First off, thank you to all who completed my travel survey. There were 61 respondents, and, quite frankly, some answers and trends that I did not expect. I guess that’s the whole point of doing surveys, though, hey?
The reason I asked this particular set of questions is that I’ve been playing around with the idea of designing unique tours to Africa—Ghana, Mali, maybe Malawi and Mozambique. There are plenty of safari companies and volunteer exchanges out there, and I didn’t intend to repeat that. My vision is what I call “progressively independent itineraries.” We’d start out as a group who does everything together, then branch off into increasingly individual excursions until everyone is able to experience solo travel like never before. Of course, the “like never before” part has a lot of details behind it, crafted by my own travel experiences.
And guess what I found out from your answers? A trip to Africa, where a plane ticket costs about $1000 USD from London and more than $2000 from Sydney, followed by pretty rough accommodation in an area fraught with disease, likely would *not* be a big draw for people. I’m not kidding.
See, I love Africa in all of its gritty glory. While I want to share it with everyone (and their dogs), the data shows that it’s not a top pick for people, especially when you have limited time and travel dollars, like many of us do. Here’s what your answers told me.
- Q1: Of 61 respondents, 64% were women and 36% men.
- Q2: Generation X (born 1965-1981, like myself) made up 57% of the respondents, followed by 28% for baby boomers (born 1946-1964). The other age categories had single-digit percentages.
- Q3: A full 57% categorized themselves as having traveled a lot, followed by 33% who traveled a little, and 8%, a shit ton. Only 1% was in the ‘untraveled’ category. As to why I didn’t assign “trips per year” or some such metric to the categories, I have no reason other than it was more fun to say things like “shit ton.”
More specific data
- Q4: In response to “what’s the one place you most want to visit,” this requires a table view! Apparently, we’ve all got a different corner of the globe (or beyond) in mind, which is actually pretty cool.
|Place||Picked by||Place||Picked by|
|South Pacific Islands||2||South Africa||1|
|Ireland/Scotland, or Scotland, or British Isles, or London, or Edinburgh, or England/Ireland||8||Key West||1|
|Italy, or Italy’s Cinque Terra/Amalfi Coast, or Rome, or Italy/Greece/French Riviera||4||China||1|
|Norway||1||Himalayas or Cuba||1|
|Israel||1||Mars, space or the moon||3|
|South America, or Central/South America||4|
|Peru, or Machu Picchu||2|
- Q5: One person chose “tour group” as the ideal way they’d like to travel, 82% said they’d go with a friend or partner, and 17% said they’d go alone.
- Q6: Suitcase or backpack ran at a near-even split, with 48% choosing the former and 52% the latter.
- Q7: For accommodation type, the majority – 43% — chose two- or three-star minimum. Four- or five-star got 18% of the votes, one-star received 29%, and 10% chose dirt-bag cheap.
- Q8: The thousand-dollar mark seemed to be the sensitive price point which most folks don’t want to exceed, as that’s what 39% said. The other price points — $500, $1500 and $2000 – garnered between 15% and 18% of the answers, while we had seven people who confessed to being travel hackers (a goal I’m working my way toward).
- Q9: I thought it was interesting that the numbers were split when it came to planning – having everything booked vs. winging it. About 56% said they liked their trip to be planned and booked, while 44% preferred less structure.
- Q10: My apologies for constructing a wonky question/answer format here. I was trying work within my 10-question limit for the free version of Survey Monkey, but the format confused enough people that I didn’t get a full 61 true/false responses. From what I heard, 25 people are scared by tropical diseases, and 21, not so much!
Now for the prize draw. There were 47 people who included their contact information, ranging from full addresses to “your friend in ____.” Using the nifty sequence generator on Random.org, the winners are as follows:
- African mask – Larissa McCormack
- Fijian brain fork – Miriam Drori
- Boeing 787 Dreamliner* – Jo-Anne Teal
*not full size
Congratulations, you three! I’ll be sending you all emails soon. The person whose name landed dead last in the sequence, hence the farthest from winning a prize, was Arnesh Ramnarace. Sorry, Arnesh, hope your luck runs better for other things (and look both ways before you cross the street, okay?).
What do you think of the responses? Did anything surprise you?