Men & Women Travel Differently. Here’s How

by SharonKurheg

It’s amazing, yet really not, how different groups of people travel, well, differently. Of course, one would think people who have more money to spend will travel differently from those who have less money…and that’s probably so, most of the time. But the different traveling styles between various demographics is much more various and deep than that:

Of course, there are two other groups that tend to travel differently – men and women. There’s some, but not much data of the differences in travel styles between men and women in recent years. However if you go back about 10 years, there was plenty write back then. Using data from tour groups, surveys and marketing analysts, among others, the styles, characteristics, habits and other traveling differences between men and women came to light.

Of course, this data isn’t 100% set in stone – there are plenty of women who tend to travel “the way men do,” and vice versa. And neither gender’s way to traveling is necessarily any better or worse. They’re just…different. Here are some of the highlights:

  • A 2011 Springhill Suites survey suggested that 54% of men pack within 24 hours of a trip, as compared to 46% of women. If it’s a business trip, women list packing as the #1 thing they do, while the first thing men do is book their hotel.
  • Results from the same Springhill Suites survey shows that while 64% of women feel guilty about spending money on vacation, only 41% of men feel the same. Meanwhile, 38% of men get haircuts before traveling while only 28% of women do.
  • When it comes to who they vacation with, the Springhill Suites survey also found that 41% of men plan to vacation with only their spouse/partner on their next vacation, 56% of women planned on vacationing with their nuclear family.
  • The Springhill Suites survey also showed that men spent a bit more time planning their vacations – about 5.2 hours, vs. 4.6 hours that women spent. But once the vacation is planned, women spent significantly more time preparing for it: 86%, vs. 69% of men.
  • Women responding to the Springhill Suites also checked their social media accounts more (69%. 53% of men). But men checked their email more than women did (43% vs. 28%).
  • A survey quoted in the Daily Mail in 2014 suggested that 91% of women don’t wear every item of clothing they pack for vacation. Mean, OTOH, use at least 90% of what they’ve packed.
  • The same survey quoted in the Daily Mail says that while women tend to bring an average of 36 items for a one-week vacation, men only bring 18.
  • According to a national tour company, men tend to go for the “Active” tours – hiking, bicycling, kayaking, sailing, river cruises, and polar expeditions. Women tend to go on more “living Local” tours, that focus on cultural experiences. However according to statistics by the Travel Industry Association of America, women ranging in age between 20 and 70 represent about three-quarters of those taking nature, adventure, or cultural trips.
  • Women are significantly more likely to book a tour than men – anecdotally, tours are comprised of anywhere from 63 to 70 percent female participants. This could be due to safety factors, but also perhaps the less stress involved when booking a tour.
  • Forbes reports that women make about 80% of the decisions when it comes to travel.
  • Mandala Research’s study about travel suggested that 64% of women took trips to visit family or friends, compared with 57% of men. However men were somewhat more likely to take a trip on their own: 20% have traveled alone vs. 13% of women. They also found that women were more likely to shop for “locally made” goods: 45% had done so, as opposed to only 36% of men.
  • Mandala also said that women spend more time shopping during their vacation than men (roughly 45% to 36%)
  • International Currency Exchange discovered that women tended to spend more on clothes and duty free items while on vacation; men spend more on food and drink.

Again, the surveys and tours references are 10 to 15 years old. But people, on the whole, couldn’t have changed that much when it comes to opinions about vacations. I’m betting most of them remain true, even today.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


derek March 10, 2023 - 8:54 pm

Pack within 24 hours of the trip? I am currently packing for a trip in May!

SharonKurheg March 10, 2023 - 9:03 pm

There are always outliers 😉


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