Most people prefer to take family vacations, but more vacationers would like to travel with friends than actually do, according to a new study released by private vacation club Inspirato and conducted by Harris Interactive.
The survey polled 2,534 respondents over the age of 18 in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Fifty-seven percent of respondents surveyed say they have or plan to take a vacation this year. Among those, 33 percent had either vacationed or planned to vacation with friends, but even more vacationers, 45 percent, said they would prefer to travel with friends.
Spouses continue to be the preferred travel companions of 66 percent of respondents, but friends came in second above children (34 percent), parents (16 percent) and other relatives (19 percent) as preferred travel companions. Only 10 percent of vacationers said they prefer to travel by themselves.
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. More men said they will vacation with friends this year than women.
“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.”
Corbett suggests that if individuals want to get away with friends they should plan ahead, be flexible and considerate of travel schedules, family needs and budget. He also suggests that people be realistic about how long of a trip they can take and how far away they can travel. Don’t spend every moment together, and share planning for the trip among your friends.