8 months ago

When a trip doesn't go as planned, most people stay calm and flexible, survey finds

Less than half of American travelers found that their last vacation lived up to expectations, according to new research.

That was revealed in a survey of 2,000 Americans who have traveled internationally in the past five years, which found only 45% of respondents’ vacations lived up to — or exceeded — the perfect picture they’d painted in their minds.

Social media is at least in part to blame, as 72% believe that it contributed to unrealistic expectations for travel.

But respondents also admit their own role in this: 67% said their own planning has led them to be disappointed while traveling for leisure.

Commissioned by Exodus Travels, and conducted by OnePoll, the survey looked at respondents’ travel expectations and explored tips on how to make the most of every trip.

For about one-third (31%), finding the destination didn’t match expectations impacted their entire trip.

But many didn’t let that get them down, as 51% admit they got past their initial disappointment and didn’t let it impact their entire trip.

Furthermore, 74% were confident they’d still be able to make the most of a trip that didn’t go as planned.

In fact, most respondents (55%) choose to stay calm, making the most of their circumstances, while 49% stay flexible and adapt to the new situation.

Many respondents are doing what they sought out to do — they’re traveling to see and experience new things (40%), create memories (40%) and escape their daily routine (37%).

“Incredible vacations don’t just happen by chance. Making the most of precious time away in new places takes knowhow, experience and incredible planning” said Katy Rockett, Director of Growth at Exodus Travels, which was voted Best Operator in National Geographic’s Reader Awards.

The survey also asked respondents about their future travel plans, and anything they’re doing to avoid disappointment on upcoming trips.

Interestingly, 87% of those with trips planned for later in the year, are taking steps to make the most of their next vacation.

This involves learning about the history and story of the places they’re visiting (35%), learning some words in the local language (35%) and using information from local experts who know more than the guidebook (34%).

Respondents also think traveling with an itinerary planned by someone who’s an expert in the area (33%) would help prevent disappointment.

“Most of the time I see expectations surpassed,” said Rocket. “We’re on a mission to make vacations better, and that is very much to do with the presence of an expert local guide and brilliant itineraries, as they are the secret to creating memorable experiences. I see more and more people now choosing to travel this way.”

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