And the Survey Says: Sunny Places Are Most Favored Vacation Destinations

Wow! What a surprise! A recent survey conducted in the U.S. for MasterCard Advisors Global Cardholder Services found that Americans prefer to spend their vacation time soaking up the rays on a warm beach more than any other activity. And – no surprise given that fact – Florida is far and away the most likely vacation destination.

1,100 U.S. adults were quizzed about their vacation preferences. Here’s a summary of the survey’s findings:

  • 29% of respondents preferred warm-weather activities such as camping, going to a spa or playing golf.
  • A preference for a sunny beach getaway was common among respondents, regardless of age, income level, gender or region.
  • Coming in second place, came child-friendly destinations at 12%.
  • Historical and cultural destinations, at 10%, came in third.
  • Americans dream of visiting other countries, but few will actually leave the country for vacation. Of those far off places American dream of going to see, Australia or New Zealand is the top choice at 65%.
  • 72% of those in generations X (age 30-41) and Y (age 18-29) dream of vacationing in Hawaii the most.
  • Women (9%) prefer camping more than men (7%).
  • Men prefer exotic locations (11%) and golf (4%) more than women (4% and 1% respectively).
  • 45% of those in Generation X and 49% of those in Generation Y dream about going on an African safari.

“While we weren’t surprised that sun and beach vacations were the overall winner,” said Alice Droogan, vice president, Global Cardholder Services, MasterCard Advisors, “we were intrigued to note that Florida was the No. 1 destination in every demographic, even with other sunny spots such as the Caribbean nearby.”

The survey also uncovered travelers’ holiday worries. Of those polled,

  • 26% were more concerned about losing their credit cards
  • 25% feared losing their travel documents,
  • 24% worried about getting sick while on vacation,
  • 15% were concerned about lost luggage, and
  • 10% were anxious about getting into an accident or damaging the rental car.

The Travel Behaviors survey was conducted by Ipsos Insight using its U.S. Express Online omnibus. The nationally representative sample of 1,134 adults was polled online between April 21st and April 25th, 2006. Each question was asked of all respondents. The demographics were broken down by gender, age, household income, region, children in household, marital status, education, employment status and race.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.