Friday, August 03, 2012
More People Would Like to Vacation with Friends Than Actually Do, Reveals New Inspirato/Harris Interactive Survey
Friends surpass children, parents and other relatives as preferred travel partners
DENVER, August 3, 2012- Do you still regret not joining your friends on their last girls' getaway weekend? Feel like you missed out by skipping your annual college roommates' reunion? You're not the only one. While family vacations are still the most popular, more vacationers would like to travel with friends than actually do, according to a new study released by private vacation club Inspirato.
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Inspirato in advance of National Friendship Day, observed annually on the first Sunday of August (Aug. 5 this year). The survey polled 2,534 respondents 18 years or older in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
According to Inspirato's research, 57 percent of respondents surveyed have taken or plan to take a vacation this year. Among those, 33 percent of vacationers had either vacationed or planned to vacation with friends but even more vacationers (45 percent) said they would prefer to travel with friends. The survey found that while a spouse or partner remains vacationers' most popular travel companion (chosen by 66 percent of respondents), friends were a surprising second, surpassing children (34 percent), parents (16 percent) and other relatives (19 percent) as preferred travel partners. Only 10 percent of vacationers prefer to travel alone.
In all cities polled, the percentage of those who would prefer to travel with friends is higher than those who have or plan to in 2012. While both sexes equally prefer friends as vacation partners, more men (36 percent) are actually vacationing with friends this year than women (30 percent).
"Adult friendships are critical to positive mental health and even healthy marriages and successful careers, but maintaining those friendships can be difficult during the course of a busy work and family life," said Laura Goldstein, a licensed clinical social worker who has counseled families, couples and individuals on relationships for 15 years. "Vacationing with friends is a great way to reconnect with each other and even our own selves because friends help remind us who we are outside our roles as spouse, parent or employee."
Almost all respondents agreed that vacations are beneficial to relationships. Ninety-five percent of respondents said that vacations can create memories that last a lifetime and 91 percent said that taking a vacation is a great way to grow closer to the ones you love.
"We've been seeing more and more of our members traveling with friends," said Brian Corbett, Chief Experience Officer at Inspirato. "While family vacations are important and will always be popular, traveling with friends allows people to escape from their everyday routines and try different travel experiences that might not be possible with children or other relatives."
Still, prioritizing time away with friends can be difficult. Corbett suggests the following to ensure a successful friends getaway:
- Plan ahead: Plan your vacation early so everyone has time to save, schedule their travel, request time off from work, and arrange for child care if need be. If you establish an annual trip, get in the routine of scheduling next year's dates before you depart.
- Be flexible and considerate: Everyone has a different travel budget, as well as different ideas about what makes a great vacation. Schedule time to talk about your plans for the trip and arrange a basic itinerary before you depart. Setting expectations and ensuring everyone's priorities for the vacation are taking into account can make for a smoother trip once you arrive.
- Be realistic: If time and expense are an issue, even a three-day trip within driving distance can be rejuvenating and allow friends to reconnect.
- Spread out: While the idea is to spend more time together, spending the whole time together can detract from the fun. Having space and time to yourself can help people recharge and de-stress.
- Divide and tackle: Vacations are enjoyable; vacation planning, on the other hand, isn't always. While some friends may naturally take charge, try to divide responsibilities both in the planning and while on vacation as much as possible to keep resentments at bay.
- Most important, have fun! Remember you are on vacation with those you care about. Try not to let little speed bumps get in the way and to enjoy your time together on a new adventure.
The tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends began in United States in the 1920s, and accelerated with the Congressional declaration in 1935. Gradually the annual celebration gained popularity - and today Friendship Day is celebrated in a large number of countries across the globe.
This study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Inspirato between June 14 and June 21, 2012, among 2,534 respondents 18 years or older in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available. Complete data tables can be found at www.inspirato.com/FriendshipSurvey.
Designed specifically for a new generation of luxury consumers, Inspirato (In - spuh - rah - toh) offers the best of destination club consistency and service, together with unmatched value, flexibility and low-cost membership. Our members have access to an ever-growing portfolio of luxury vacation homes in the world's top destinations, including California, the Caribbean, Colorado, France, Hawaii, Italy, London, Mexico, New York City and more. By leasing vacation properties (rather than owning), Inspirato is able to keep membership fees low, offer up to 50 percent off market rates, and easily add homes and destinations as demand increases. Our innovative business model has led to rapid growth since our January 2011 launch, placing Inspirato at the forefront of the "luxury for less" movement. For more information, please visit www.inspirato.com.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.