Holidays are a great way of unwinding, relaxing and spending some much-needed time for yourself or with your friends and family. However, the destination you visit plays an integral role in the overall experience, and new research from Roy Morgan indicates we may not always be following through on our initial holiday plans.
Whether it's a romantic trip for two to Paris, an adventure-filled journey throughout South America or immersing yourself in the local culture of South East Asia, we all have that dream itinerary in mind. Unfortunately, in reality these plans can often change significantly.
According to the latest from Roy Morgan Research, the top 10 holiday destinations listed by Australians differs in many ways to the top 10 list of places actually visited. When asked where they would like to visit during the next two years, 21.5 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and older said Melbourne was their pick.
This was followed by the Gold Coast (16.2 per cent), the United Kingdom (14.6 per cent), the United States (14.4 per cent), New Zealand (12.6 per cent), Sydney (11.9 per cent) and the Sunshine Coast (10.9 per cent).
Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Lorne, Port Fairy etc came in at 7th place (10.8 per cent), followed by Tropical North Queensland (9.2 per cent) and North Coast, Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Taree, Port Stephens etc (9.1 per cent).
In terms of the top 10 destinations Australians actually visited during the last year, Melbourne still came out on top with 9.8 per cent of the population visiting the Victorian capital during the last 12 months.
However, the rest of the list looks very different to the first. The next most visited destination was Sydney (7.7 per cent), then the Gold Coast (6.1 per cent). This was followed by Sunshine Coast (5.2 per cent), North Coast, Forster etc (5.2 per cent), Brisbane (5.1 per cent), South Coast, Gerringong, Merimbula, Nowra etc (3.8 per cent) and Canberra (3.5 per cent). Filling the last two places on the list was New Zealand (3.4 per cent) and finally, the United Kingdom (3.4 per cent).
According to Jane Ianniello, Roy Morgan Research international director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, this discrepancy between holiday intentions and reality isn't uncommon.
"While overseas rates highly in terms of preference, the relative ease and affordability of domestic travel has a huge influence on where we actually take our holidays," she said in a statement released June 12.
Regardless of where you're dreaming of visiting in the new few years, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your ideal holiday becomes a reality.
The key to a successful holiday is to plan ahead. This means organising all your travel health insurance, leave arrangements at work, accommodation bookings and more as soon as you can. Not only will this save you stress in the planning process, it can also help you get a better deal than you would have by booking last minute.
By planning out where you want to go, what you want to do and all the other fun activities, you'll be more motivated to turn your dreams into a reality.
If you need a bigger push to cement your plans into place, there's nothing like spending the money on booking your actual flights. Once you've got your airfares sorted, you'll have an even greater incentive to make sure your holiday goes as planned.
Be ready to make your move if a sale should arise, so you can get the tickets you need at a lower price point.
Another key step to the holiday of your dreams is budgeting. While this isn't fun in the lead-up to your departure, it will all pay off once you're actually at your destination. While some components of your trip may seem costly, such as travel insurance, these are essential parts and recommended for safe travels.
To lessen the financial burden, you can always do a travel health insurance comparison to see where you can find the most suitable deals. When budgeting in general, set yourself goals that you can actually achieve. With practise, your money saving ways will soon become habit and you'll be at your goal amount before you know it.