BETHESDA, Md., May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dealing with higher gas prices and grocery bills while waiting for depressed home prices to rise, it's no wonder an independent annual survey on vacation attitudes released today revealed that most Americans need a mental health break from increasingly demanding daily pressures. Three-quarters of Americans reported that taking a vacation this year will be important to their mental health. Among the reasons cited, thirty-seven percent are looking for a way to rejuvenate their spirits and forty-four percent hope to relieve themselves of stress. The second annual online independent survey was commissioned by SpringHill Suites and was conducted by TNS.
A picture emerged from the survey data showing that most Americans this year will not let the costs of vacationing get in the way of their much needed mental break. Recent gas price increases will not change travel plans for six in ten Americans, according to the survey, while 89 percent will choose the destination before the vacation package deal, a less cost-conscious approach. In addition, two-thirds of Americans will travel the same or more this year than last.
Most Americans also plan to unplug from work while taking their time out. Two-thirds of Americans will not check their work e-mail while on vacation, a trend considerably more prevalent among women than men.
Other key survey findings included:
- Americans Are Savvy about Basic Online Tools: More than half of vacationing Americans use travel reservation sites and search engines to find travel deals. Although most Americans are unplugging from work, more than half will stay in touch via social media while on vacation, and of those, 89 percent will use Facebook. More than three-quarters allow online user reviews to influence their travel choices.
- But despite all the hype...Americans Are Not Yet Comfortable with Some Online Travel Tools: Of those surveyed that own smartphones, 69 percent have never downloaded a travel app. In addition, only 11 percent of respondents use social media to find travel deals.
- Americans Seem to Have a Love Affair with Beds: When given a list of comforts from home they will miss on vacation, a majority of Americans surveyed —57 percent—answered their beds. Yet, when asked, these vacationers ranked the mattress as the hotel item they would most want to purchase, meaning perhaps distance does not make the heart grow fonder.
The survey was not without a few surprises, including these findings:
- Despite the conventional wisdom that Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday of the year, perhaps the well-known stress of travel on the big family day proves too much, as more Americans surveyed choose to travel on the Fourth of July than any of the five major U.S. holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas). Half of Americans surveyed will not travel on any of the five major holidays.
- While it is thought that men are more likely to worry about money, the survey revealed that 64 percent of women compared to 41 percent of men report feeling guilty about spending money on vacation.
- Unexpectedly, hair seems to matter more to male vacationers than females. While only 28 percent of women get haircuts before going on vacation, 38 percent of men responded they do.
- Different regions of the country favor different techniques for cooling down when their children get out of hand on vacation. Midwesterners are more likely to yell at their kids, Northeasterners are more apt to ignore them, and Southerners turn most often to deep breathing.
The online survey polled 1,000 consumers between March 31 and April 5, 2011 and was conducted by TNS, an independent research company, and commissioned by SpringHill Suites by Marriott, an all-suites brand.
The online panel was comprised of U.S. individuals aged 18+. Surveyed respondents were balanced to be nationally representative of the U.S. population aged 18+. Using the online panel as the full population projection, the margin of error calculated is plus or minus 2.1% at the 95% confidence level. For more information and findings on the SpringHill Suites traveler attitude survey click here.
About SpringHill Suites
SpringHill Suites is ideal for business and leisure travelers who look for style and inspiration in their stay. Featuring suites larger than traditional hotel rooms, SpringHill Suites makes it easy for guests to spread out and fully enjoy their space. Launched in November 1998, the brand currently has more than 270 locations in the United States and Canada. SpringHill Suites along with over 3,100 Marriott-affiliated hotels worldwide, participate in Marriott Rewards, the guest reward program that allows its over 30 million members to earn points or airline miles for each dollar spent during each stay. For more information, visit www.springhillsuites.com.
TNS is the global leader in custom market research delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to clients around the globe so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 80 countries, TNS is dedicated to discovering growth opportunities for its clients in an ever-changing world. Through its pioneering and innovative culture, TNS understands the latest marketing challenges and research techniques, being the first to discover and solve new marketing issues for clients. DISCOVER – A changing world: New territories, new media, new opportunities. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information.
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.