Tag Archives: beach getaways

Snowbirds Flock to Cost2Drive Amid Soaring Gas Prices

                                                           Thousands of Florida-Bound Car Travelers Turn to Cost2Drive.com for Help  Planning Trips as Gas Prices Reach Historic Highs

As travelers begin planning their winter vacations in earnest, each week thousands are turning to our popular fuel calculator website and iPhone app for help planning their car trips as gas prices reach historic highs for this time of year.  Visits to Cost2Drive.com have doubled as a result and so we decided to examine over 10,000 trips entered on the site during the first week of January to find out where all these travelers are heading in the new year.

The Migration Pattern of the Snowbird

It turns out that over 20%  of all the trips entered on Cost2Drive.com in the first week of 2012 have somewhere in Florida as the destination.  So where are all these sun worshipers coming from? Most are snowbirds coming from the Midwest and Northeast driving down to Florida to escape the long cold winters up north.  New York was the state with the largest volume of routes representing 11% of all Florida-bound trips, followed by Michigan at 7% and Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all at 6%.

Snowbird Migration Pattern as Entered on Cost2Drive.com

Car travelers from Boston, New Jersey and Texas represented 5% of all Florida-bound routes, followed by road trippers from Wisconsin, Indiana and neighboring state Georgia at 4% each.

Top Florida Destinations

The top Florida destinations being searched on Cost2Drive are pretty much the ones you’d expect, with Orlando (and Walt Disney World) capturing the majority of traveler interest as 40% of all the Florida-bound routes had Orlando, Disney World or Kissimmee as the destination.

Top Florida Destinations for Snowbirds

The destination rankings break down as follows:

  1. Orlando/Kissimmee: 40%
  2. Miami/Fort Lauderdale: 16%
  3. Tampa/Saint Petersburg/Clearwater: 11%
  4. The Florida Panhandle (Pensacola/Panama City): 8%
  5. Northeast Coast (Jacksonville, Daytona Beach): 7%
  6. Naples/Fort Myers: 7%
  7. Cape Canaveral/Palm Bay: 4%
  8. Florida Keys/Key West: 3%
  9. Sarasota/Bradenton: 3%
  10. All Others: 1%

The Atlantic versus the Gulf Coast

It’s common knowledge that you can determine the destination of a Florida-bound snowbird by its departure location, with Northeastern snowbirds alighting on the rough Atlantic coast while the Midwestern snowbirds prefer the calmer shores of the Gulf of Mexico.  We decided to test this hypothesis to see if the trips entered on Cost2Drive followed this same pattern.

Migration Patterns of the Midwestern and Northeastern Snowbird

We were delighted to learn that our results validated the hypothesis as the Midwestern Snowbirds were more likely to choose a Gulf Coast destination whereas the Northeastern Snowbirds were more likely to choose the Atlantic Coast.  We were surprised, however, to discover that Midwestern Snowbirds were also more likely to choose a Gulf Coast destination over Orlando/Disney World whereas Northeastern Snowbirds prefer Orlando over Atlantic Coast destinations by a fairly wide margin.

What’s your favorite Florida destination?

Happy Driving!

(no snowbirds were harmed in the undertaking of this study)

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Myrtle Beach Tops List of Labor Day Destinations

Photo Credit: Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB

Most Searched “Beach” Destination on Cost2Drive.com

With less than two weeks to go before Labor Day weekend, and gas prices starting to decline, its not too late to plan a last-minute trip to the beach to cap off the summer of 2011.  In fact many people seem to be doing just that as we’ve noticed a surge in searches for beach destinations on Cost2Drive heading into the last summer holiday weekend of the year.

At the top of the list is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a great family destination that offers not only wide beaches and water tempered by the warm Gulf Stream but also an abundance of land activities.  In fact Myrtle Beach may be as well known for its golfing activities as for its beach, and it caters to golfers both young and old with a wide variety of pro courses as well as miniature golf courses for the aspiring duffers.

Photo Credit: Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB

So where are this year’s Labor Day travelers visiting from?  Primarily the Midwest and the Northeast, with some coming from as far away as Canada.  Surprisingly its appears none are coming from the South, probably due to the large number of other beach options within driving range.

People Planning Trips to Myrtle Beach on Cost2Drive.com week of Aug. 15th

Myrtle Beach captured a whopping 28% of all beach searches on Cost2Drive.com the week of Aug. 15th (two weeks before Labor Day).  Here are the top 10:

  1. Myrtle Beach, SC (28%)
  2. Virginia Beach, VA (12%)
  3. Daytona Beach, FL (7%)
  4. Palm Beach/West Palm Beach, FL (7%)
  5. Miami Beach, FL (4%)
  6. Panama City Beach, FL (4%)
  7. Pensacola Beach, FL (3%)
  8. Huntington Beach, CA (2%)
  9. Long Beach, CA (2%)
  10. Old Orchard Beach, ME (2%)

Are you thinking of taking a trek to the beach this Labor Day weekend?  Let us know where you’re headed.

Happy Driving!