SpringHill Suites by Marriott’s fifth annual travel attitude survey reveals that Americans are looking to step outside of their comfort zones to achieve their travel bucket lists. According to the survey, conducted by Kelton Global, 48 percent say vacationing to see new places is important to them.
What activities top today’s travel bucket lists?
- Flying first class (30 percent)
- Researching their heritage (26 percent)
- Setting foot on all seven continents (24 percent)
- Taking an African safari (21 percent)
- Hiking a famous trail or mountain (18 percent)
- Visiting a place in every time zone (17 percent)
- Filling every page of their passport (17 percent)
- Bungee jumping or sky diving while on vacation (14 percent)
Curiosity and ambition abound with today’s millennial travelers. As compared to those 35 and up, millennials (18-34) have a greater sense of adventure and stronger desire to experience every bucket list item included in the survey. The most notable differences come with the adventurous activities, including setting foot on all seven continents (37 percent vs. 17 percent), bungee jumping or skydiving (26 percent vs. 6 percent) and hiking a famous mountain or trail (29 percent vs. 11 percent). But, with everything from taking a safari to researching their heritage, travelers want more out of their vacations than just a pretty beach.
“Our annual survey confirms that millennials crave adventure and welcome the unexpected,” said Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager for SpringHill Suites. “We see ourselves as their partner along the way and with more than 300 locations in the U.S. and Canada, we are ready to help our guests explore new places and create memorable experiences.”
The excitement begins as early as when Americans decide where they’re going, said 29 percent. But, the job still dictates decision making with more than half (51 percent) of workers saying they are not encouraged by their bosses to take all of their allotted vacation days and 23 percent claiming they get no paid vacation days at all.
Conquering the ultimate travel bucket list takes time and Americans are getting creative when it comes to finding time to do so. More than half (55 percent) of employed Americans with a boss have used an excuse to sneak an unplanned day off from work, with millennials even more likely to use this tactic (63 percent, compared to 48 percent of those over the age of 35). Seventy-one percent of those who gave an excuse claimed to be sick, 41 percent have said a family member was sick, and 28 percent used an excuse of car trouble.
Creativity does not stop at finding time off from work. Americans continue to find new ways to save money throughout the year in order to be able to afford their vacations. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of those who travel with their family have given something up to do so, including purchasing big-ticket items such as televisions and electronics (54 percent), small ticket-items such as new clothes (43 percent) and even everyday activities such as going to the movies (47 percent) or eating out (43 percent). Forty-one percent of Americans say keeping an eye on their budget is the most stressful thing about vacationing.
After all of the steps Americans take to be able to take that coveted vacation, being truly disconnected is a thing of the past. Increasing significantly since 2010, more than one in four (28 percent) wouldn’t be able to go without checking their email today compared to 17 percent just four years ago. But, it’s not just work keeping Americans glued to their devices. While exploring the destination, the top activities vacationers with smartphones use their device for besides making calls are to take photos and videos (37 percent), search the web (22 percent) and use GPS/map apps to get around (20 percent). And 59 percent of social media users access their networks on vacation, with about half (51 percent) posting content at least as often as they would during their daily routine.
Additional 2014 Travel Trends:
- Keep Your Eyes & Heart Open – 26 percent report having met a life-long friend, spouse or significant other while on vacation
- Wanderlust Sweeps the Nation – 60 percent wish they could travel more often
- What Happens on Vacation… – 68 percent admit there is something they would do in a hotel that they would never do at home
- Culture Exchange – 44 percent say it’s important to visit places to experience other cultures in person
- Live Like a Local – 90 percent would seek out art or local culture while on vacation
- Keeping the Faith – 28 percent would not be able to go without praying while on vacation
- A “Post” is Worth 1,000 Words – nearly half (46 percent) of millennials find travel inspiration from viewing videos or photos online