DALLAS, May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While planning a vacation with your best friend may sound like a fun way to spend time together, a recent study by Travelocity®1 finds that friends can actually make the worst travel companions. In an online survey fielded ahead of National Best Friends Day on June 8, at least half of all millennial travelers say they've had a terrible travel experience with a friend, and for Gen Z travelers, a bad trip has big consequences. More than half (52%) of travelers ages 18-24 stopped speaking after a lousy vacation together.
"More than 80 percent of travelers agree that you don't really know someone until you travel with them," said Laura Molnar, senior brand manager at Travelocity. "Personality differences are the biggest problem. Nearly half of respondents (48%) told us that they just couldn't deal with loud, rude or annoying friends or those who didn't share the same interests."
Best friends aren't always the best travel companions
According to study, friends make the worst travel companions (47%), followed closely by family members (30%). Significant others (15%) ranked third on the list, while spouses and coworkers faired the best. "Respondents were half as likely to cite their spouses as bad travel companions, proving there might be something to traveling with someone before you marry them," said Molnar.
Age and maturity were also strong indicators of whether or not a friendship can withstand a vacation together. Millennials (44%) and Gen Z (37%) were most likely to report a bad travel companion while Boomers are the least likely to complain about a travel partner. "Younger travelers are nervous about taking a trip with someone they haven't traveled with before," said Molnar. "It seems that with age comes either the ability to put up with more or the wisdom to select a better travel mate."
Don't get burned by a bad travel partner
Based on results from their survey, Travelocity created a short quiz to help vacationers find out whether they'll be travel BFFs before embarking on a trip this summer. From June 8 through June 30, anyone who completes the quiz at Travelocity.com/TravelCompatible will receive a 10 percent off promo code to book a trip, whether they decide to travel together or not.
"We want to help travelers plan a stress-free trip together, even before they pick a travel partner," said Molnar. "The more friends know about their vacation styles, the better they'll be able to plan a successful vacation, no matter where their travels take them."
Via the quiz, travelers match with one of six travel personality types based on how they like to spend their time on vacation and the level of decision-making they want. The profiles range from "Explorer" and "Vacation Bum" to "Balance Seeker" and "Take Charge" traveler. From there, quiz takers learn which companions are best suited for their style and explore ideal destinations and activities for a drama-free trip together, like enjoying the spa, hanging by the pool, or hiking the toughest trails in Yosemite National Park.
Some recommendations for "Vacation Bums" include lounging beachside in sunny Fort Lauderdale or aligning chakras in low-key Sedona. For "Balance Seekers" Travelocity suggests a vacation that's an equal mix of action and relaxation, like biking and sipping around Napa or surfing and snoozing along Hawaii's best beaches.
Travel Companion Fast Facts
- Friends make the worst travel companions (47%), followed by family members (30%), significant others (15%) and spouses (7%).
- Of those who have had a bad travel companion, 40% of respondents said they stopped talking indefinitely or for a period of time.
- Men are more likely to cite spouses (13%) and coworkers (19%) as bad travel companions. Women would most like to skip a trip with family members (21%).
- 3-in-4 travelers say you never really know someone until you've traveled with them.
- Women (57%) and Gen Z (71%) travelers are more likely to get more nervous about traveling with someone new.
- Nearly half (50%) of millennial travelers have had a bad travel companion. Almost 40% of other travelers have, too.
- Of those who've had a bad travel companion, nearly half (48%) said personality differences ruined the trip.
- Being loud, rude or annoying were the most problematic traits (23%).
- "The companion seemed restless, angry, and told me about people that he disliked. I was glad to get rid of him."
- Not sharing the same interests was another top challenge (22%).
- "The partner was just focused on finding Wi-Fi and Starbucks rather than getting out and exploring the destination."
- Age and maturity have a lot to do with whether or not you should travel with a friend. While 36% of respondents overall said they've had a bad travel companion, the number jumps to almost 50% for millennials and Gen X.
- Gen Z (18-24) is the most likely to stop speaking to someone after a bad travel experience (52%). 1-in-3 said they've had a bad travel companion (37%).
- Millennials (25-44) were most likely to have traveled with a bad companion (44%) and get the most nervous about traveling with someone they don't know (19%).
- 40% of Gen X (45-54) travelers had a bad travel companion, the second highest behind Millennials.
- Boomers (55+) were the least likely to have a bad travel companion (27%), get nervous about traveling with someone (30%) or stop speaking to them (14%).
- Almost everyone agrees: 81% of respondents say that you should pick your travel partners carefully.
1 Report based on online survey conducted by Qualtrics in November 2018 among 507 U.S. respondents ages 18-64 who have traveled for leisure in the past 24 months.
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Sr Manager, Brand Marketing
Travelocity Press Office