'I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!' sings Taylor Swift in her hit song. And Taylor isn’t the only one, with Aussies ready to dust off their passports and take to the skies in 2022.
Expedia has released its 2022 Travel Trends Report, revealing that three in four (71%) Australians intend to make their next trip their greatest yet – a new 'no regrets' style of travel, dubbed the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Trips) mindset.
"Australians have spent almost two years holding back, dreaming about, and anticipating their next holiday. Now is the time to get going and make plans for what is set to be a huge year for travel," travel expert Lisa Perkovic says.
Australia is one of the top three countries, just behind South Korea and Singapore, to feel this way.
Interestingly, Australia also beats the global average when it comes to travelling more frequently, wanting to relax and do nothing (lay on a beach) and skinny dipping (on par with France). Ooh la la!
It seems Aussies aren’t content to simply have any old trip, they want to make up for lost time, too!
"Tourism has without question faced its most difficult and challenging period on record,” Phillipa Harrison, managing director of Tourism Australia, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
"We have seen our tourism industry come to a complete standstill in response to the global pandemic and then only to restart against a backdrop of uncertainty about what the future holds. Fortunately, as more of the world becomes vaccinated against COVID-19, the opportunities for travel and tourism to restart and rebuild have grown immensely."
What jet-setting Aussies want to do in 2022
Over a third of Australians plan to be more spontaneous, live in the moment and forgo an itinerary while treating themselves on their next trip through first-class flight upgrades, luxury hotels and shopping sprees.
Luxury Escapes' annual report, Travel Trends for 2022, revealed a similar story with the company almost overwhelmed by 'revenge travel' bookings.
“There’s no doubt travel is absolutely back,” says Adam Schwab, Co-Founder and CEO of Luxury Escapes.
“The US is open, South Pacific is opening, Asia is opening and Australians can’t wait to experience travel again. We had the busiest month in Luxury Escapes’ history with the announcement of the Fiji Bubble and removal of quarantine in NSW and Victoria and are super excited about the next year."
Expedia’s report also revealed one in five Aussies want to get outside of their comfort zone, embrace food they’ve never eaten before (42%) and seek more rural, off-the-beaten track experiences (28%).
37% of Australians are craving excitement and exhilaration, with many looking to sleep under the stars, have a holiday fling, or go skinny dipping on their next holiday.
More than global travellers, Australians in particular want to travel for longer in 2022 (32%), and feel connected with those they care about (45%), with nearly half searching for a sense of contentment and wellbeing (43%).
Getting back into the swing of things
With Luxury Escapes' report also revealing over 90% of Australians state that travelling positively impacts their mental health, and 84% of Australians are optimistic about international travel in 2022, it’s no wonder Aussies are keen to get moving.
But it’s been so long since many of us have seen that 'Fasten seatbelt' sign that it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed as you ease back into your jet-setting lifestyle.
To help you make the transition from couch to world traveller, Expedia have shared their top five tips to help Aussies achieve their “GOAT” trip.
1. Scrap the schedule
While travel advisories and guidelines will persist for the foreseeable future, with more flexible options and rates available than ever before, there’s no better time to explore last-minute trips and unknown adventures that might just help travellers find their GOAT.
2. The Splurge-cation
If you’re looking to treat yourself, why not opt for a luxe city getaway? According to Expedia data from the last two years, the best time to travel to a city is in February, where you can save almost 40%, compared to travelling in December, which is on average the most expensive month for city travel.
3. Slow it down
Slow travel is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a destination. Be sure to allow plenty of time in each destination, so you can visit not just well-known tourist attractions, but also lesser-known local recommendations, to develop a deeper sense of knowledge. Giving yourself enough time to explore the area and connect with locals can make all the difference.
4. Sensation Seeking
You’ve waited and worked hard for this trip, so remember to embrace every bit of it. It’s often the people you meet, and the new things you try that make the most impact, so add somewhere unexpected to your itinerary, make friends, and try everything.
5. Enjoy yourself
If you’re looking to really switch off, more and more hotels and resorts offer guests the opportunity to unplug, whether that be through forfeiting your technology upon arrival or through minimal reception. Research your accommodation to see if they offer the chance to fully disconnect, but make sure you are still contactable in case of emergencies, or consider physically switching off gadgets when you are not using them, locking them away or putting them out of sight to ensure you are truly present.
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