The Mindful Survey: Time to Get Away!

Ever waded through a field of sea iguanas or used a garbage truck as a taxi? Our readers call this a vacation.

Illustration by Mindful Staff

What’s your ideal vacation?

35% Prefer to explore new cultures by getting to know locals, and 19% just want to lounge on the beach with unlimited food and drink. 11% choose the best of both worlds, exploring new cultures while staying at a fancy hotel. 8% like to trek through mountains with only a backpack. 3% opt for the staycation, complete with PJs, TV, blankets, and snacks. So many great options!

Where do you go when you eat out on vacation?

84% Eat at where the locals eat, while 9% seek out fine dining whenever possible. 3% opt for an all-inclusive resort so they don’t have to think about it, 2% look for a recognizable chain restaurant, and 2% go the adventurous route, grabbing something from a street cart.

What continent do you spend most vacations on?

graphic: map of where people spend most of their vacation time

What’s one lesson you’ve learned about vacations from your personal experience?

• “No vacation is perfect. Vacation disasters make wonderful stories about grit and survival.”

• “Party all the time.”

• “Never stick to a plan. Be flexible—the most wonderful things can happen.”

• “99% of the people you encounter  are kind, friendly, and ready to help.”

• “I won’t necessarily be more rested upon my return.”


How many bags do you pack when you go on vacation?

52% Pack light, but ready for anything, with two bags. 36% go for three bags, packing a few extra items just in case. 9% choose the way of the backpacker, bringing just one bag, and 3% pack four or more, so they have all their stuff with them—useful if you fall in love with your vacation destination and decide never to return home.

After 5 years of NO vacation I went on a cruise and spent the first 48 hours in shock. Oh, what I’d been missing! Mindful helped me get back in touch with myself!”

How many vacations do you take per year?

Average 2.3

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you on vacation?

• “Finding a pile of acorns and nuts in my bed. I was in Yosemite and the squirrels apparently thought it was a good storage place :-).”

• “Walking through a field of sea iguanas.”

• “After being robbed at gunpoint in Mexico, the robbers gave me just enough money to get back to the US.”

• “My six-year-old son discovering the bidet in Japan.”

• “Being picked up by a garbage truck on a Sunday because the mass transit was not running.”

• “You don’t want to know.”