TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, announced the results of its health and fitness on vacation survey of more than 1,400 U.S. travelers, revealing that healthy eating and exercise play an integral role in many Americans' vacations. 69% say healthy eating is important to them when traveling for leisure, while 53% always or often exercise when they're on the road.
Travelers' Top Physical Activities on Vacation
Walking - 87%
Swimming - 46%
Hiking - 35%
Using cardio machines - 23%
Biking - 16%
Travelers' Favored Spots for Vacation Work-Outs
Hotel gym - 52%
Pool - 42%
Beach - 38%
Hotel room - 27%
Flight - 9%
Training While Traveling
Among those that exercise on vacation, 31% say their primary motivation is to maintain their fitness regimen. A further 28% do so in order to avoid gaining weight, while the third most popular reason for exercising on holiday is to capitalize on having more free time to work out (14%).
33% of all respondents always or often take fitness paraphernalia, such as workout clothes, with them on vacation. However, among those that tote fitness gear on their travels, 27% never make use of it, while a further 26% rarely do so
13% of survey respondents have taken a vacation dedicated to improving their health, with the same number planning to do so in the coming 12 months.
Healthy Road Habits
66% of all respondents say they often eat healthily on vacation, while a further nine percent always do so when traveling for leisure.
58% start their trip as they mean to go on, by packing healthy foods for the journey to their destination.
In the interests of a balanced lifestyle, 62% choose to order healthy menu items while vacationing, and 37% store wholesome foods in the hotel fridge.
Temptations on Tour
36% have dieted in preparation for a vacation, while 33% have started a diet after a vacation – and 29% say they always or often gain weight during a trip.
Travelers confess that delicious cuisine and cocktails can be hard to resist: 65% are more likely to overindulge on food on vacation than while at home, while 49% are more likely to overindulge on alcohol.
In spite of calorie-laden temptations on the road, 81% rarely or never feel guilty about their vacation excesses, post-trip.
Savvy Sun Practices
87% of all respondents say sun safety is important to them on vacation, and while 60% indicate they always use sunscreen when traveling in warm climates, a further 28% often do so.
While one in five travelers say they always sunbathe on vacation in warm climates, 30% rarely do so, and 24% avoid catching rays altogether.
The "lobster-look" gets a resounding thumbs-down, with 85% rarely or never claiming to get sunburned in warm climates.
"While most Americans will spend at least some of their vacation relaxing, many now balance their fun with fitness, as TripAdvisor's survey shows that a significant number of travelers also prioritize personal health on their trips," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor.