U.S. and Canadian Female Travelers Find Common Ground on Travel Preferences, According to Best Western Survey

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Best Western Survey Shows Similarities and Differences Between U.S. and Canadian Female Traveler Preferences

U.S. & Canadian Womens Travel Habits Survey

U.S. & Canadian Womens Travel Habits Survey

“Women across North America remain major decision makers for family travel, and their perspectives help define the leisure travel industry,” said Best Western’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Dorothy Dowling.

Canadian and U.S. female travelers may differ when it comes to time off, social sharing and taking selfies, but the groups share similar approaches to family and staying safe on vacation, according to the annual Women in Travel survey released today by Best Western International. As the busy summer vacation season approaches, Best Western looked at U.S. and Canadian women to find out more about their travel preferences in a survey of 750 females living within the U.S. and Canada. The findings were unveiled today at the Leisure Travel Summit in Toronto.

“Women across North America remain major decision makers for family travel, and their perspectives help define the leisure travel industry,” said Best Western’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Dorothy Dowling.

On average, only 31 percent of U.S. female travelers take all or most of their paid time off from work each year, while Canadian women are much more likely to take most or all of their paid time off each year (42 percent). While all women agree that vacationing solely with their immediate family is more relaxing than visiting family who live elsewhere, they also noted they would rather travel with family than friends, as well as a preference for traveling with people from the same generation.

Family structure and marital status are also major factors in priorities and needs when vacationing. In fact, according to the survey, marriage may lead to increased travel for female travelers. Half of female Canadian respondents said they traveled more since getting married, while approximately 53 percent of U.S. respondents indicated they traveled more after marriage. Only a very small percentage had traveled less.

While Canadian and American women have a similar travel philosophy when it comes to family, a few key differences were unveiled:

  •     While U.S. female travelers would rather travel within the U.S., Canadian travelers would rather travel outside of their home country.
  •     Canadian female travelers would rather pay for checked luggage than pay for hotel WiFi whereas U.S. female travelers would rather pay for hotel WiFi than checked luggage.
  •     Canadian females are the least likely to share their travels on social media with about 30 percent saying they never do, compared to approximately 41 percent of total U.S. female travelers who always or often share on social.
  •     Canadians are not fans of the selfie. Approximately 67 percent of U.S. females reported taking a selfie while traveling, while only about 42 percent of Canadian females have taken a selfie while traveling.

For female travelers who are married or have a life partner with children, children’s needs are almost always the most important factor, according to 61 percent of all U.S. female travelers and 43 percent of Canadian females. Pets’ needs are least important to both groups.

While there were key differences between the two countries, there were also some important similarities, namely that female travelers across both countries are concerned about losing personal items and personal security, in general, when traveling. That said, U.S. females still worry more about these items than Canadian travelers. In order to stay safe while traveling, both groups keep cell phones with them at all times and leave important items in a locked safe, though Canadians ranked higher on leaving items in a locked safe while Americans ranked significantly higher on having their cell phones at all times.

TripAdvisor also plays a major role in safety concerns for women in both groups, but especially with Canadian women where 51 percent check the review site before booking in comparison to only 39 percent of American women.

Interestingly, for every question asked regarding security issues, the majority of respondents who say they always or very often worry were younger female travelers, ages 18 to 25, with the exception of personal security where middle-aged travelers worry more than the younger generations.

While on vacation, American and Canadian women like to splurge on activities and excursions over anything else. The majority of U.S. female travelers rank activities and excursions as the number one thing they splurge on, followed by lodging or hotel upgrades. They are least likely to splurge on things such as spa treatments. Canadian females, on the other hand, have a little more variety in what they would splurge on, including activities and excursions, hotel room upgrades and eating out. Both groups also agree that they would rather receive an upgrade for a hotel suite (79 percent) than an upgrade for a first class plane ticket (21 percent), and would rather sit next to a crying baby than a stinky passenger.

When it comes to social media, the reasons for posting vary, though most cited wanting to share their travels with friends and family that aren’t with them or wanting to capture the moment to remember it at a later date. Additionally, Facebook still dominates as the most popular platform to post about travels (approximately 66 percent of Canadian females compared with 56 percent of U.S. females), with Instagram following closely behind. Snapchat is also a strong contender for the younger generation with 81 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 25 sharing via this social platform.

Women across North America remain major decision makers for family travel, and their perspectives help define leisure travel. Though there are some striking differences such as social sharing and preferred destinations, there are also many traits and preferences that the U.S. and Canadian traveler share, making them a very important part of any family travel decision.


Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,000+* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers six hotel products to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS®, BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, BEST WESTERN PLUS EXECUTIVE RESIDENCY℠, Vīb℠ and BW Premier Collection℠. Now celebrating 69 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 22 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western continues to set industry records and accolades, including Business Travel News naming BEST WESTERN and BEST WESTERN PLUS as the best mid-price and upper mid-price hotel chains, three consecutive Compuware Best of the Web gold awards for the best hotel website and six consecutive AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year awards. Best Western-branded hotels worldwide won four times more TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards than industry average.

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit http://www.bestwestern.com.
*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

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Laura Cherry
Best Western International, Inc.
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