This post originally appeared on Best Western’s YouMustBeTrippin.com’s blog, where I regularly contribute stories. I was compensated for this post but the opinions are mine.
My wife, Angela Sustaita-Ruiz, is a lifelong travel aficionado who once dreamed of joining the Foreign Service. I have always been a travel buff, but you might say I met my match – and then some – when I met Angela, as she has traveled to most of the world’s continents and even served temporarily as an English teacher in Thailand.
Recently I sat down with her to ask for her reaction to Best Western’s survey of U.S. Latinas and their travel habits, in comparison to their general market counterparts. Here are some of her thoughts on the survey, which highlights the power of Latinas within the hospitality and travel industry:
- When considering a family vacation, U.S. Latinas with children generally prefer to vacation solely with their immediate family, and 68 percent put their children’s needs before their own Angela strongly agrees with this majority, but this is not difficult because it truly gives her joy to see her kids enjoy their vacation.
- As the co-owner of DiMe Media, Angela works extremely hard throughout the year, so vacation time is sacred. In terms of taking paid time off from work, she uses all the time she can get. Unfortunately the survey results reveal this isn’t the case for most Latinas, with only 27 percent claiming to take all or most of their vacation time.
- As you might expect from someone who makes a living from constantly being connected to social media, Angela is an avid user of social media during her vacations. Her favorite platform is Instagram, closely followed by Facebook. And the popularity of selfies among the Latina market – 78 percent report reaching for the selfie stick – rings true for her, as well. However, when she takes selfies, she prefers to involve her family and/or very famous backdrops.
- In the same vein, she is very connected via mobile. Two of the most sacred items she cannot live without on a trip are her mobile phone and WiFi connection. This rings true with the Latinas surveyed, who would rather pay for hotel WiFi than checked luggage. Although I think we can all agree the best vacations include both amenities at no charge.
- In terms of safety, Angela is rarely concerned about her safety or having items stolen from her room because she does her homework! Like 40 percent of survey participants who use TripAdvisor to gain peace of mind before booking, she scouts hotels in all the cities she visits for safety and other amenities. On more than one occasion she has been known to abruptly leave a hotel that she has found less than safe or clean.
All in all, Angela saw a lot of similarities with herself and the general consensus of U.S. Latinas surveyed – namely that she puts her family’s needs before her own and loves to stay social and mobile connected no matter where she is!