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Gender Differences in Expat Destination Satisfaction

argument-238529_1280They say that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. However never are the between men and women more noticeable than when applied to travelling.

As outlined last month, women are far more likely to worry about travel, for example, while men are more likely to “cut loose” and roll with the punches. Women, for example, are 18% more likely to worry about having forgotten something than men. 20% of men claim they don’t worry about a thing before going on holiday; for women this figure is just 9%.

But it’s not just the physical act of travelling that can divide the sexes; it seems that men and women can even disagree about which countries are best when it comes to expat destinations.

Thanks to a new survey we can now examine the differences, and consider why it is that men and women have different preferences when it comes to expat destinations.

As outlined previously, Ecuador was recently voted the best expat destination; on this both men and women can agree. However it’s further down the rankings that the “battle of the sexes” begins to become more apparent.

Mexico, ranked number two overall, actually comes in at only position nine when only female responses are considered. But how so? The data suggests that women struggle more to settle into life in Mexico and are less impressed by the opportunities to socialize.

Perhaps more interesting to consider is New Zealand, which ranks number six overall. However it seems that as with Mexico, male respondents are far more enamoured with the country than female expats are.

Among men, New Zealand ranks as the third most popular expat destination, while the scores from female expats rank it at a less-than-impressive position fourteen. It seems that socializing and leisure facilities in New Zealand are considered below-par among the ladies, and that women find it harder to settle in than men.

But if men tend to have far more positive feelings than women over living in either Mexico or New Zealand, the question is where these results flip around? Which countries do women tend to rank more highly than men?

The first of these is Thailand, which ranks third for women but a lowly position thirteen for men. Here women seem to find it easier to integrate into Thai society, believe Thai nationals are friendly and enjoy the culture of Thailand.

There are also stark differences between how satisfied men and women are with their expat jobs. For example women tend to rank both the UK and Hong Kong far more highly than men, enjoying a better work:life balance, career prospects and job security. Women generally work shorter hours than men in these countries, and are more likely to land part-time work allowing them to spend time with their family.

The over-riding message is this; just because a country ranks highly for expats, if you plan to travel abroad with your significant other it can be wise to consider a broad range of factors, do thorough research, and aim to find a destination that both you and your significant other can be happy with.

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