Goods news for travelers and the travel industry! Instead of buying jewelry and chocolate this Valentine's Day, consider planning a trip for you and your sweetheart, says new research commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association.
The survey reports couples who travel together are significantly more satisfied with their relationships, enjoying better sex and improved romance long after the trip ends.
"What we've long known anecdotally, we're now proving through authoritative research: travel has a positive effect on relationships," says Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel. The association said it launched the "Travel Effect" campaign this month to boost awareness of travel's benefits.
"Couples who travel together have healthier, happier relationships compared to those who do not travel together. This Valentine's Day, couples should strengthen their relationships in a meaningful way and take a trip together," the survey notes.
Key research findings cited by U.S. Travel include:
• Couples prefer taking a short trip to receiving gifts – Nearly two-thirds of couples (63%) surveyed say a weekend getaway is more likely to spark romance than large or small gifts. Just one-third (36%) viewed receiving small gifts the same way, and only 15 percent rated getting big gifts like jewelry as important to improving romance.
• Traveling alone together sparks romance – More than eight in ten (83%) of those who travel as a couple say the romance is still alive in their relationship, and fully seven in ten (72%) of the couples surveyed believe traveling inspires romance.
• Couples who travel together report having a better sex life than those who don't – Three-quarters (77%) of respondents who travel as a couple say that they have a good sex life, compared to 63 percent of couples who do not travel together. More than one in every four couples (28%) say their sex life improved after traveling together and of those, 40 percent say sex together is permanently better after travel, the survey notes.
• Couples who travel together have more time for intimacy and sex – A majority (59%) of couples say that being more intimate is an important reason to vacation together. Among couples that did not take a trip together in the past year, nearly one in four (23%) say they "do not have enough time for intimacy and sex."
"Couples who take time to vacation alone together at least once each year report happier, healthier relationships overall compared to those who do not travel as couples," says Pam Loeb, principal of Edge Research, who conducted the telephone survey of 1,100 adults.
Edge Research performed the Random Digit Dialing (RDD) telephone survey between November 26 and December 9, 2012. The survey ensured a census representative sample of adults in relationships, with quotas on gender, age and region.