Photos: Romance Triumphs Over Recession, More Travelers Planning Love Getaways in 2009
77 Percent Taking Romantic Trip this Year and 16 Percent Taking a Valentine's Day Trip
Travelers Identify Top 10 Destinations for Love, and Reveal Pre-Trip Grooming Habits to Help Fan the Flames
NEWTON, Mass., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel community, today announced the results of its romantic travel survey of more than 1,800 U.S. respondents. Seventy-seven percent of travelers plan to take a romantic trip with their significant other this year, up from 72 percent, last year. Among travelers who took leisure trips for love last year, 47 percent took one or two such trips and 25 percent took three or more.
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Sixteen percent of survey respondents are planning to take a trip with their main squeeze for Valentine's Day this year. Thirty-eight percent have taken a Valentine's Day trip in the past with a flame.
On the Prowl
While a large number of couples take the opportunity to get away for "amore," singles are touring for tenderness as well. Eighteen percent of respondents have taken a trip where a goal was to find romance. Of those travelers, 76 percent looked for love in all the right places, proclaiming "mission accomplished."
Here are the top romantic getaways for singles and couples, according to the survey:
Top 10 Destinations Top 10 Destinations for Singles Looking for a Couples for Love Romantic Trip --------------------------------------------------- Las Vegas 1 Paris Paris 2 Hawaii New York City 3 Venice Miami 4 New York City Cancun 5 San Francisco Hawaii 6 Las Vegas San Francisco 7 Rome Venice 8 Aruba Jamaica 9 Jamaica Rome 10 Bora Bora
Bolstered by seaside hammocks and tasty umbrella drinks, 49 percent of travelers said the beach is the best setting for a romantic trip with their sweetheart. The second most popular setting for romance was a city, according to 16 percent. When it comes to fanning the flame of love, 30 percent of travelers said what makes them feel most romantic is watching a sunset or sunrise, and 25 percent said it's a stroll on the beach.
Apparently, love is a play best left unscripted: 73 percent of travelers said that romance is best when it's spontaneous, while 27 percent said they prefer it planned.
Primping for Passion
Before leaving for an enchanting excursion, some travelers go to incredible lengths to look their best. Here is a look at what males and females said they do to prepare for romantic getaways, according to the survey:
FEMALES MALES 1. Buy new clothes - 63% 1. Haircut - 61% 2. Pedicure - 54% 2. Buy new clothes - 39% 3. Haircut - 52% 3. Diet - 23% 4. Manicure - 44% 4. Tanning - 17% 5. Diet - 26% 5. Manicure - 11%
Room (and a View) for Love
Thirty-one percent of travelers said beautiful scenery is most important in making a destination ripe for love, while 24 percent believe the recipe for romance is all about outstanding accommodations. Twenty-eight percent said amazing views are what makes hotels best for affection and 22 percent said a noticeably comfortable bed is the top ticket to love.
Fifty-one percent believe ambiance is the primary factor that makes a restaurant romantic -- even more so than the food, chosen by 25 percent.
Twenty-four percent of respondents said that the number one reason romance fizzles while on vacation is because a hotel doesn't meet expectations. Twenty-two percent said other people's noisy children are most to blame for dampening the mood. Parents, however, appear unfazed by the presence of children, as 72 percent indicated a trip with family can still be romantic.
Sometimes, love stinks--six percent of travelers said they have broken up with a significant other while on a trip.
Top 10 U.S. Bargain Romance Hotels
A romantic trip don't mean having to stay at a five-star resort - check out (or into) one of TripAdvisor's top 10 bargain romantic U.S. hotels.
- Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages, Holmes Beach, Florida, $199 average nightly rate
- Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, Utah, $159 average nightly rate
- Old Ranch Inn, Palm Springs, California, $134 average nightly rate
- Casa Malibu Inn on the Beach, Malibu, California, $159 average nightly rate
- Desert Pearl Inn, Springdale, Utah, $153 average nightly rate
- Inn at Sonoma, Sonoma, California, $197 average nightly rate
- Overleaf Lodge & Spa, Yachats, Oregon, $177 average nightly rate
- Lake Opechee Inn & Spa, Lakeport, New Hampshire, $199 average nightly rate
- Hotel Rehoboth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, $184 average nightly rate
- Island Bay Resort, Tavernier, Florida, $163 average nightly rate
"Whether it's two days or two weeks, taking a romantic trip is a great way to re-connect with someone special, and Valentine's Day, coupled with some outstanding travel deals, is just the excuse to whisk your loved one away for a while," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor.
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