Summer Travel Trends In and Out of the Office

By Raquel Hudson Captivate Archives

While the official first day of summer may not be until tomorrow (June 21), many in the working world already have their head in the clouds (or perhaps, in the pool) as they daydream about and plan for upcoming vacations.  But, as excited as professionals may be for their vacations, are they able to unplug and enjoy once they arrive?

New data from Captivate's Office Pulse panel of influential at-work consumers and business decision makers dissects the Vac-yay-tion and Vac-eh-tion plans of professionals across North America.  According to the results of the new survey deployed in the United States and Canada, Americans are obsessed with e-mail while Canadians completely unplug.  In fact, - 47% of Americans said they would monitor e-mails while on vacation, while 59% of Canadians say they won't be working at all.

As the summer season kicks off, we've collected the top insights on travel trends below.  

Can't Stop, Won't Stop … Even on Vacation

Americans have a reputation for being workaholics, and while the survey results suggest this isn't completely true, it's not quite false, either.

  • Just 44% said they don't plan to do any work while on vacation, while almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they will work for 30 minutes a day.
  • 47% will look but not touch, reporting plans to just monitor e-mails.
  • Only 49% of women and 36% of men say they'll completely shut off on vacation.

Canadians are much better at unplugging and enjoying their vacation time to the fullest.  In fact, only 23% say they will do some sort of work for 30 minutes a day while 68% say they won't spend any time during the day doing work.

Get Outta Town 

France famously mandates 30 paid days of vacation a year -- and 30 days the French take, while Americans and Canadians plan to take a more modest number of days off this summer.

  • The most time American respondents plan to take off during the summer months is just 6-10 days.
  • 7% of U.S. respondents don't plan to take any time off this summer; 51% of this group report the reason is because they don't have any vacation time.
    • Baby Boomers are living their best lives, with 36% planning on taking more than 10 days off this summer.
    • Many admins (35%) only plan to take off 3-5 days.
  • 24% of Canadian respondents plan to take 6-10 days for summer vacation; 32% plan to take off 10 or more days.
  • Americans may be feeling the Fourth of July spirit -- or just building in vacations around long weekends; 55% of respondents said they're taking time off in July.
  • For Canadians, the most popular time to take their summer vacation is August (60%).  However, Canadian female respondents favored July (60% of females).

Vacation Behavior: Rays, Relatives and R&R

These North American neighbors aren't much different when choosing what they want from a vacation.

  • Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool: 66% of Americans report planning a relaxing vacation.  Of these, 42% plan to head to the beach for summer vacation, with an even higher percentage (50%) of Millennials leaning toward an oceanfront summer spot.
    • Similarly, 63% of Canadians report plans for a summer vacation filled with rest and relaxation.  The second most popular type of trip is one filled with family time (52%).
  • Translate this for us, Trudeau:  A cottage is the most popular destination among Canadian men, with 31% choosing it as their top choice for a summer travel spot.
  • Vacay vice:  When it comes to indulging on vacation, 58% of Americans admitted they will "eat to their heart's content, it's vacation!" 
  • The (C-)Suite life:  Executives from both countries find themselves maintaining their normal routines on vacation to a higher degree than their colleagues.
    • 37% of American C-Suite and senior executives expect to spend roughly 30 minutes a day doing something work related while on vacation.
    • 58% even say they will eat right and work out while on vacation.
    • Top executives don't plan to travel very far this summer, with 33% only planning to travel between 100-500 miles for their vacation.

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