When On Vacation, Most Americans Would Rather Get Up Early Than Sleep In

Once Awake, Six in Ten Would Rather Be Spontaneous Than Schedule Their Day

Monday, October 25, 2010

New York, NY – Americans say that while on vacation they would rather get up early than sleep in according to the new Relaxation Survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Princess Cruises. The survey of 2,000 American adults explores what Americans prefer around several topics while they are on vacation, and shows that over half of respondents (55 percent) would rather get up early than sleep in (44 percent) while on vacation. The study also shows that men, those over the age of 35, and those who live in the Northeast are more likely to say they like to get up early while on vacation:

  • Proportion that would rather “Get up early” than “Sleep in”:
    • Men: 58 percent vs. Women: 51 percent
    • Aged 18 to 34: 46 percent vs. Aged 35 or more: 59 percent
    • Northeast: 64 percent vs. Midwest: 57 percent, West: 52 percent and South: 51 percent

Despite Rising Early on Vacation, Americans Prefer Viewing a Sunset More Than a Sunrise

Respondents were asked to chose between viewing a sunset or a sunrise while on vacation; while two thirds (66 percent) of them chose a sunset, just three in ten (30 percent) chose a sunrise. Three percent chose neither and two percent said they were unsure. Those from the Northeast are more likely than those in other regions to prefer viewing a sunrise; while four in ten adults from the Northeast (40 percent) would rather see a sunrise, less than one in three of those in the Midwest (29 percent), in the South (27 percent) or in the West (27 percent) would choose dawn over dusk.

Americans Prefer Being Spontaneous Rather Than Schedule Their Day…

The study also found that six in ten Americans (60 percent) say that while on vacation, they rather be spontaneous than schedule their day (38 percent). This trend is observed among respondents from both genders and all ages or regions.

… And Enjoy Trying New Foods

Respondents were asked if while on vacation they would rather try new foods or stick to their favorites. While one third (32 percent) would stick to their favorite foods, two thirds (66 percent) would rather try new foods. However, there are interesting differences based on age and income:

  • Adults 18 to 54 are more likely than those over the age of 55 to prefer trying new foods (70 percent vs. 58 percent, respectively) rather than sticking to their favorite foods (29 percent vs. 39 percent, respectively).
  • Adults with a higher household income are also more likely than those with a lower income to prefer trying new foods while on vacation. While less than six in ten (58 percent) adults with a household income of less than $25,000 would prefer trying new foods, two thirds (67 percent) of those with an income between $25,000 and $75,000 would; this proportion grows up to three quarters (75 percent) among those with a household income that exceeds $75,000.

Americans Prefer Drinking Wine over Beer while on Vacation

The study also found that more than one third of Americans (36 percent) prefer drinking wine while on vacation, while roughly one quarter prefer drinking beer (27 percent). More than one third say they prefer neither (36 percent). Women are far more likely to prefer wine to beer (45 percent vs. 14 percent respectively). Men, however, prefer drinking beer (41 percent) on vacation over wine (27 percent).

When Relaxing, Americans Prefer the Beach to the Pool

An additional finding from the study was that while on vacation, Americans rather relax at the beach than relax at the pool; with two thirds (67 percent) choosing sandy shores and just one quarter choosing the pool (26 percent). Six percent reported “neither” and one percent was not sure.

When on Vacation, Reading Aides the Most for Relaxation

Respondents were asked to select the activity that aides the most in their relaxation while on vacation; one in four (25 percent) selected reading. Reading was followed by having a drink (mentioned by 20 percent of respondents) and listening to music (19 percent).

However, there are some significant differences between men and women. While one third of women (32 percent) say reading aides the most to their relaxation while on vacation, only 18 percent of men say this. In contrast, while 25 percent of men report that having a drink aids in their relaxation the most, just 15 percent of women do. In addition, a larger proportion of men than women chose watching TV (15 percent vs. 11 percent, respectively), and exercising (15 percent and 9 percent, respectively) as ways to aid their relaxation while on vacation.

Those from the Northeast (26 percent) are also more likely than those from the West (18 percent), South (17 percent), and Midwest (15 percent) to choose listening to music as a way to aid their relaxation while on vacation.

What Do They Like To Read?

When asked to chose between reading a novel or book and a magazine while on vacation, over half (53 percent) would chose a novel or book, while 39 percent would chose a magazine. Interestingly, 8 percent reported they would choose neither, while 1 percent is not sure. However, while a larger proportion of women would rather read a novel or book (62 percent) than a magazine (31 percent), men are more evenly split between both options, with 47 percent choosing a magazine and 44 percent choosing a book.

Interestingly, there are also some regional differences when it comes to their vacation reading preferences. A larger proportion of adults from the Midwest would rather read a magazine (47 percent) than would adults from the West (37 percent), the South (36 percent) and the Northeast (35 percent). On the other hand, those from the Northeast (59 percent), the West (56 percent) and the South (54 percent) are more likely to choose a book than would those from the Midwest (45 percent).

Americans Believe Sight and Sound are the Senses that Aid the Most in Relaxation

When asked which of the five senses aid the most in relaxation, two in five Americans (41 percent) selected “sight”; followed by sound, selected by one third of Americans (33 percent). The remaining three senses: taste (9 percent), smell (7 percent) and touch (6 percent), are selected by less than one in ten respondents.

Leaving the House or Work and Arriving at the Destination Are the Most Popular Moments When Vacation Mindset Kicks In

When asked when their vacation mindset kicks in, one in five Americans (22 percent) reported it was once they had left their house or work, and one in five reported when they arrived at their destination (mentioned by 21 percent of respondents). Other popular moments include “when packing” (mentioned by 15 percent), when the vacation is booked (12 percent), or on the first day of the vacation (11 percent).

Americans Believe Being Tired, Cranky and Restless are the Main Signs that they Need a Vacation

Being tired (30 percent), cranky (28 percent) and restless (22 percent) are the three main signs chosen by Americans that show they need a vacation. Further down the list is inability to sleep (selected by 7 percent), and drinking or eating too much (3 percent). One in ten (10 percent) believe none of these options are the main sign that they need a vacation, while 2 percent are not sure.

Country and Soft Rock are the Top two Music Genres That Relax Americans While they are on Vacation

From a list of 10 music genres, close to one in four (24 percent) selected country as one of the top three music genres that relax them while on vacation. Following country, Americans selected soft rock (21 percent), classical (17 percent), jazz (13 percent) and pop (12 percent).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted August 26 - September 12, 2010 (due to the Labor Day holiday, no interviews were conducted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 8). For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 2,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S., was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Julio C Franco
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs
New York, NY

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of €943.7 million ($1.33 billion U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

When On Vacation, Most Americans Would Rather Get Up Early Than Sleep In

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America