BETHESDA, Md., July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Courtyard by Marriott is encouraging men and women across the U.S. to pack their bags and do something with their significant others that they rarely get a chance to do—take a couple's leisure getaway.
The first ever Courtyard couple travel survey, conducted by ECHO research, revealed that 25 percent of couples never travel for leisure purposes, and on average, 50 percent only travel together once or twice per year. According to the survey of men and women, almost 70 percent say they don't go away often enough as a couple, and 87 percent enjoy traveling with their spouse or significant other more than anyone else.
"We all have so many responsibilities in our lives that making time for ourselves and a significant other all too often becomes our last priority," said Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard. "Making time for a weekend or overnight getaway to a fun destination can be rejuvenating, and there is no better time than now to find that perfect destination."
To inspire couples to hit the road more often, Courtyard teamed up with engaged travel bloggers Johnny Jet and Natalie Bahadur to identify top U.S destinations that offer everything couples look for in a leisure destination.
The good news, according to the survey, is both men and women agree on what's important when on vacation together. Top couples' priorities include visiting local attractions (56 percent), rejuvenating (39 percent), being romantic (37 percent), developing their relationship (35 percent), eating great new foods (33 percent), and relaxing at their hotel (28 percent).
When asked what they wish their partner would surprise them with away from home, both men and women ranked a fancy dinner out as number one. Following a fancy dinner, men would like to be surprised with catching a pro sporting event or an adventure activity, and women would like to be surprised with a couple's spa treatment or shopping—although both men and women recognize those activities may not be on top of their partner's activity wish list.
Based on couples' travel preferences, Johnny Jet and Bahadur developed a list of 20 well-trodden and off-the-beaten-path locations destined to make for fun and relaxing getaways where couples can discover local treasures, try tasty food, relax, and rekindle their relationships.
"We were very thoughtful in selecting the cities on our list and encourage other couples to explore all they have to offer," said Johnny Jet. "They offer such a variety of escapes, you can experience something new—whether it's food, nature, art, or an adventure together."
Destinations that made the list include Albuquerque, N.M., Boise, Idaho, Cape Cod Hyannis, Mass., Chicago, Ill., Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colo., Erie, Pa., Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Key West, Fla., Las Vegas, Nev., Louisville, Ky., Los Angeles, Calif., New Orleans, La., New York City, N.Y., Norwalk, Conn., Oakland, Calif., Savannah, Ga., Seattle, Wash., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Washington, D.C. See below to find out what makes these destinations unique.
Johnny Jet and Bahadur also have compiled a list of travel tips for couples taking an overdue adventure together. Some of their tips for an unbeatable getaway with your significant other include:
- Communicate—Before hitting the road, discuss goals, interests, and desires for the trip so both parties don't have unrealistic expectations.
- Laugh—Travel plans can go wrong or change at the drop of a hat. Be prepared for changes in your itinerary, and roll with the punches.
- Relax—Take some time at the hotel to relax, just the two of you. It's rare to have uninterrupted quiet time, so take advantage of it.
- Forget—Forget about the past and don't re-hash recurring arguments while away. Similarly, if an argument breaks out on the trip, leave it there, don't bring it home.
- Patience—Be patient with each other. The trip is about spending time together, not necessarily about sticking to a rigid schedule.
For a full list of Johnny Jet and Bahadur's destinations and travel tips, please see below. To stay at Courtyard on your next leisure getaway and save up to 20 percent on your room rate, visit https://www.marriott.com/courtyard-hotels/book-early-and-save.mi.
The Courtyard Travel Survey was completed online among a random sample of 1000 U.S. adult couples with 722 (couples traveling together) qualifying for the travel relating questions. Interviewing was conducted by Echo Research between June 5 and 8, 2012. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence.
About Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott offers a refreshing environment that helps guests stay connected, productive, and balanced. Intuitive services and design accommodate guests' needs for choice and control. With more than 900 locations in 37 countries, Courtyard by Marriott hotels participate in the award-winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay. For more information, go to www.courtyard.com.
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
About Echo Research
Echo Research (www.echoresearch.com) has a 23-year track record in communications research – media content analysis, stakeholder evaluation and reputation measurement. As part of the Ebiquity Group (www.ebiquity.com), Echo and Ebiquity are leaders in above- and below-line communications tracking and research, providing independent data-driven insights to the global media, CMO and CCO community to continuously improve clients' business performance.
