Add this to your agency’s February social media posts and e-mail marketing campaigns: the love for travel can help improve your dating prospects.
In a recently released Travelocity survey, 52 percent of women said they would want to contact "someone who is less attractive but likes to travel.” Only 38 percent of men said they would do the same.
Similarly, 47 percent of women considered those who don't love to travel as someone "they would never date," while 40 percent of men felt the same way. Travel agents contacted by Travel Market Report say their experience with their own customers backs up the online survey of 1,000 people.
“I think for singles, seeing that someone travels means that they are cultured, well-rounded. They are open to trying new experiences and adventures,” said Cheryl Frank-Jones, CEO and owner of Lez Go Travel in Snellville, Georgia.
“I know it’s one of the things that I look for in a prospective date. I look for someone who likes to travel. I ask them, ‘Do you have a passport?’ If they say no, that takes them off the list automatically.”
“I’m a travel agent, but even if I wasn’t, a love for travel would be one of the first things I would look for,” said Tracy Drechsler-Waite, owner of Your Dream Travel Concierge in Oakdale, New York. “If they love to travel, enjoy food and wine, it shows a sophistication, a sense of adventure, and that’s attractive.”
But don’t have your clients go overboard, Travelocity warned. Filling up social media feeds and dating profiles with tons of pictures atop Machu Picchu, and sitting in St. Mark’s Square could backfire.
Respondents to the Travelocity survey were more inclined to choose a prospective date from photos in a natural setting, then those positioned in a familiar travel destination.
Agents should sell the romance of travel, before and after a couple meet
Once your clients have found someone, build on that romantic connection and suggest traveling together.
While the vast majority of those surveyed (95 percent) want to travel with their romantic interest, men are far more likely to want to take the "travel plunge" early in the relationship, the Travelocity survey showed. More than a third (34 percent) of men are ready for that couples' trip after three or fewer dates, while 52 percent of women want to wait until after at least five dates.
Frank-Jones always asks her female clients about their relationships to deepen her understanding of their lives and travel needs, and assess if it might be the right time for a couple to set off together.
“You need to make sure your partner likes to travel, too,” she said.
“It’s a compatibility issue,” agreed Drechsler-Waite. “You don’t know someone until you travel with someone. If you go for a dolphin swim, and your new partner has you going alone, it’s better to learn that early on.
“I deal with that a lot with my honeymooners. A lot of times, the honeymoon is the first time the couple is traveling, or traveling outside of the country. She thinks they are going to Mexico and doing the ruins in Tulum, and he is wondering where the casino and golf course are. If you travel while you’re dating, you discover all of this early on.”
In a separate survey recently released by Princess Cruises, a vacation (26 percent) was twice as popular of a gift for Valentine’s Day as receiving flowers (13 percent), and even out-romanced jewelry (11 percent) and chocolate (10 percent).
“Roses and candy are gone in these days. But taking someone on a romantic weekend for Valentine’s Day is something you will remember and treasure forever. There’s a lasting fulfillment,” Frank-Jones said.
The Travelocity Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between Dec. 20- 27, 2017, among 1,000 active online daters defined as U.S. singles ages 18-45 who go on two or more online dates per month.