51 percent of U.S. vacationers admit they're more stressed today compared to a year ago, and it's causing more than one in three (37%) to cancel or delay their trip, according to a new survey by Wyndham Vacation Rentals.
The new study aims to identify what's holding U.S. travelers back from being vacation-ready – that state of mind where they feel liberated from the rigors of daily life and ready to enjoy their time off, Wyndham said. Respondents identified the most common travel pain points, from planning and packing to relationship challenges:
- Too many choices: Two in three (67%) vacationers have become stressed due to 'information overload' and are paralyzed with too many choices when researching and planning. Two in five (41%) get stressed about scheduling things to do during their trip.
- Trouble leaving the daily grind behind: Once on vacation, it takes time to unwind and forget about the stress of work and personal responsibilities. Three in 10 (30%) U.S. travelers don't feel truly relaxed until the second day of vacation or later.
- Relationship-testing moments: Two in three (67%) have argued with a travel companion as a result of stress caused by planning or taking a vacation. One in four (25%) have even broken up with a significant other while traveling. The good news? One in four (26%) have also met the love of their life on vacation.
"Times have changed and the daily demands of everyday life have travelers thinking differently about vacation," said Gail Mandel, CEO, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, in a written release.
The survey revealed the following ways travelers can make their vacation stress-free:
- Don't wait until the last minute to pack: Packing is so dreaded that half of all respondents said they would give up alcohol for a month or social media for a week to avoid doing it! Travelers can reduce the stress of packing though without making such a sacrifice. Nearly two in three (65%) say not procrastinating on packing your bags would minimize stress.
- Unplug from work: Creating separation from work helps travelers get into a vacation-ready mindset. More than half (56%) felt not checking work email and voicemail reduces stress. The majority of travelers said taking an extra day off work before leaving for vacation or coming back a few days before returning to work would also help.
- Space, clean clothes and closed doors: More than three in five vacationers (62%) think booking accommodations with space and privacy would make their next vacation less stressful and half of vacationers (50%) think that being able to do laundry would help.
With the overload of vacation planning information available today, nearly half (48%) of all respondents said having a ready-made vacation itinerary would reduce stress.