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Survey: Majority of U.S. travelers dine out 10-plus times on vacation

Survey: Majority of U.S. travelers dine out 10-plus times on vacation

Travel website TripAdvisor has released results from its dining out survey of more than 1,600 U.S. respondents, revealing that more than half (52 percent) eat out 10 or more times during a typical one week trip.

Of those, 83 percent making it a point to experience a destination's signature dish.

Provincial tastes

Nineteen percent of respondents have taken a vacation specifically to experience the regional cuisine. In general, while on vacation one quarter of respondents said American cuisine is their top choice. The top five favorite types of cuisine are:

  • American, 25 percent;
  • Italian, 19 percent;
  • Mediterranean, 7 percent;
  • Mexican, 7 percent; and
  • French, 4 percent.

When seeking out desired cuisine, travelers usually read online reviews (77 percent). Sixty-six percent ask local residents where to eat, while 56 percent ask the hotel staff/concierge. Forty-four percent ask family or friends.

Craving local

Locally-grown or sourced food at a restaurant is important for exactly half of those surveyed. Seventy-seven percent say they prefer to dine out at independent establishments rather than chain restaurants.

While 67 percent said they usually indulge in less healthy food options on vacation, less than 1 percent choose quick-service food. The top five favorite types of restaurant settings on vacation are:

  • Casual dining, 26 percent;
  • Waterfront, 20 percent;
  • Bistros or cafes, 18 percent;
  • Al fresco, 13 percent; and
  • Fine dining, 11 percent.

"Dining out is a significant part of the trip experience and a way for travelers to experience local culture and flavor," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor. "Vacation is a time for travelers to indulge and that often means relaxing some of our dietary inhibitions."

When asked what annoys them most about a dining experience, 56 percent noted slow or poor service. Twenty-two percent said nothing annoys them about dining out when on vacation.

Finally, deals are important to travelers, as 55 percent said discounts can sway their decision about where to dine. When eating out, 61 percent usually eat at restaurants that are $10 to $25 per person, 29 percent choose $25 to $40 spots, and 6 percent opt for establishments that cost $40 or more per person.

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