"This is our fourth time we have conducted this survey, and this year we really dove into where, why and how people will travel," said Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager for SpringHill Suites. "Trends are really changing, perhaps due to social media sharing or simply because people want more out of their limited time off."
Revealing that 23 percent of working Americans do not receive any type of paid vacation leave in their current positions, the survey demonstrates that Americans are stressed and tired and crave more down time. Vacationers aren't taking as much time off as they feel they need—the average American takes vacation about once every 12 months and feels they need one about every six months.
When Americans finally get that coveted time away this year, many realize they don't have to travel to big cities and tourist towns to experience art and culture -over half of travelers agree they are likely to visit a destination in the next five years that may be thought of as off the beaten path such as Little Rock, Arkansas or Boise, Idaho.
"Americans are simply ready to get out there and explore something new," said Nielsen. "SpringHill Suites has always been a key supporter of local art and artists. It is refreshing to see that Americans too are making the effort to appreciate the diverse art and culture in their own backyard."
Give Me a Break: Travelers quickly grow tired of their daily routine and feel like they need a vacation more frequently.
- Busy daily routines quickly wear Americans down and leave them yearning for vacation time. One in five (20 percent) say they can't even go one month of their daily routine before feeling like they need a vacation.
- Women take vacations more frequently than men, with men taking a longer period of time between vacations than women (52 weeks vs. 43 weeks).
- Travelers without kids vacation less often than those with kids. On average, travelers without children go just over one year between vacations, and those with children vacation about every eight months.
- In comparison to many other places in the world, Americans are severely lacking in allotted annual vacation time, and they are feeling it. Ninety percent of working Americans say they want or feel they need more allotted vacation days on top of the days already provided by their employer and, on average, would like an additional 17 paid vacation days.
- Vacation is about creating tangible teaching experiences for parents and children, and sometimes that means veering off the main highway. Travelers with children are more likely to visit unique destinations in the next five years, compared to those without children (63 percent vs. 48 percent)
- Americans are ready to get out of town and explore. With the economy improving, 57 percent of Americans agree that "staycations" are a thing of the past, and nearly half also agree that a vacation isn't a vacation unless you pack up and leave town.
- It is easier than ever to learn about new vacation destinations. Thirty-five percent of Americans on social media say they've learned about new vacation spots from seeing posts from their friends.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even on vacation. Thirty-two percent of Americans are most likely to miss the convenient, ready-to-go breakfast in the lobby.
- Who doesn't love those great travel size toiletry items in hotel rooms? Close to two in five (39 percent) Americans have liked products they used while staying in a hotel so much, they purchased the same item and brand to use at home. Toiletry items such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap top the list of items purchased post-hotel stay.
- One of the greatest perks about a hotel stay is the built-in housekeeping, but one in four travelers (26 percent) say that they don't think housekeeping staffs should be tipped.
- Although the economy is improving, budgeting is still very important for Americans. Four in five (81 percent) vacationers set a budget. More than one-third (36 percent) of these folks spend more than they plan for, 55 percent stick to their budget, and 9 percent come in under budget.
- More women than men (86 percent vs. 76 percent) set vacation budgets.
- Budgeting on the road is more important than budgeting at home. Over three in four (77 percent) of those who don't consider themselves to be budget-conscious in their everyday lives set a vacation budget.
- There is no better time to splurge than on vacation. Ninety-three percent of Americans are likely to splurge on vacation, and 71 percent of them agree that if they splurge it will be on a meal.
- While sticking to a budget is important, there are some things travelers just wouldn't give up to save some cash. Eighty-five percent of Americans would be willing to give up something for 25 percent off their hotel stay. Of those, only 26 percent would be willing to give up their mobile device and in comparison, 54 percent of those 21 and over would forgo alcoholic beverages, 43 percent of social media users would give up logging on to these sites, and 40 percent would go without housekeeping for the same discount.
Photo caption: Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece (marblesreunited.org.uk).