vacation travel

(Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels)

NEW YORK — Do you hate coming back to a dirty home after a fun getaway? Does that scuff on your favorite suitcase send you over the edge? You’re not alone. In fact, three in four Americans say they absolutely have to clean their home before leaving on a summer vacation.

A new survey of 2,000 U.S. travelers took a look at everyone’s pre-vacation habits ahead of the busy summer travel season. One thing is clear: it’s important to prioritize cleaning the house before leaving — as more than 75% of respondents prefer to scrub their entire home before heading out. In fact, the average respondent starts preparing for their trip over two weeks in advance. Before traveling, people tend to focus their cleaning on laundry (77%), dishes (66%), the bathroom (58%), and sweeping and mopping (56%).

Commissioned by Mr. Clean for the launch of their new Ultra line of Magic Erasers, and conducted by Talker Research, the study found 66% are so excited about their upcoming travel that it motivates them to clean up before they leave. While the anticipation of an upcoming trip can be a great motivator for people to knock out their cleaning tasks, it can also be a stressor for summer travelers. Over half the poll (51%) “dread” the thought of having to clean when they come home from a long vacation.

“Cleaning before a vacation helps me relax and enjoy it even more knowing I can return to a clean home,” says Lydia Joo, brand director at Mr. Clean, in a statement. “But we’re busy, especially leading up to a vacation, so that’s why it’s important to have a multi-purpose cleaner that can help easily tackle the tough messes throughout your home and beyond.”

neat freak cleaning table
Over half the poll (51%) “dread” the thought of having to clean when they come home from a long vacation. (©PRPicturesProduction -stock.adobe.com)

In addition to cleaning their homes, travelers also take the time to clean their most-used travel items, like luggage (40%). On average, Americans brought their luggage on seven trips, and as many as 26% of respondents cleaned their luggage in the past week alone.

Getting these items in shape is important, as many have felt “embarrassed” on vacation because some items they brought look old or worn out, including their clothes (20%), shoes (19%), and luggage (18%). No wonder so many destinations sell brand-new suitcases to travelers!

To avoid this, as many as 55% of travelers call it a “high priority” to check the state of these items well before they embark on their trip. Though respondents make sure to clean their luggage (40%) and travel bags (39%) before their trip, the survey finds even more travelers only clean them after they return home.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who travel was commissioned by Mr. Clean between Apr. 30 and May 6, 2024. It was conducted by market research company Talker Research, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society (MRS) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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