While Most Americans Vacation Close to Home, Their Dreams Travel Farther

Posted by Jessica Reaves - freelance writer for Tauck on 3/7/2014
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: USA, Travel, Hawaii

America is, famously, a nation of dreamers. We play the lottery, design overly large houses and flock to movies with clichéd -- but happy! -- endings. It seems that our relentless optimism also extends into our leisure time: According to a new poll, while many Americans are happily taking modest vacations relatively close to home, we continue to dream of more exotic journeys to enticing, faraway destinations.

Dream Vacation

The poll, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos for tour operator Tauck, indicates that while many of our vacations may not achieve "dream" status, at least they're actually happening for a majority. As a culture, though, we still have some work to do… a full 36 percent of respondents said they hadn’t taken vacation in the last five years.

The online poll, administered from January 30 to February 5, 2014, asked 2,262 American adults to identify their dream vacation destinations, as well as the location of any vacations taken in the last five years. On the dream vacation front, Hawaii was the big winner, pulling in 21 percent of the votes. (Just six percent of respondents reported actually having visited the 50th state in the past five years). The next most popular dream destination, Australia/New Zealand, drew 10 percent, while Alaska took in nine percent. Italy and Great Britain/Ireland each garnered seven percent of the votes.

Back to reality: While Americans are dreaming of Hawaii, many are actually visiting the Midwest and the South. Presented with a list of destinations, respondents were asked to "select any locations where you personally have taken a vacation in the past five years." Thirty-two percent chose the South/Mid USA, 20 percent indicated Western USA and six and five percent respectively picked Hawaii and Alaska. And the foreign region where Americans say they have visited the most--at four percent--was nearby eastern Canada.(Western Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, France, Central America, Italy and Central/Eastern Europe followed at 3 percent.) 

Other findings of note: Twelve percent of respondents, presented with an incredibly comprehensive global list, reported that they had vacationed "somewhere else." In addition, fewer than one half of one percent of respondents chose Antarctica as their dream vacation destination. With March upon us, it seems we’re collectively dreaming of warmer spring weather as well as exotic vacation destinations.


NOTE: The results of the Tauck survey are findings from a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from January 30 through February 5, 2014. For the survey, a sample of 2,262 Americans 18+ were interviewed online. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education and ethnicity.

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