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While Kids Are Away, Parents Play: RetailMeNot Survey Finds Parents Likely to Travel, Spend Time With Friends and Pamper Themselves Once Kids Leave for School
Nearly 3 in 4 parents (74%) indicate that their habits would change if their child were going away to school this year
- 72% of parents would make a major change within six months of their child leaving for school
- American parents are less likely than parents in the U.K. or Germany to turn their child's bedroom into something else when they move

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- RetailMeNot (, a leading digital offers destination that helps consumers save money, today announced the latest edition of its Shoppers Trend Report, which found that parents aren't wasting time in moving on with their lives after their kids leave the nest.

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As parents prepare to send their kids away to college for the first time, they'll likely experience a range of emotions once the boxes are packed and the house is left quiet. But the survey found that after the tears go away, parents are just as ready as their kids to start a new chapter in life. In fact, nearly 3 in 4 parents (74%) surveyed indicated they would do things differently once their kids leave the house, with traveling (42%), spending time with friends (37%) and pampering themselves (33%) topping the list of changes.

"After years of prioritizing the wants and needs of their children, many parents find that they have more time and energy to focus on themselves once their kids leave the house for school," says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. "The sad irony is that parents often have more time at this stage in life, but their finances may be too strained from education costs to enjoy their newfound freedom. Utilizing savings tools is a good way to free up funds for splurges."

Parents quick to move on

Parents aren't just turning to leisure activities to cope with their empty nest syndrome. According to the survey, conducted in conjunction with The Omnibus Company (, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) parents who say they would do things differently when their child left for school admit they'd make a major change such as moving, buying a TV or car, traveling or renovating their current home if their child were going away to school.

And, parents don't wait long to carry out these plans—nearly 3 in 4 (72%) respondents who plan to make a major change indicate they would do it within six months of their child leaving for school.

Additionally, moms and dads react differently when their kids go away. The survey found that females are more likely to spend time with friends and pamper themselves, while males are more likely to buy material items after their children leave for school.

  • More females than males would pamper themselves (40% vs. 24%)
  • More males than females would buy a new TV (20% vs. 4%) or move to a new home (13% vs. 5%)

American students will be happy to know that contrary to what's often depicted in young adult dramas, the survey indicated that only 13% of parents would turn their kids' bedrooms into something else, like a gym or office, when they leave the house. However, according to similar surveys conducted by in the United Kingdom and in Germany, this practice is more common in other countries.

  • Almost 2 in 3 (66%) parents in the U.K. either have turned their child's bedroom into something else or would consider it if their children moved away
  • Half (50%) of parents in Germany would turn their child's bedroom into something else when they leave

To save on textbooks, dorm decor and other college essentials, visit or check out the latest back-to-school stories on The Real Deal.

For parents looking to splurge on electronics, their home, new furniture, travel and more, visit

Report Methodologies

The U.S. surveys were conducted between June 11 and June 17 and July 1 and July 8, 2014, among 1,023 and 1,008 U.S. residents Americans ages 18 and over, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In these particular studies, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.

The survey was conducted between July 3 and July 21, 2014, with 2000 British parents together with One Poll.

The survey was conducted in July 2014 with 500 German parents with children under 25 living at home together with

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About RetailMeNot, Inc. 
RetailMeNot, Inc. ( operates the world's largest marketplace for digital offers. The company enables consumers across the globe to find hundreds of thousands of digital offers from their favorite retailers and brands. During the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, RetailMeNot, Inc. experienced more than 625 million visits to its websites. In 2013, RetailMeNot estimates $3.5 billion in its paid retailer sales were attributable to consumer traffic from digital offers in its marketplace. Its mobile apps have been downloaded over 18.5 million times. The RetailMeNot, Inc. portfolio includes, the largest digital offer marketplace in the United States; in Canada;, the largest digital offer marketplace in the United Kingdom; in Germany;, a leading digital offer site in the Netherlands; and, leading digital offer sites in France;, a leading digital offer site with cash back in France; and, a leading digital offer site in North America. RetailMeNot, Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "SALE." Investors interested in learning more about the company can visit:

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Media contacts:

RetailMeNot PR Department
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Media Contacts

North America
RetailMeNot PR Department
Media Inquiries: +1 512 777 2957
Jordy Mongin
RetailMeNot, France