Women are Experts at Planning, Reveals Multimap

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Multimap research reveals women are experts at planning. Getting lost is the biggest source of stress on a journey. 41 per cent of people enjoy the planning more than the journey itself. Planning personalities revealed: Passionate Planner vs Functional Mappers. P.S. It's true: men almost never ask for directions!

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It's official: Women are expert planners. Research revealed today by Multimap, the UK's specialist online mapping service, shows that women excel when planning a trip. Increasingly, they are using the wealth of information available on the internet to plan trips and think of everything in advance, from booking hotels and sightseeing to printing off directions and scheduling rest stops.

Commissioned by Multimap, the ICM research, which asked 2,000 people about what makes a good journey, from a trip to the shops to an event or holiday, also found distinctions by age. Young people are more likely to 'phone a friend' for directions than use a map, whilst men use online maps less often than women

The research concluded that women are the best at planning trips. These, 'Passionate Planners' are fun, confident sociable women who think ahead to ensure the journey is well-planned and stress-free.

Men are also good at planning, but they take a more functional approach. They are more likely to use a map to plan a business meeting than a social event. Identified as 'Functional Mappers', they are typically male and aged 25-34 and just want to get from A to B as quickly as possible.

As we get older, the joy of planning increases with 51% of over 65's saying they love the planning experience, compared with a third of 18-34 year olds (33%). 41% of travellers claim that planning a journey is more enjoyable than the journey itself. Over the half of us enjoy planning what to do at the destination and 44% like choosing the route.

Can't Find It, Won't Find It

Planning ahead reduces the traumas of travel. Almost half the people questioned (47%) said getting lost was the biggest source of stress on a journey. This was followed by lack of local knowledge for 40% and the absence of a clearly planned route for 30% of us, whilst boredom annoys a fifth of travellers.

Bad planning has lead to an argument for more than one in three (39%) travellers. It often results in people going hungry or without a bathroom break (17%) and a fifth of us have been completely lost over an hour. In many cases bad planning simply ruins the trip - 4% of people have given up and gone home and 6% have sworn they are 'never going away again'!

Even though more than half the people surveyed have had to stop and ask for directions, a third (36%) of us just hate doing this, including almost half (49%) of 25-34 year olds. Women and the older generation are less reluctant to ask for help.

Jim Cruickshank, General Manager of B2C at Multimap, explained,

'Thinking about a journey in advance reduces potential stress and saves time. Our research reveals that women are great at planning: they think ahead so that they can have peace of mind to enjoy the trip.'

Cruickshank continues, 'The 'passionate planners' highlighted in our research are influential, confident and sociable and they actively seek enjoyment and empowerment. They are at the heart of the family or a group of friends and often take on all the organising. They trust websites like Multimap to help them plan the route as well as to look for inspiration with suggestions of restaurants and a National Trust visit along the way.'    

Other types of planners identified include the 'Online Followers', who are generally older women (45+) who are good at planning, but fret about it more. They do use online mapping sites but are less inclined to take advantage of all their functions and features.

'Traditional Dippers', on the other hand, prefer a more conventional paper map. They're strictly A-B, strictly by the book: the book being a well-thumbed road map kept behind the passenger seat.    

The survey showed that online maps are now the most popular method of navigation with 88% of the people surveyed saying they have used them. The main reason for their popularity is because they are free (88%) and people aged 25-44 years old are most likely to use them. More than half the women surveyed (68%) said they like the extra information online maps provide.

Multimap offers a wealth of information for travellers from door-to-door travel directions and a range of street-level maps of Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, road maps of the world and aerial and bird's eye photography. As well as links to location information; and services such as hotels, restaurant and entertainment booking and local business listings, a mashup with Wikipedia highlights interesting locations and local history.

About Multimap
Multimap is one of the world's leading providers of mapping and location-based services. The company delivers more online maps, point-to-point driving directions and geo-spatial ("where's my nearest?") searches to more companies than any other supplier in Europe. Multimap provides location services to companies including lastminute.com, Active
Hotels, Wyndham Worldwide and Hilton International.

The public website, http://www.multimap.com, provides a range of free, fast and accurate navigation and planning tools and rich and relevant local information. Key features include street-level maps of major destinations; road maps of the world; door-to-door travel directions; aerial photographs; birds eye imagery; local Points of Interest and services such as hotel, restaurant and entertainment booking. The site attracts over 10 million unique users a month.

Multimap operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft, as part of the Virtual Earth and Search teams in the Online Service Group.

ICM Research surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,052 adults, online, in Great Britain aged 18 and over, in May 2008.

Additional findings from Aurora Market Research are based on an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 805 UK residents in October 2007.


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