In a year where we have been given one extra day, Four Seasons set out to discover what is most meaningful to travelers, looking at both the value of time off and how we choose to spend that time.
According to a new global study commissioned by Four Seasons, almost everyone surveyed, across geographies and age groups, valued more vacation time over more money if given the choice, reaffirming that time continues to be the greatest luxury of all. The study of adults from the US, UK, China and the *GCC revealed that more than half of Millennials (54%), Gen X (53%) and Boomers (56%) would opt for more vacation days over more compensation. Only Gen Z – many of whom have the luxury of more time yet seek financial independence – value a raise (62%) over more days off (38%).
By contrast, the wish list for how we spend our time while travelling is much more universal, spanning all generations surveyed. Reflecting our ongoing quest for self-fulfilment, travellers of all ages seek meaningful and personally fulfilling experiences, both big and small, that leave them feeling more interested in different cultures, more engaged with the world, and more deeply connected to themselves and others.
“As we continue to innovate the Four Seasons guest experience, our global market research provides insight into how travellers prioritise and value time, both generationally and across regions,” says Christian Clerc, President, Global Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Today’s travellers are seeking purpose through authentic experiences, returning home with a different understanding of the world around them. As a luxury hospitality company, we are at the forefront of this shifting consumer desire, and it inspires how we curate the guest experience, ensuring travellers leave Four Seasons with a sense of deep connection to the community and the destination’s culture.”
What Comfort Zone?
Travel can often lead us to do things we never dreamed possible, casting aside our daily routines so that we can experience the world differently. When it comes to life post-vacation, the key to “coming home different” might be taking part in transformative experiences that push us and broaden our horizons.
The survey found that younger travellers – Millennials and Gen Z – are bigger risk-takers compared to Boomers; however, nearly all (95%) respondents agreed that a vacation is when they would be most likely to step outside of their comfort zone. In fact, more than a third of travellers have done something while on holiday that they didn’t know they could, like trying a new sport or learning a new skill to challenge themselves mentally and physically. This is particularly true for respondents in China, where two-thirds (66%) of Chinese adults surveyed say their travel style is better described as “getting out of their comfort zone” versus other markets (45%).
Come Home Different
Collectively, we see the world differently after having been on vacation, with travel offering us time to reflect, be our best selves and embrace new ways of thinking. Reinforcing the notion of a “post-vacation glow,” more than half (51%) of global respondents noted feeling more motivated, more optimistic (46%) and more patient at work (42%) after a holiday.
Close to 4 in 5 (79%) Americans agree that after a vacation, they are more productive in the workplace. In the UK, nearly 3 in 5 respondents who’ve “come home different” say they did so with greater positivity or optimism, more appreciation for their loved ones (45%), better understanding of others’ motivations (39%) and greater ability to manage stress (38%).
After taking time off, adults from the GCC are maintaining their vacation happiness for significantly longer than other respondents, at an average of 26 days versus 15 in other regions. UK residents maintain their vacation happiness for only 11 days on average, the shortest amount of all respondents.
Broadening personal horizons can also produce lifelong benefits. Nearly 3 in 5 respondents reported adopting new interests as a result of their travels, such as listening to new music (43%), learning new languages (36%) and appreciating new forms of art (36%). Younger adults are especially eager to take a new path to self-fulfilment while on vacation, with three-quarters of those under 40 picking up a new hobby or interest. The most popular travel takeaway? Universally, the most common new interest across age groups and regions is cooking or eating new foods (56%), reinforcing the importance of unique and authentic dining experiences, something that Four Seasons is known for the world over.
With 24 extra hours in 2020, what will you do with more time?
Four Seasons believes in real, tangible transformation through connection to the world and the people around us, no matter how much time one has.
This leap year, take a pause with Take Your Time: Daily Discoveries, a collection of Four Seasons experiences that require no more than 1 day, 1 hour or even 1 minute. Whether a quiet moment of meditation, an hour spent walking historic grounds, or full-day guided expedition, curated experiences driving deeper connections are available at properties worldwide, brought to life by the people of Four Seasons.