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Most British Columbians plan on taking a road trip this summer, poll finds
VANCOUVER -- With British Columbia's recommendation against non-essential travel within the province officially ended, a new survey conducted by Insights West for the BCAA suggests two-thirds of B.C. residents intend to take a road trip this summer.
The results of the survey come on the heels of the province's official entry into Phase 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan, which allows for more businesses to reopen and in-province tourism to resume.
The coronavirus still looms large for those planning a road trip this summer, according to the BCAA. The survey found that 84 per cent of those who plan to take road trips say part of their reason for doing so is to find a sense of normalcy in their lives after months of self-isolation and physical distancing.
Indeed, nearly half (45%) of B.C. road-trippers say they plan to hit the road specifically because non-essential travel to more far-flung destinations remains discouraged.
Although road trips may be appealing as a simple, close-to-home alternative to a big summer vacation, BCAA Automotive Manager Josh Smythe warns that they still require planning, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's not that time to just go with a half a tank of gas and some flip flops and see where you end up," Smythe said in an interview with CTV News Vancouver. "You plan everything from (point) A – to the distance of the travel and the direction you're going to – to point B, and in reverse. If you're going to smaller communities, reach out to them and make sure that they're available or if there's some restrictions that they want to keep in place."
Many B.C. First Nations, in particular, have asked visitors to continue to stay away from their communities for the time being.
According to the BCAA survey, more than eight-in-10 B.C. residents who are planning road trips intend to check with their destination communities to make sure they're welcoming visitors.
Similarly, three-quarters of those planning a road trip say they plan to be "extra careful" with their preparations because of the pandemic.
The survey was conducted online from June 18 to 21 among a representative sample of 879 adults British Columbians, including 587 who plan to take a road trip in the province this summer.
The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, while the margin of error for the subsample of road-trippers is plus or minus four percentage points.