20 Top Leisure Destinations for Couples
Compiled by Travel Blogger Johnny Jet and Fiancée Natalie Bahadur
The recent "Courtship by Courtyard" survey by Courtyard by Marriott revealed that couples traveling together for fun prioritize visiting local attractions, rejuvenating, and being romantic. On behalf of the hotel, travel blogger Johnny Jet and fiancée Natalie Bahadur, a lifestyle writer and avid traveler, identified 20 getaway destinations, ranging from urban hot spots to laid-back waterfront towns that offer everything important to those traveling as a twosome.
Enjoy all New Mexico has to offer by floating above it! In your romantic hot air balloon, fly over the famous Rio Grand river, visit shops in Santa Fe, and taste some of the best Mexican food north of the border at Sadie's of New Mexico.
Idaho is known for more than just potatoes. Explore the forests, rivers, state parks, and even a few breathtaking caves! Hike, bike, or tube through the Idaho landscapes or spend a romantic evening at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
Cape Cod Hyannis, MA
A short drive from Boston and nestled on the famous coast of Massachusetts, Cape Cod has everything for a leisurely getaway. Take a walk on the beach or through the perfectly American summer town. Provincetown, at the tip of the cape, provides the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of a passing whale pod. Indulge by visiting or staying on the islands of Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard.
Deep-dish pizzas, world-famous museums, and cutting-edge architecture are only a few things that the "windy city" has to offer. Visit the historic Navy Pier or spend a day shopping on Michigan Avenue. Sports lovers will always have a game to attend, especially at the famous Wrigley Field.
As the saying goes, "Everything is bigger in Texas," and Dallas is no exception. Fort Worth is the booming hub of Texas commerce and only 30 miles west of Dallas. Together, these cities offer the best barbeque and Tex-Mex in the southwest. Put on your cowboy hat and boots and enjoy a night of line dancing and mechanical bull riding at the largest honky-tonk in the world, Billy Bob's Texas Review.
Denver is known for sitting at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains. At a mile above sea level, the breathtaking "mile-high city" also offers great restaurants, entertainment, and art. Catch a live show at the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is carved in a geological formation and is renowned for its natural acoustics.
National Geographic and countless others have claimed that Lake Erie is one of the best spots in the world to watch a sunset. Take a stroll through Presque Isle State Park, which has 11 beaches along Lake Erie, and enjoy activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, biking, rollerblading, and bird watching.
Hawaii always makes the list for top getaway destinations. The sun shines year-round, and it offers some of the best beaches in the world. In this seaside town, numerous historic sites illustrate the main island's culture and tradition. Take a walk in the sand, explore the town, or simply relax on the beach. If you are looking for adventure, explore the beautiful rainforest or hike to the local volcano.
Key West, FL
Travel to the tip of the Florida coastline, only 90 miles from island of Cuba. Enjoy this tropical destination with its vibrant nightlife, bars, and live bands throughout the city. Take a relaxing dip in the warm Atlantic, visit the famous Hemingway House or Key West Lighthouse, or grab a drink at an outdoor Tiki bar and enjoy it on a white sand beach.
Las Vegas, NV
You never know what to expect in Sin City. Shop until you drop at the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace, which offers the most valuable retail real estate in the country. Take a walk down the strip and pop into a casino and risk your luck on a slot machine. Thrill seekers, take the leap off the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower; it's a free-fall from 855 feet or the equivalent of 108 floors. If you are still unsure of what you want, ask any hotel concierge service (Remember in Vegas, you don't need to be a guest for advice).
Los Angeles, CA
When arriving in Los Angeles, fuel up at In-N-Out Burger and head over to Sunset Boulevard to go shopping (or window shopping!) on Rodeo Drive. Make sure you get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign, and try to catch one of the celebrities on the TMZ tour. Pop over to Hollywood and find your favorite celebrity on the Walk of Fame, or visit Universal Studios, Hollywood. Enjoy one evening on the Santa Monica Pier and ride the Ferris wheel over the Pacific.
