We often talk with our clients about how "memories" have more value than "things". We also find that the value of memories go up over time.
Often times, the memories clients share with us have to do with shared experiences and family vacations. Many times clients have shared funny stories with us about their memories of summer vacations driving across country to the beach or other destinations packed in the car with their families.
As times have changed, so have family vacations. People have become more adventurous as prices have come down and options have increased. Families have been more prone to fly places, go out of the country and take cruises than they did "back when we were kids".
All of these trends came to a screeching halt in the spring of this year as the COVID-19 outbreak has taken hold. AAA expects that 700 million trips will take place during the summer months. While that sounds like a lot, it is actually 15% fewer trips than families took last summer.
It is also projected that 683 million of these trips will be taken by car. This is primarily due to the fact that people are somewhat leery of airplanes, cruise ships, trains, buses and other forms of mass transportation. Those businesses have seen their bookings and revenue fall significantly since the viral outbreak began.
However, they are not the only industries who have seen their business hurt during this time. Restaurants, retail, beauty salons and spas, as well as fitness centers have all seen substantial closures...many of which will be permanent based on the data below from Yelp. From March 1 to mid-June, approximately 140,000 businesses in those industry groups have closed. Approximately 41% of those have closed for good. This includes approximately 53% of the 24,000 restaurants shown in the graph below.
One area that has seen a HUGE comeback as a result of COVID-10 is the sale of campers, RVs and travel trailers. The fear of exposure to the virus from flying and staying in hotels has boosted the popularity of driving vacations and thus, the sales of motorhomes (or Family Trucksters) over the past few months.
Whether it is good or bad to be cramped in a vehicle with your family for many hours while driving, it appears the great American road trip is back in style!! At least until we find a vaccine or therapeutic for the viral outbreak. Please let us know your thoughts and share your stories as we all continue "Moving Life Forward", apparently down the road in the same vehicle together. Thanks, and have a great day.