Beaches, Historic Cities, Urban Cities, Way Out There Places… What Does Your Summer Vacation Destination Say About You?
Summer is the international season for vacations and holidays, whether long-weekend jaunts or some multi-week adventure.
So it comes as no surprise that travel is a trending topic right now across social media platforms, in traditional broadcast and print media, as well as in day-to-day conversation with colleagues, friends and family. Who doesn’t love to talk about where they’re going, or where they’ve been?
All this talk of travel piqued our curiosity about the vacation preferences of Hunch users. When posed with the THAY question, “When you travel, which kind of setting do you generally prefer,” how many users chose “beaches” over “historic cities and ruins,” or “crowded cities” over “places few westerners go”?
Nearly 26,000 Hunch users have answered the question. The aggregate results look like this:
When Hunch users make vacation plans, they are predominantly looking toward destinations that are diverse, although hospitable, and preferably with some temperate weather. But what else can we intuit from this data?
For starters, although more men than women have answered this THAY question overall, women made the strongest showing in their preference for beach vacations, closely followed by their interest in historic cities and ruins. This might explain beachgoers’ preference for pale and refreshing beer (if they drink beer at all) and their relative aversion to messenger bags.
On the other hand, men are twice as interested as women are in traveling to crowded cities or places few Westerners go.
Traveler Profiles: How Do You Compare?
Digging deeper into Hunch’s data, we pulled results from THAY questions on leisure activities, media preferences and general work, play and way of life to create mini capsule profiles of each type of traveler, based on how they answered. We discovered that each of these four types of destinations attracts a very distinct type of traveler.
Travels to Beaches
Those who head to beach destinations such as Costa Rica or Hawaii are the happy-go-lucky type. On vacation, they’d rather receive a complimentary copy of USA Today than the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. Who has time to read the grey lady when a day of sun and sand beckons?
Beach vacationers also don’t care about being right, so long as they’re happy, which makes arguing with them about whether or not American Idol is a “must-watch” (which a strong showing think it is) a moot point.
And while everyone loves a good laugh, beach goers categorically prefer comedy to any other genre; they also have the lowest interest in documentaries, classics or dramas. Choosing a comedic movie, they’re most likely to reach for the heartfelt laughs, à la There’s Something about Mary and Little Miss Sunshine.
But who needs to choose when you can watch both? Seventy-four percent of beach travelers have at least two televisions and, in some cases, upwards of five televisions at home.
Travels to historic cities and ruins
Vacationers who head for historic cities or ruins, such as Florence or Britain’s castle ruins, are predominantly classicists. They are avid Shakespearians and like opera better than most, and in a museum, you’ll most likely find them in the ancient world and art of Europe sections.
They’re also well read; a majority own book collections numbering in the hundreds or thousands, and they generally read at a faster pace than others. With friends they prefer quieter activities like seeing a movie, talking or meeting for coffee, although it depends on their mood.
Travels to crowded cities
The Internet is their lifeblood: These travelers are more likely to give up their phone and their television for a month before they give up Internet access — who needs either when you can make calls via Skype and download television shows for free? — and if they could bring only one item to a deserted island, they’d bring their laptop.
Stuck elsewhere (say, in a waiting room) they are most likely to read Wired magazine. …That is, if there’s no connectivity. Otherwise, they’d probably be online, catching up on the numerous blogs they follow or updating their social media profile(s). Given this hard-wired state of mind, it’s no surprise that this group enjoys electronica music more than the rest.
Travels to places few Westerners go
When they do eat out, they are comfortable making reservations for dinner in multiple languages, and conversation is much more likely to revolve around helping third world nations end poverty than politics. (Which makes sense, given that they prioritize giving back over having prestige.)
These travelers are ardent fans of National Geographic, the magazine, although they probably don’t tune into NatGeo’s television programming quite as regularly, given that nearly half of them have zero or one television in the house.
For help planning your own summer getaway, check out one of the many vacation-related topics on Hunch.