I love a good travel survey and this week Traveling Mom partnered with Vacatia to find out how 700+ families do Spring Break. The answers are definitely illuminating. They also show clearly what I’ve been trying to explain to PR folks for years: we Travel Hackers think differently than most other travelers. I answered every single question “none of the above” as would most of you. Because we’re out there hacking Spring Break just like we hack everything else.
So as a public service I thought I would share the survey results with you along with the answer that most travel hackers would choose. The survey results might help you navigate the awkward bus stop conversation- you know the one. “Where are you going for Spring Break? Branson? How fun! Where are we going? Um…Paris…”. As I also try to explain to PR folks: we spend a LOT of money on travel so it might be helpful to get into our heads!
What Normal People Do While We’re Hacking Spring Break
Question 1: When did/will you finish planning your Spring Break trip?
Last minute: 28 percent
One Month Before: 29 percent
Two Months Before: 23 percent
Done in 2016: 19 Percent
The Travel Hacker’s Answer: Well, I grabbed the plane tickets in November when I saw the crazy low fare. 4 Tickets to Europe for a grand? I’m in! (Alternate answer: I booked them on miles 331 days out because it’s our dream destination.) I have a cancel-able hotel reservation on points to be safe but am keeping an eye on my Twitter feed in case anything better pops up. What we’ll do once we get there? No idea. I’ll ask my friends for ideas while I’m in the air.
Question 2: Who’s going on your Spring Break Trip?
The Kids (and spouse): 60 percent
Multi-gen, adult kids, other family members: 23 percent
Friends: 16 percent
The Travel Hacker’s Answer:
A) We’re meeting up with my BFF and her family, whom I’ve never actually met as we’re BFFs over Twitter.
B) It’s just us, but I’m sure we’ll run into someone we know in an elite lounge enroute.
Question 3: What’s the Ickiest part of Spring Break planning?
Coordinating schedules: 38 percent
Choosing a destination: 32 percent
Choosing accommodations: 24 percent
The Travel Hacker’s Answer: Figuring out what to tell the school about your kids’ absences because there’s no way in heck we’re paying to travel on a peak day!
Question 4: Who makes the Spring Break plans in your family?
Mom: 47 percent
Dad: 3 percent
The Travel Hacker’s Answer: This is the answer that is most different between hackers and regular travelers: more men are travel hackers than women. In fact, more men read The Deal Mommy than women by a large margin- something that took me a while to get used to!
Over the past five years I’ve seen a big shift towards equality here- I’d like to take some credit for that with Family Travel for Real Life and a general Mom-friendly tone but I know what we do here is a drop in the ocean. I’m just happy to see more Moms and families in the mix.
My “Spring Break” plans and final thoughts
Consistent with the survey I’m hacking Spring Break. Ours will actually take place two weeks later when I’m taking the kids and Deal Dad to Disney World. We’re using Southwest points to get there (that I’ve traded in twice to get more cheaply), staying in a DVC points rental and driving home in a $5/day car rental. Because that’s how travel hackers roll.
Did any of these results surprise you or do they track with your “civilian” friends’ plans? Normal folks: did you know that there’s an entire sub-culture of travel hackers that exist on the fringes of family travel? How do your Spring Break plans stack up?
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