TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Oct 1, 2013) - The goal of a vacation is to leave your cares at home. A recent survey by Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, shows a majority of Canadians are at least leaving some of their responsible behaviour at home. In its latest Travel Habits Survey*, Cheapflights.ca asked 1,012 Canadians a number of questions about what they do (and don't do) on vacation. The results? Just over 61% of respondents reported taking a break from "being responsible" while on vacation. Perhaps more interestingly, 64% of the women were apt to undertake some irresponsible vacation behaviour while only 57% of men claimed to do so.
"Our Travel Habits Surveys are a fun way to delve into the mindset of travellers," said Melisse Hinkle, editor of Cheapflights.ca. "As a travel site, we know where people go but to be true travel experts we want to know as much as we can about vacation motivations, behaviours, ambitions and more. This particular survey offers great insight into how Canadians relax and let go when they're away."
So, what are Canadians doing?
When asked how they've been "irresponsible" while travelling, the top answer was "overspent" (53%). "Too much sun" (46%), "too much alcohol" (31%), "stayed out all night or late into the night" (25%), and "eaten questionable food or food from a questionable source" (18%) round out the top five ways our Canadian respondents felt reckless while vacationing.
Interestingly, more people report a "regrettable romantic decision" (7%) than "missing a flight, train or tour" (5%). And, in case you were wondering, those 25-34 were the most likely to have made a bad choice in the romance department with 12% citing such behaviour. A different slice of the data shows a similar trend among single travellers with no kids, with 12% of that group also reporting they've had a regrettable liaison.
More people report "letting the kids get away with more" (13%) than "leaving behind luggage or personal items" (9%). In fact, for both the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups, "letting the kids get away with more" beat out "eaten questionable food or food from a questionable source" to break into the top examples of irresponsible behaviour.
Also of note: 8% say working too much and missing the fun has been a way they've erred on vacation.
When it comes to ways Canadians relax from their usual standards while on vacation, "bed time" and "healthy eating" were the top two choices. Next was "exercise routine". However, women have a slightly higher tendency to let their exercise routine slip than men. "Getting up," "budgeting," "drinking" and "level of dress" are the next most popular standards Canadians let slide. However, when you look at the responses from women only, "styling hair" and "wearing make-up" jumped ahead of "drinking" and "level of dress" as standards they are likely to let slip.
On the good news front, both men and women agree that wearing deodorant is the most important standard that they will NOT let slip.
Respondents did come away from their travels with some great lasting benefits. Overall, the most unexpected benefits our respondents got from their vacation were love of a new food (53%); lasting friendships (37%); great holiday card pictures (35%) and love of a new drink (33%).
Both men and women agreed on those as the top four. In the fifth spot, however, for men, the most unexpected benefit was a new relationship (whereas for women it was a new hobby).
Overall, just over 3% reported coming home with a new job and just under 3% were blessed with a new baby.
Vacation worries vary quite a bit for men and women and, to some extent, for travellers of different ages. Overall, "spending beyond your means" ranked as the number one worry when Canadians are on vacation, with 40% citing that as a concern. And when you break down the data further, that was the number one worry for men as well. However, for women, overspending came in second. The number one concern when on vacation for women was "forgetting to pack items" (which placed sixth on the men's list and third overall at 35%).
"Being robbed/having items lost or stolen" was the overall second worry (37%) and also second for men but third for women. "Leaving the house empty" placed fourth overall (33%) and also fourth for men, but was much less of a concern for women as it ranked eighth on their list of worries. However, "leaving the house empty" was the number one concern for respondents ages 65+. Men and women both agreed on the next concerns -- "illness or injury" (fourth) and "over indulging" (fifth).
Tellingly, in the ninth spot on the women's list was "getting into swimwear/showing off your body on the beach" whereas for men, that concern was 13th. The least of everyone's worries while on vacation were: "missing your favourite TV show" (10%) and "being away from work" (9%).
Other noteworthy points: more people worried about bed bugs (29%) than not being able to speak the language (25%) or the cost of phone calls/data on phone (21%).
Being away from family was of bigger concern (17%) than being away from work (9%). Leaving behind their pets trumped both soundly at 29%.
Shhh... what happens on vacation stays on vacation
Almost 24% of our respondents have kept vacation secrets from a spouse, friend, employer or family member. Family members were the most likely to be kept in the dark, with 14% reporting that they've intentionally kept a vacation happening from family. Next on the list were friends (11%) followed by partner/spouse with 9%.
On the flip side, that means that 76% of our respondents were open books and didn't keep any vacation secrets… or so they say.
A few more fun facts
In terms of age, the older the respondents, the less likely they were to break from responsibility with 53% of those age 55-64 likely to break from responsibility and only 44% of respondents age 65+ likely to break from responsibility.
Even those with kids are prone to let loose. All told, parents, whether single or with a partner and with kids young and old, weighed in as 59% likely to take such a break. However, those without kids, whether single or married, were much more likely to let their irresponsible side show.
Among the single with no kids set, 65% reported they were likely to take a vacation from responsibility. Those "married/in a relationship" but with no kids edged out their single peers with 66% reporting being likely to be less responsible.
Finally, just over 15% of singles reported winding up with a new relationship from travel. That's higher than the 10% of singles who cited a "regrettable romantic decision" as an irresponsible moment on a trip.
*Cheapflights.ca surveyed 1,012 Canadians for this latest Travel Habits report. To read more, visit www.cheapflights.ca/travel/canadian-travel-habits-let-loose.
To read about our last Travel Habits Survey which focused on repeat vacation destinations, visit: www.cheapflights.ca/travel/Canadian-Vacation-Habits.
About Cheapflights.ca, part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 13 million visitors a month -- plus 6 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.ca) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.
Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.
The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across more than 20 core international markets but users all over the world.
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/cheapflights
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cheapflights