While traveling, the French seek out restaurants, while the English head for sunnier shores

Almost three-quarters of French travelers (72%) expect new culinary experiences when vacationing

What are the main differences between the French and English when choosing a travel destination? Eurostar attempted to answer this conundrum, and ended up confirming well-trodden stereotypes in its study, which was published on Wednesday, October 9. 

The French are known as inveterate gourmands, while the British have a reputation for loving to lounge in the sun. Old clichés die hard, and Eurostar's study confirm them, with over 72% of French respondents claiming to prefer discovering new cuisines while visiting a new region or country, while only 42% of Brits claim to have the same preference.

Twenty-four percent of the latter even admit to bringing their own food along when traveling abroad. Eating tasty food is key to successful holidays for the French, as 35% of them do their homework and seek out the best restaurants before setting out. 

On the English side of the Channel, 45% of respondents claimed to seek out to sunnier vistas, with an unsurprising 39% of them choosing familiar destinations. The French, for their part, are more curious, with 20% taking advantage of a trip to take in an exhibition, while only 11% of Brits add cultural outings to their vacation itinerary. Conversely, 32% of the French claim to avoid tourist traps like the plague, versus 15% of the English.

Curiosity is also expressed in an effort to interact with the locals: 69% of the French claim to engage in conversation with the local population, while 51% of the English have responded to the idea of learning the language of their destination with a resounding "nein."

The study conducted by Atomik Research surveyed 5,015 individuals 18 and over in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, between September 12 and 16, 2019.