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Enterprise Survey Finds Stress Will Drive More Travelers to Open Road in 2019



WHY IT RATES: The new survey just reinforces what travel agents and advisors already know; people want to get away from the stress of life by visiting new and interesting places.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.

Ready to draft a catchy “Out of Office” note and set your sights on the highway? You’re not alone. Enterprise’s Annual Weekend Getaway Survey found that more people are reporting a stronger desire to escape in 2019 than last year – and most of them sum up the reason in one word: stress.

Respondents claim they are more stressed now than this time last year, and all that pressure makes them want to get away more on the weekends. Three in four say they not only plan to get away in 2019, they hope to take five trips in the coming year, two more than getaway-takers reported taking in 2018.

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And getting away doesn’t necessarily mean traveling to a far-away destination. Most people – 85 percent – agree that planning a short trip is less stressful than planning a big vacation. According to the survey results, 55 percent of travelers plan to stay within 200 miles of home. And they’re keeping it simple; the second most common weekend excursion will be a trip to a family member’s or friend’s house. In addition, while the most expensive getaways are less likely this year, those who took a getaway in 2018 and plan to do it again in 2019 will either spend as much (58%) or more (33%) on their 2019 trips.

“We’re seeing travelers increasingly want to take simple, low-stress vacations that allow them to unwind and leave their worries at home,” said Steve Short, vice president at Enterprise. “This year, our survey revealed that rather than taking longer, elaborate vacations, more respondents would rather take a weekend getaway. And they’re not only staying closer to home – they’re also opting to completely disconnect and turn their weekend getaway into an escape from the stress of their jobs and other responsibilities.”

Compared with last year, the number of people who said that leaving their cellphones at home turns the getaway into an escape doubled, and 87 percent of respondents believe turning off alerts on their devices (email, social media, news) is a best practice when it comes to truly getting away.

The survey also found that taking a low-stress weekend getaway can greatly improve travelers’ moods. Of the respondents planning to take a winter getaway this year, more than half agree their mood suffers in winter and 82 percent say a getaway helps them escape the cold weather blues. Nearly all respondents report that weekend getaways leave them recharged, relaxed and grateful.

While their trips may be shorter, travelers make the most of their time away, especially by embracing new experiences outdoors. The survey found that:

—58 percent of respondents believe that having a brand-new experience and/or doing an activity they’ve never done before is what makes a weekend getaway an escape.

—48 percent of 2019 weekend getaway-takers plan to explore outdoor destinations, while only 16 percent will travel to a major city, down from 24 percent last year.

“These short weekend trips can have enormous positive benefits when it comes to relieving stress and improving people’s moods,” said Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist, performance coach and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. “Especially in the winter, when dreary weather has people feeling down, taking time to get outdoors and experience something new leaves people feeling refreshed. Sun exposure, even if in the cold, helps reduce the winter blues and by planning a short trip, people can break up what they anticipate being a long, monotonous winter season.”

For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.

SOURCE: Enterprise Rent-A-Car press release.

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