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AARP Research: 85% of Americans 45+ Have Not Had a Romantic Getaway in the Past Two Years

This Valentine’s Day, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and AARP Suggest Couples Invest in their Relationship with the Gift of Romantic Travel

 AARP Travel (http://travel.aarp.org), a valuable resource for America’s 76 million baby boomers who spend over $120 billion annually in leisure travel, today announced new research related to Romantic Travel. AARP research found that those 45+ who have enjoyed a romantic getaway in the last two years find these trips a valuable way to reconnect and simply enjoy time together. However, only 15% of those 45+ that travel for leisure have gone on a romantic getaway in the past two years.

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For the 15 percent who do travel on romantic getaways, they claim that taking a trip with their significant other is more about time alone together or sharing a special experience, than about sex. Research also found that once you go on a romantic getaway, you’re more inclined to book another trip in the near future; of those who went on a romantic getaway, an overwhelming 98 percent liked it and 95 percent said they would do it again within a year.

“Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity for couples to reinvigorate their relationship with a romantic getaway,” said Dr. Pepper Schwartz, AARP Love and Relationships Ambassador and co-author of the newly released Places for Passion. “Getting away for just a weekend to dine out, learn something new, or relax on a beach can help foster a stronger bond in a relationship. My new book, Places for Passion, lists 75 destinations across the world to help us sustain the romance in our lives.”

AARP Travel (http://www.aarp.org/romantictravel) includes information about most of those destinations on the website, which can be a valuable tool for couples looking to enhance their relationship this Valentine’s Day weekend. AARP Travel has been leading the field of travel for people 50 or older and their families since 1958 and identifies emerging trends that influence how people 45+ dream, plan, book and enjoy vacations. Americans 45+ say Romantic Travel is about traveling with a significant other (52 percent), being alone with their spouse (30 percent), indulging in fine dining (16 percent) and experiencing luxury accommodations (13 percent).

“Our research found that if money were no object, couples would ideally take as many as four romantic getaways every year,” said Stephanie Miles, Vice President, Member Value, AARP. “Couples appreciate the time to disconnect from the world and reconnect with each other, but find that day-to-day commitments and lack of resources make it difficult to get away.”

Key factors that make a getaway romantic include:

  • Quality time together
  • Accommodations
  • The destination
  • Sharing activities
  • Anticipation of the trip

While a variety of things can set the mood for romance, spending time together in a beautiful place appears to be the winning formula for respondents. Some of the popular aspects of recent Romantic Getaways included:

  • 72 percent of domestic romantic travelers drove to their destination
  • 36 percent of respondents traveled to a city, while 29 percent went to a beach
  • 34 percent made the getaway a weekend trip
  • The majority chose destinations more than 100 miles away from the couple’s home

Married couples are more likely to be inspired to take a romantic getaway to celebrate an anniversary or other milestone event; however AARP’s recent research also revealed some factors that inhibit couples from taking a romantic trip, including day-to-day commitments (work, personal, or responsibilities with kids) and cost. Travelers can find inspiration, pre-crafted itineraries, booking tools and expert tips on the AARP Travel website (http://travel.aarp.org) to make the planning process simpler. AARP Travel’s Trip Finder tool features exciting destinations around the world and identifies some discounts.

AARP Travel’s range of travel tools and features include:

  • Weekend Getaways — travelers can find weekend trips tailored to their interests, along with customized itineraries for trips that are 3 hours away or less from your current location;
  • Trip Finder — a fun, smart and visual series of questions to deliver ideas and recommendations for destinations — including some unexpected ones;
  • Map Explorer — a detailed street-level interactive map that includes attractions, restaurants, hotels, local color and reviews for each destination;
  • My Trips — a personal page where users can save and organize trip ideas, itineraries and related articles in one place and add to or edit them over multiple visits; and
  • Book Trips booking tools provided through AARP’s relationships with Expedia and Liberty Travel and directly to hotels, and rental cars.

Most romantic trips usually last less than a week and have an average cost of $2,353, majority of which is spent on accommodations. Research shows the top romantic accommodations include:

  • Hotels (51 percent)
  • Resorts (26 percent)
  • Bed and Breakfast (8 percent)
  • Cruise cabins (7 percent)

The majority of romantic getaways occur within the U.S. with travelers gravitating towards “big cities” and popular “entertainment” locations, as opposed to one specific location. Among those who decide to travel abroad, the top destinations include:

  • Caribbean/South America (63 percent)
  • Europe (30 percent)
  • Mexico (22 percent)

Whether their Romantic Getaway occurred in the past two years or is being planned for next year, couples’ attitudes and behaviors toward the trip are the same;

  • The accommodations are very important to setting the mood; it’s about the property overall and a beautiful view
  • Some (40 percent) will bring special clothing and/or wine and champagne to help set the mood
  • The majority (75 percent) say work is “off limits” on their trip and electronics are frequently cited as off-limits.

For the full report on AARP Romantic Travel research, visit aarp.org/romantictravelresearch.

Here’s a tweet if you would like to share these new insights with your friends and family planning a romantic travel vacation: #valentinesdayiscoming! @AARP research finds 85% of Americans 45+ have not had a romantic getaway in 2 years: http://bit.ly/1C84mqn

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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