thousands of restaurants, searchable by food type and location.

  • Making good time is important; having a good time is essential. Travelers can customize their itinerary and make their entire journey an adventure. With Streets & Trips 2001, they can find museums, scenic views and other points of interest along their trip route. The more exciting stops families make, the less the kids will be asking,
    “Are we there yet?”

Using high-quality map data from renowned geographic resources such as GDT, Navigation Technologies and Compusearch Micromarketing Data and Systems, as well as content from infoUSA and Woodalls, Microsoft Streets & Trips 2001 provides the best information on the market in one easy-to-use product. Faster, more detailed and easier to use than online maps, Streets & Trips 2001 successfully combines accurate street-level mapping and flexible trip-planning technologies in one comprehensive product. It quickly and easily calculates door-to-door driving directions throughout the United States and, for the first time ever, Canada. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2001 is available in stores at an estimated retail price of $44.95 (U.S.) or $64.95 (CDN). More information about Microsoft Streets & Trips 2001 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/streets/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

* Study conducted by Market Facts Inc.’s TeleNation service in April 2000 among 1,000 randomly selected households.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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GDT is a trademark of Geographic Information Technology Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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