Weekend Poll Results: Assistants Love to Travel

With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … Will you travel and explore the globe this year?

Before getting to the results, I’d like to thank readers for your patience. I incurred a little injury last week that kept me from using the keyboard any more than absolutely necessary. Now well on the mend, I’m happy to bring you these highlights – albeit a week later than originally intended!

More than 90% of respondents are planning to travel this year

… and 17% of you have already made your first trip of the year. 25% of respondents are planning to travel domestically, 19% are focusing on international travel – and 56% of you will travel both domestically and internationally.

Assistants are travelling for both business and pleasure 

Just under a third of you will travel solely for personal reasons, while 17% will travel for both personal and professional development purposes. For one out of every 10 readers, your 2018 travel will revolve solely around professional development or conferences.

What’s your  budget?

For 27% of you, your 2018 travel budget will top $10,000 in US dollars. That’s consistent with readers’ reports on your 2017 travel spending. 30% plan to spend between $5,000-$10,000, and yet another 30% will spend between $2,500-$5,000 US.

Assistants travel for adventure, relaxation and professional development

In fact, these three travel categories tied for first place as the factors most influencing your choice of destination – and they were closely followed by a three-way tie for second place.

I’m unsurprised that professional development and conference travel influence readers’ decisions. I’ve already committed to speaking at four conferences and events this year, so perhaps I’ll see some of you at events such as Executive Secretary LIVE in London, the Scottish PA Network’s Spring Showcase in Edinburgh, or APC’s 19th Annual Administrative Conference in Toronto.

Once you know your destination, what influences the rest of your planning for the trip?

Here we had another tie. The vast majority of you rely on either reviews from a trusted source, or recommendations from friends, family and peers. Only 6% of you cited advertising and promotion as influential in planning the details such as where to stay and what you’ll do while away.



Have you made plans for personal travel in 2018?

  • Yes: 47.5% of respondents, including the 2% who offered comments.
  • Yes, and I’ve already done some travel: 17% of respondents
  • No, but I will be travelling for business/conference purposes: 14% of respondents
  • Not yet, but we will: 12% of respondents
  • No: 9.5% of respondents
  • One respondent selected “Other” and noted, “I planned for 1 or 2 marathons and will plan a leisure one, too”.


Will you travel domestically, or internationally?

  • Both: 56% of respondents
  • Domestically: 25% of respondents
  • Internationally: 19% of respondents


Budget aside, what single factor most influences your choice of destination?

  • 16% of respondents: Adventure
  • 16% of respondents: Relaxation – capacity to decompress in such locale(s)
  • 16% of respondents: Professional development – conference, networking opportunities (This includes the reader who commented, “working a vacation around a professional development conference”)
  • 14% of respondents: Climate/weather
  • 14% of respondents: Family/friends
  • 14% of respondents: Fulfilling “bucket list”/seeing sights that have long been of interest
  • 4% of respondents: Arts/culture
  • 4% of respondents: Travel logistics – time available/ease of connections, etc.
  • 2% of respondents: Sense of safety


Expressed in US dollars, how much do you estimate your household spent on travel in 2017?

  • None: 0% of respondents
  • Less than $1,000 US : 10% of respondents
  • $1,001 – $2,500 US: 3.5% of respondents
  • $2,501 – $5,000 US: 38% of respondents
  • $5,001 – $10,000 US: 21% of respondents
  • $10,001 -$15,000 US: 14% of respondents
  • $15,001 – $20,000: 10% of respondents
  • More than $20,000 US: 3.5% of respondents


Expressed in US dollars, how much do you estimate your household will spend on travel in 2018?

  • None: 0% of respondents
  • Less than $1,000 US : 13% of respondents
  • $1,001 – $2,500 US: 0% of respondents
  • $2,501 – $5,000 US: 30% of respondents
  • $5,001 – $10,000 US: 30% of respondents
  • $10,001 -$15,000 US: 17% of respondents
  • $15,001 – $20,000: 7% of respondents
  • More than $20,000 US: 3% of respondents


Which of the following is most likely to influence your travel planning?

  • Reviews from a trusted source: 42% of respondents
  • Recommendations from friends, family, peers: 42% of respondents
  • Advertising/promotion: 6% of respondents
  • 9% of respondents selected “Other”.  These readers offered comments related to budget, and “Going to places on my ‘some day I want to go there’ list”.


I asked readers to name locales you plan to visit this year. Are you ready for the list? 

  • By country/region: Australia, Canada, Canary Islands, Caribbean, China, England, Fiji, France, Gambia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Pacific Northwest, Peru, Portugal, Samoa,  Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Tahiti, The Netherlands, UK, US Virgin Islands, USA – with specific mentions of Alaska, California, Oregon and Texas
  • By city/beach: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Austin, Barbados, Barcelona, Cape Town, Corfu, Denver, Florence, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Houston, Johannesburg, local beach, London, Mallorca, Mumbai, New York City, Paris, Pittsburgh, Savannah, Seattle, St. John, Tahoe, Toronto, Valencia, Victo


How many different countries have you visited to date?

  • 1 country: 3.53% of respondents
  • 2 – 5 countries: 10% of respondents
  • 6 – 10 countries: 31% of respondents
  • 11 – 15 countries: 28% of respondents
  • 16 – 20 countries: 3.53% of respondents
  • 21 – 25 countries: 14% of respondents
  • 26 – 30 countries: 3.53% of respondents
  • 31 – 40 countries: 0% of respondents
  • 41+ countries: 7% of respondents


Let’s dream big. Please select “Other” and name three locales you would visit if time and money were no object.

  • the Arctic, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bora Bora, Cape Horn, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean, Cook Islands, Dubai, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Greece, Hawaii, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Maldives, Man Island, Necker Island,  Nepal, New England, New Zealand, New York, Pacific Ocean, Russia, Serengeti, South Africa (with mentions of safaris), South America, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam


Please describe the nature of travel you’ll undertake this year.

  • Personal travel: 31.5% of respondents
  • Personal, business and professional development (some of each/”all the above”): 23% of respondents
  • Personal and professional development travel: 17% of respondents
  • Personal and business travel: 14% of respondents
  • Professional Development / conference(s): 11.5% of respondents
  • Business; meetings on behalf of my employer: 3% of respondents

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