Princess’ own Essential Experiences blog also offered travelers inspiration for their bucket lists, with most respondents eager to try dog sledding on an Alaskan glacier or to plan a visit to the “lost city of the Incas,” Machu Picchu, in Peru.
“Most people have a travel bucket list,” said Princess executive vice president, Jan Swartz, “and with New Year’s resolutions top-of-mind right now, we wanted to learn which destinations and experiences our fans are most excited about this year.”
Domestic vs. International Travel
Surprisingly, more than one-fourth of consumers chose a U.S. destination over an exotic international location, citing Alaska as their first choice. The Caribbean (15%) and Europe (14%) also made many people’s lists this year, with fewer folks choosing Hawaii (8%); Panama Canal (7%); Africa (5%); Australia (5%); Amazon (4%); Asia (2%); Canada/New England (2%); Mexican Riviera (2%); New Zealand (2%); South America (2%), and India (1%).
Ultimate Travel Bucket List Experience
Alaska was also popular for future bucket list experiences. Seventeen percent of respondents chose dog mushing on an Alaskan glacier as their top pick inspired by a growing list of essential experiences shared by destination experts on Princess’ recently launched blog, 50 Essential Experiences:The Travel Bucket List.
Equally inspiring was the dream of discovering the lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru, which also got 17% of the vote, as did visiting historic castles in Scotland (17%). Other travelers selected climbing the cliffs of Santorini, Greece (14%); traveling the golden circle in Iceland (7%); exploring the ancient city of Petra, Jordan (7%); journeying to Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (7%); visiting Vietnam (6%); bobsledding in Jamaica (5%); and visiting art deco treasures in Napier, New Zealand (4%) for their bucket lists.
Most Desired Travel Companions
Spouses and significant others won the popularity contest for most desired travel companions in 2011, with 68% of respondents planning to take along their “other half.” The next most common co-travelers are good friends (15%); while kids garnered only 6% of the vote as did extended family groups. Only a few people resolved to travel with their siblings (3%) and parents (2%) this year.
Now this is just weird. People want to go to Alaska, yet no one picked Sarah Palin to show them around! If they could choose a celebrity instead of their spouse, most travelers want to pack their bags with Oprah, who outranked 11 other notable figures as the most desired celebrity travel companion with 19% of the vote. Other famous folks that travelers wanted to take along included Jack Black (17%); Tina Fey (14%); Bono (12%); Heidi Klum (10%); Mario Batali (8%); Michelle Obama (6%); and Peyton Manning (5%). However, future princess Kate Middleton only received 3% of the vote and surprisingly few people chose Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (2%). Teen sensation Justin Bieber (1%) and Mike ‘The Situation’ from reality show “Jersey Shore” (1%) were the least popular choices.
Despite the adventurous nature of many of their favorite destinations, what Princess fans really want on vacation is relaxation. Nearly 50% of respondents chose this as an essential component to culling a travel bucket list, followed by adventure (19%); entertainment (17%); culture (12%); and romance (12%).
If your plans include an Alaska cruise in 2011, Cruise Diva suggests the beautiful, all-color guidebook, Fodor’s Alaska Ports of Call 2011. The Honolulu Advertiser says Fodor’s guides are “Widely recognized as the gold standard of mainstream travel.”
Photo: Glacier Bay © CruiseDiva.com