Last updated: 12:00 AM ET, Tue August 30 2016

What Are Travelers' Biggest Stressors?

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | August 30, 2016

What Are Travelers' Biggest Stressors?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

There are countless stressors travelers encounter over the course of their journey, but most are in agreement that no common travel experience is more frustrating than a flight delay or cancellation.

That's according to a new survey of more than 2,100 global travelers conducted by Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council's GeoBranding Center in partnership with AIG Travel.

Trailing flight delays and cancellations (66.5 percent) among the most common frustrations are researching travel deals (38 percent) and illness or injury suffered while traveling (37.2 percent). Congestion and crowds (36.1 percent), airport security (28.2 percent) and luggage size restrictions (27.1 percent) are also among the most irritating causes of stress.

In the sky, seat-kicking passengers are travelers' biggest pet peeve, with 56.9 percent considering it their No. 1 trigger. Fellow passengers who recline their seats too far (33.6 percent), loud passengers (32.2 percent), crying babies (25.5 percent) and people who hog overhead bin space (24.5 percent) also comprise travelers' biggest airplane frustrations.

READ MORE: What Are Travelers' Biggest Pet Peeves?

When traveling with someone else, nearly half of travelers indicated that they have no issue with a travel companion, while nearly one-quarter said they have the most problems traveling with strangers.

Children (17.8 percent), bosses (16.2 percent) and extended family (14.2 percent) are also among the people travelers encounter problems with while taking a trip.

Top Destinations

Western Europe is the preferred destination among the world's travelers in 2016, according to the survey.

More than 28 percent of respondents singled out Western Europe as the top region to visit, including one-third of North Americans. Interestingly, only 29 percent of North Americans identified the U.S. as their favorite destination.

Among Western Europeans only 11.4 percent chose the U.S. as their preferred destination.

Trailing Western Europe and the U.S. are Asia Pacific and the Caribbean.

How Travelers Relieve Stress

Whether traveling to Western Europe or any other destination, a majority of travelers (50.2 percent) agree that planning ahead and researching through a trusted online source is the best way to reduce stress and anxiety surrounding travel.

READ MORE: Study Sheds Light on Travelers' Spontaneous Trip Habits

Purchasing travel insurance (27.1 percent), applying for rapid security clearance (20.1 percent), seeking guidance from experts (18.8 percent) and signing up for a premium lounge membership (14.6 percent) are also popular ways to relieve stress, according to the study.

While nearly 27 percent of global travelers rely on their family and friends for travel advice and tips, travel websites (46.7 percent), travel review sites (41.2 percen) and travel guide books (37.3 percent) are the most trusted sources of travel information.

What Do Travelers Want?

According to the survey, more than four in 10 travelers believe destinations can improve the travel experience by ensuring that tourism content is both accurate and up-to-date. Nearly the same amount believe destinations should clamp down on crime and panhandling.

READ MORE: This One Thing Bothers Hotel Guests More Than Anything Else

More than 38 percent of respondents said destinations should verify travel deals to ensure they're legitimate, while 33.5 percent believe they should provide recourse in case of an emergency.

What's more, nearly 70 percent of global travelers said they would find value in a VIP travel program if it provided special benefits and privileges, with the value depending on the type of benefits and privileges provided. 



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