If you are heading to Louisville in the spring, don't forget your hat! Wild and extra-large hats are donned for the Kentucky Derby, so if you are lucky enough to see the race, make sure you are prepared. Enjoy a classic mint julep and head over to the Louisville Slugger Museum, the famous maker of most wooden baseball bats. The epicenter of bars, restaurants, and nightlife is found on Fourth Street Live!
New Orleans, LA
Travel to the historic French Quarter, and with a drink in hand, make your way down the famous Bourbon Street. One will enjoy the tranquility and culture this city offers. Jazz musicians still flock to New Orleans to play anywhere they can, even on the street. Po'boys, jambalaya, and gumbo are the must-have foods in this Creole-influenced city.
New York City, NY
Explore the Big Apple's soaring cityscapes, world-class entertainment, and national landmarks that make this city a destination any couple can enjoy. The amazing restaurants, famous theatres, and vibrant nightlife will keep you busy in the city that never sleeps. Visit the museum at ground zero, and if you register beforehand, admission is free.
This port city is home to some of the trendiest shopping and dining in New England. Eat at the Rowayton Seafood Restaurant, right on the water, grab a pie at Rowayton Pizza, or a lobster roll from 101. Roll up your jeans and take a romantic walk along the shores of Long Island Sound. Rent kayaks at the Rowayton Market and head for the Five Mile River.
Oakland is central to the many wonders of Northern California. Take a day trip to San Francisco or Sonoma for some wine tasting. The city is in resurgence from the 80's and 90's and offers trendy shops and some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. You may even catch one of the many festivals at Jack London Square.
The scenery in Savannah is best enjoyed on a historic horse-drawn carriage. Take in the natural beauty of the Weeping Willow trees or experience true southern cooking at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Savannah's Candy Kitchen for some traditional southern treats sure to fill your craving for sweets.
Scottsdale is known for its 325-plus days of sunshine. It is also home to world-class spas and golf resorts. Transport yourself to the Old West and visit some old-time saloons. Grab a hot dog and attend a professional spring training baseball game, known as the Cactus League.
Birthplace of Starbucks and home to the famous Pike's Place Fish Market, Seattle isn't just a city; it is a work of art. The most obvious feature of Seattle is the Space Needle, erected for the 1962 World's Fair. Take a walk through downtown or the shores of Puget Sound and gaze on the city's surrounding natural beauty. The tallest and most stunning peak in the Cascade Mountain range, Mount Rainer soars above the city to provide a breathtaking view.
Couples will enjoy our nation's capital because of its history. One of the best ways to enjoy this is on the jogging track around the National Mall. When finished, have a picnic on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and hopefully spot the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Washington, D.C. is home to the world-famous Smithsonian Museum: with more than 137 million items in its collection, it's the world's largest museum and research complex. It might take more than a day to see it all!
To find a Courtyard by Marriott in the selected destinations, visit http://www.marriott.com/courtyard.
Travel Blogger Johnny Jet and Fiancée Natalie Bahadur, Lifestyle Writer and Avid Traveler, Offer Tips for a Successful, Rejuvenating Couple's Getaway
Before You Pack:
- Once you decide on a place to go, look for local activities that appeal to both you and your spouse. Ask a couple you know who's been there, or ask friends on Facebook and Twitter for recommendations.
- If you'll be visiting family and friends, make sure you schedule some alone time together.
- Decide together if you would rather play your schedule by ear or each plan some activities. And be sure to talk about a budget, and do your best to stick to it.
- Agree if it's ok to do things separately—you don't necessarily have to spend every minute together. Reconnecting with your partner is also about reconnecting and rejuvenating yourself.
- Try to leave work behind. If it's realistic, consider leaving your laptops at home or only accessing them if it's an emergency.
- Get organized for smooth travel. Print confirmations and itineraries before you leave. Scan your passport and credit cards (front and back) and email them to yourself on a web-based email account; if these things are stolen, you'll have copies available.
During the Trip:
- Be flexible, as you'll be in new surroundings. Have a sense of humor if travel plans go wrong, have a back-up plan if it rains, and most importantly, relax and enjoy the time together.
Home Sweet Home:
- Create an online photo album of your trip together, so you can share your experience with friends and family. Be sure your spouse is happy with any pictures you plan to post online.
- Now that you're home, commit to taking time for each other as often as you can. Start thinking about and even planning future trips and getaways so you have something to look forward to together.
SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.