IgoUgo Defines the Difference between a Welcome Guest and a
"Travel Mooch;" Offers Tips for Politely Sponging off Family and
Friends on Your Next Vacation
NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
With travel costs a big concern this summer, many travelers will
opt to skip the hotel as a sure-fire way to save money when visiting
family or friends. But some will take cost savings to the extreme and
let who they know dictate where they go - so they can vacation for
In a poll released this week by IgoUgo.com, one of the most
popular travel communities in the world, 57 percent of respondents
said they would consider staying with family or friends on vacation,
and 55 percent said in the past, they have vacationed somewhere solely
because they had family or friends who could provide free
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But the poll also revealed that not all vacationing houseguests
are the same. While the majority of houseguests (75 percent) say they
enjoy spending time with their hosts, 25 percent appear to be
motivated primarily by convenience and savings - they don't include
the enjoyment of their hosts' company in a list of top reasons for
staying with them at all.
The editors of IgoUgo have coined the term "travel mooch" to
describe those 25 percent of dreaded houseguests who tend to push the
limits of couch-surfing etiquette. If you've ever hosted vacationing
friends, you've probably known one; if you've ever stayed with friends
or family on vacation, you may be one.
"The summer travel season is here, and many of us will be staying
with family or friends at some point in the coming months," said
Cameron Siewert, content and community manager at IgoUgo.com. "The
trick is to be a welcomed guest and not an inconsiderate mooch - after
all, the ultimate goal is to get invited back!"
Other characteristics of a true travel mooch:
-- 65 percent are first and foremost motivated by saving money.
-- They're unable to afford the trip otherwise: 39 percent cited
this as a motivation.
-- They stick around awhile: 25 percent stay for more than a
-- They're not traveling alone: 83 percent bring at least one
-- Many stay with friends they're meeting for the first time: 23
percent of poll respondents said they have or would.
-- Some stay with friends they meet on the Internet: 15 percent
of poll respondents said they have or would.
The good news about travel mooches, according to the poll, is that
they expect fewer basic hospitalities like linens, groceries and
airport transportation; the bad news is that they're also less likely
to offer such hospitalities to their own guests. And significantly
fewer mooches enjoy having vacationing guests in their own homes; 8
percent don't even allow guests to stay.
Besides saving money, what motivates a travel mooch to stay in
touch with friends in great destinations? According to the poll, they
do value the friendships they cultivate in the process, but they're
significantly more likely than guests to have practical - or even
ulterior - motives. Access to local knowledge (43 percent) and having
a place to stay (32 percent) are the main reasons given.
"There's something to be said for staying with a local on your
vacation - not only will you save money, but you'll likely get the
inside scoop on the coolest things to do and see," said Siewert. "But
your host should feel that you value spending time with them - not
that you're simply taking advantage of a free place to crash."
Afraid you've crossed the line into mooching territory? IgoUgo
editors will help you keep your travel tactics aboveboard with their
Ten Commandments of Couch Crashing:
1. Thou shalt give thy host plenty of advance notice. Don't be the
person who calls asking for a place to crash the next day--or even the
next week. At least a month in advance is a good rule of thumb.
2. Thou shalt not bring an assortment of friends and pets. If
you're single and traveling with a companion, ask your host for
permission to bring him or her along. And if you've got multiple
people or animals in tow, step back and put yourself in your hosts'
shoes before you even ask.
3. Thou shalt not take hospitalities for granted. Be considerate
and double-check with your host about what you should bring. Don't
just assume that towels, sheets, pillows and toiletries will be
4. Thou shalt put the convenience of thy host above all else. You
adhere to check-in and check-out times when you stay in hotels. Keep
that frame of mind when staying with friends and family: be sure
you're arriving and departing at times that are convenient for them.
And unless they offer a ride, make your own arrangements for
transportation to and from their home.
5. Thou shalt exercise common decency. Don't bring new friends
back to your hosts' home. If your hosts drive you places, pay for a
tank of gas. Wash your dishes. Take out the trash. Pay for your own
groceries... you get the picture.
For the rest of the tips or to post a comment, visit IgoUgo.com's
travel blog at: www.igougo.com/travel_blog
This poll was conducted from April 22 - April 28, 2008 with a
total of 1,376 respondents. An email invitation to participate was
sent to subscribers of IgoUgo.com's "Contests and Promotions" emails.
To view complete poll results, please go towww.igougo.com/travelmooching
IgoUgo is one of the most popular online travel communities in the
world. Its 350,000 members--world-seasoned and passionate
travelers--share firsthand travel experiences, advice, and photos,
with candid tips and inspiring stories covering more than 5,500 global
destinations. Site users can search by keyword to find reviews by
like-minded travelers, as well as destination guides and helpful
links. Members can easily contact one another to ask questions,
exchange information, and build friendships without geographic bounds.
In return for writing reviews, IgoUgo members accrue valuable points
redeemable for gift certificates and frequent-flyer miles. IgoUgo has
garnered top industry honors, including being named one of Forbes'
"Best Travel Sites" in 2006, a Webby Award for "Best Travel Site in
the U.S.," a "Top Travel Site" ranking from USA Today, and "Best
Travel Community" and "Top Travel Site" commendations from Yahoo
Jill Harrison, 682-605-5716
Jill.harrison AT travelocity.com
Julia Weede, 212-715-2222
julia AT volmerpr.comTravel Mooch