A few weeks ago we asked you to share your thoughts about Drink Tea & Travel in our first Annual Reader Survey. We honestly didn’t know what to expect from the result. Would anyone even bother to fill out our questionnaire? (You did!) Would the feedback be mostly positive? (It was!)… or would we get bombarded with negative comments? (We didn’t!) *happy dance* 

It’s scary putting yourself out there for others to critique, but we are sooooo happy we did it! We learned a lot about what you love, what you don’t love, who you are, and what we can do better. Here is a brief summary of the results and steps that we’ll be taking over the next few months as a result of your feedback.

Taking a break in Yogyakarta. Java. Indonesia

The Stats

  • 70% of you are female and only 30% male. Not surprising since this is 100% in line with our analytics on the website and on our social media channels.
  • 48% of you are between 25-34, 20% are 44-54, 16% are 55 and older, and 11% are 18-24. We are a little bit surprised to see that quite a few of you belong to the Baby Boomers generation, but are so humbled to hear that our adventures inspire you and make you dream of more travel in your lives!
  • Almost 50% of you are from North America, 35% are from Europe, 7% are from Australia/New Zealand and the rest are scattered from all around the world. We are surprised that Australia/NZ are not better represented in the survey. According to our stats Australia/NZ readers actually represent a much bigger percentage, so we’ll assume that you just didn’t get a chance to take the survey or that you are lurking…that’s alright with us. We lurk sometimes too 😉
  • You guys travel sooo much! 50% of you travel 3-4 times a year, 30% travel twice a year and only 15% travel less than that! That’s awesome to hear!
  • When you travel, 60% of you get away for 1-2 weeks at a time, 18% manage to go away for 3-4 weeks at a time, and 11% travel for longer than 4 weeks at a time! We’ll be sure to keep this in mind when posting suggested itineraries for new countries we are exploring
  • Majority of you travel with your Significant Others (32%), with Family (30%) or with Friends (18%). We do have quite a few readers that also travel solo (18%), which is fantastic to see considering that Max and I both started off as solo travelers and we are huge proponents of exploring the world on your own!

Max & Oksana overlooking Rocky Mountains in Colorado. USA. Road Trip

  • Majority of you (70%) consider yourself flashpackers (willing to pay for some comfort), 20% travel on a budget and another 18% prefer luxury when they travel. While we consider ourselves budget travelers from time to time we too like a little bit of comfort (hello, hot water!), so we’ll definitely keep your travel style in mind when sharing accommodation suggestions for destinations that we visit.
  • When it comes to your favourite activities they are:
    • Outdoor Adventure activities >70%
    • Beaches and Sun >70%

    • Eating and Drinking >70%

    • Exploring urban cities >65%

We also have quite a few photography enthusiasts (over 40% of you), which is awesome to hear since we LOVE photography. We’ll take that into consideration and start sharing more photography tips/advice in future posts.

  • You have some awesome travel plans in the next 12-18 months!
    • 45% of you are planning to go somewhere in North America
    • 37% are planning to explore South and/or Central America (You can expect to see a ton of new South and Central America content on the blog over the next 6 months, as this is the part of the world we are currently exploring.)

    • 35% are headed to Australia and South East Asia (Awesome! We love that part of the world and have traveled there extensively over the last 3 years)

    • 33% are planning to head to Western Europe (Check out our City Guide section for guides to major European cities)

  • We were thrilled to see that while a number of you (13%) are new to the blog (Hi, welcome, we are so happy you have discovered us!), the majority (60%) have been following our adventures for 12 months of more. THANK YOU, your loyalty means the world to us!

Now onto the big things…

Likes/ Dislikes

The Likes

A lot of you have complimented us on the candidness of our writing. You said you like that we are always honest and that we don’t pretend to love every destination. You feel like we are easy to relate to and you love the personal feel of our stories. You love our City Guides Series, a lot of you like our photography, and many of you mentioned that Drink Tea & Travel inspires you and makes you dream about more travel.

Max & Oksana at Prambanam, Indonesia

This is honestly such amazing feedback! It’s music to our ears as it does reflect everything that we have worked hard on trying to achieve. Finding our voice was really tough and it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoy what we write and how we write it! We promise you more of that in the future!

The Dislikes

We were pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of dislikes. But one piece of feedback that came up a number of times was that you sometimes feel like we suggest things because we get money for them (i.e. hotels, activities, destinations mentioned in sponsored posts, etc).

Oksana at the Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

It’s not a secret that we don’t always pay for our own accommodation. Like this time when we stayed at the Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia

We wanted to take a minute to address that concern. We won’t deny it that from time to time we do partner with tourism boards, hotels, tour providers, and other companies. Sometimes they pay us to promote their products/services, other times, they invite us to experience their destinations/hotels/tours and ask us to share our experience with our readers. When that happens, we always add a disclaimer to the posts to let you know that certain product/service was provided to us free of charge, but we always remind you that our opinions are always our own no matter who is footing the bill.

When we don’t like something, you hear about it (like you did after that time I sailed to the Bahamas on board the Norwegian Escape). When we love something, we rave about it (like that time we went diving with Uber Scuba Team in Komodo National Park) and we never accept invitations to do anything, try anything, or visit anywhere that’s not of interest to us. We just can’t bring ourselves to do something we don’t enjoy and we refuse a lot of offers from advertisers we don’t agree with or ones whose products/services we wouldn’t recommend to our friends and family (regardless of whether someone is paying us for it or not).

So rest assured that when we recommend something, we truly do mean it!

The Changes

We loved reading your suggestions about things we could do to make Drink Tea & Travel even better. Here are the top ones that we saw repeated in your responses over and over again.

You want more:

  • Posts highlighting budgets for various countries – you love reading our money saving tips!
  • Post about tea – turns out over 80% of you also love tea
  • Variety – you get bored when we focus on a particular destination that you are not interested in
  • Articles about photography – not surprising since we discovered that many of you love taking photos when you travel
  • Recommendations based on our experience: restaurants, hotels, shops, gear, clothes, etc. You want to hear what we love!
  • Emails with latest posts, because sometimes you forget to check the blog for new content and you don’t want to miss anything
  • And finally… more video content!

Consider it all done! We’ll gladly share more budget articles with you, write more posts about tea, and about photography. We’ll try our best to give you a wider variety of posts. We’ll try focus not only on the countries we are currently exploring, but also share tips and advice about countries we visited in previous years. Now that we know where you are going in the next year, it’s easier for us to write about destinations that are more relevant to you.

Max & Oksana working on laptops in Inle Lake, Myanmar.

And as per your suggestions, new posts will now be sent out to you weekly in our updated weekly newsletter along with the usual updates from the road and our little weekly ramblings!

If you don’t subscribe to our newsletter yet, there is no better time to join thousands of other readers than now. Click here to subscribe!

And finally, a word on more video content… It’s finally coming! Seeing that over 70% of you are interested in seeing more video content from us, we’ve decided that it’s finally time for us to put more time and effort into videos! So we are excited to announce that starting in July, we’ll be posting weekly videos showing you the highlights of our adventures on the road. We’ll be sharing them on Youtube, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss an episode, head over to our channel and subscribe to our channel up now.

Thank you once again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us in this year’s Reader Survey! We hope you are just as excited about the changes as we are!

Didn’t get a chance to contribute to this survey? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!