Romance On The Road: Couples Want More Leisure Travel Time

A new Courtyard by Marriott survey shows that travelers in relationships crave leisure getaways and feel as if they don’t get to take enough trips with their partner.

The survey revealed that 25 percent of couples never travel for leisure purposes, and on average, 50 percent only travel together once or twice per year. According to the survey of men and women, almost 70 percent say they don’t go away often enough as a couple, and 87 percent enjoy traveling with their spouse or significant other more than anyone else.

The good news, according to the survey, is both men and women agree on what’s important when on vacation together. Top couples’ priorities include visiting local attractions (56 percent), rejuvenating (39 percent), being romantic (37 percent), developing their relationship (35 percent), eating great new foods (33 percent), and relaxing at their hotel (28 percent).

When asked what they wish their partner would surprise them with away from home, both men and women ranked a fancy dinner out as number one. Following a fancy dinner, men would like to be surprised with catching a pro sporting event or an adventure activity, and women would like to be surprised with a couple’s spa treatment or shopping – although both men and women recognize those activities may not be on top of their partner’s activity wish list.

What do you think? Do you get away enough with your partner? If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

[Flickr image of Bora Bora via Benoit Mahe]

Top 10 Reasons Couples Argue On Vacation

Planning a trip with your sweetie, but nervous about potential trouble in paradise? Online travel agency looked into the matter by surveying vacationing couples to figure out the top reasons lovers argued with each other on a trip.

For those who think their relationships are too strong to need to worry, the data shows differently. In fact, the study found over 75 percent of couples argue at least twice during a two-week trip. To help your relationship avoid becoming part of the statistic, read the following list and try to steer clear of these argument starters:

1. Men checking out other women at the pool or beach
2. Disagreements over activities
3. What to eat and where
4. Drinking too much
5. Driving and map reading
6. Packing
7. Women taking too long to get ready
8. Spending too much money
9. What time to get to the airport
10. Disagreements over currency

Have you and your partner ever had a disagreement while traveling?

[Image via Big Stock]

Survey Shows Travelers’ Top Dream Destinations And Experiences

Do you ever wonder how your travel dreams compare to those of others? To help find out where people most desire to travel to, Virtuoso Life Magazine conducted a “Travel Dreams” survey, polling over 5,000 people between January 5 to March 31, 2012. Some of their findings include:

Top Dream Destinations:

1. Australia
2. Italy
3. New Zealand
4. South Africa
5. French Polynesia

Top Trips Of A Lifetime:

1. Setting sail for a world cruise
2. Calling on all seven continents
3. Sailing the Mediterranean on a private yacht
4. Visiting all Seven New Wonders of the World
5. Photographing “the big five” on an African safariMost Wanted Island Escapes:

1. Hawaiian Islands
2. Greek Islands
3. Galapagos Islands
4. Fiji
5. French Polynesia

River Cruises That Capture Your Imagination:

1. French wine country canal
2. Danube
3. Amazon
4. Nile
5. Rhine

Most Romantic Cities:

1. Paris
2. Venice
3. Santorini
4. Rome
5. New York City

Top Family Getaways:

1. Hawaiian Islands
2. Italy
3. Caribbean
4. Galapagos Islands
5. Alaska

What’s your dream travel experience?

Love stinks (this year), V-Day spending down

Don’t expect an expensive gesture this year. Valentine’s Day spending is expected to drop 4.8 percent this year, after suffering to the tune of 6.8 percent a year ago. The good news is that we’re becoming less romantic at a slower rate this year. Nonetheless, don’t plan on a surprise weekend getaway this year.

According research firm IBISWorld, the passionate are only going to commit $28.6 billion to their fellow lovebirds this year. The reason is simple: Valentine’s Day just isn’t Christmas.

According to George Van Horn, a senior analyst at IBISWorld, events like birthdays and Christmas don’t involve a whole lot of choice. You have to commit some cash. “Valentine’s Day is more of a discretionary occasion,” he says, “which means it will be hit particularly hard by the current economic climate.” As we tighten our belts, this non-day off is among the casualties.

IBISWorld believes that couples are going to swap out trips, dinners out and the like for romantic meals at home, walks on the beach or writing a love letter or poem. Yes, this was actually in the press release! I have to admit, a walk on the beach right now, here in New York, would probably be better than a poem.

So, how does 2009 look? Travel is pretty grim. IBISWorld forecasts that close to $3.45 billion will be spent on romantic getaways this year, compared to $3.58 billion last year. It’s a drop of 3.5 percent.

Chaacreek in Belize: Location for love

Travel and Leisure’s 2005 issue listed 50 romantic places. The description of Chaacreek in Belize was attention-grabbing. What does the “Screamer Room” sound like to you? The resort Web site doesn’t list a room with this name, but what a gorgeous looking place. Perhaps the reference is to the Honeymoon Sky Room–it’s set off from the rest of the hotel, perched among the trees.

The resort is a romance magnet, even if you stay in one of the cheaper rooms. First of all, it’s located in a nature reserve next to the Macal River and mountains. At the spa, there’s a menu of pampering treatments for those times when you’re not horseback riding, hiking, canoeing– or whatever you do to conjure up amour.

Romance or not, my kids would love this place. There’s a package called Family Adventure that looks terrific. Children up to age 18 stay for free. That lowers the price tag a bit. Head here before the middle of April for the best deals. The naturalist on staff is a bonus and there are a variety of package options. Even for a solo getaway, Chaacreek looks sublime.