After nearly two years of on-and-off lockdowns and international border restrictions, unsurprisingly, most Australian travellers say they want their next holiday to be their greatest of all trips, according to Expedia’s recently-released 2022 Travel Trends Report.
The research, which involved 12,000 travellers across 12 countries, found that close to three in four Australians (71%) are planning on going big on their next trip, with a new ‘no regrets’ style of travel — a ‘GOAT’ (Greatest of All Trips) mindset, if you will.
Globally, Australia is one of the top three countries to feel this way, just behind Korea and Singapore, which indicates just how strong the desire is to make up for lost time.
“Australians have spent almost two years holding back, dreaming about, and anticipating their next holiday,” says Lisa Perkovic, Expedia Australia Travel Expert.
“Now is the time to get going and make plans for what is set to be a huge year of travel. Coming out of such a long period of constraints and limitations, travel in 2022 will be about wringing every bit of richness and meaning out of our experiences.
“Despite some still feeling cautious towards travel, a new wave of excitement is bubbling as travellers chase travel greatness to get their GOAT,” Perkovic says.
So, what exactly is the ‘GOAT’ mentality? Well, in short, it’s the mindset of travellers in pursuit of fulfilling journeys, without holding back. Specifically, the research found these five new habits aligned with the ‘GOAT’ mentality:
Scrapping the Schedule
The pandemic made it difficult to travel or do anything on a whim, with 46% of Australians admitting to being less spontaneous since the onset of COVID-19. While travel advisories and guidelines will persist for the foreseeable future, Australian travellers nonetheless are planning to embrace the impromptu and let loose on their future trips, with 35% seeking to be more spontaneous and live in the moment. The research also found Australian travellers to prefer go-with-the-flow and forgo an itinerary (27%) to embrace the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want (35%).
Over the next year, four in ten (39%) Australians are willing to treat themselves and spend more on their next trip, prioritising their enjoyment over budget. From luxury hotels (17%), to dining at hatted restaurants (17%) or going all out on the ultimate shopping spree (21%), there will be no expenses spared as travellers look to invest in making their trips one of their greatest yet.
Immerse to Discover
In the coming year, travellers will go beyond the norm, with more willing to step outside their comfort zone (21%) and immerse themselves in destinations, culture, and experiences completely different to their own (21%). After many months of confinement, travellers are craving experiences different to their own where they can develop a deeper sense of knowledge for the local community.
From embracing food they’ve never eaten before (42%), seeking more rural, off-the-beaten-track experiences (28%), to visiting a destination they never would have considered pre-pandemic (18%), Australians have a new curiosity to learn and experience the world.
In 2022, travellers aren’t just craving new tastes and places, they want to feel something. For Australians, a sense of gratification, like they’ve made the most of the trip, and excitement and exhilaration (37%) is what they’re craving most. When it comes to their next trip, having an unforgettable night out (25%), sleeping under the stars (rain, hail, or shine) (19%) and having a holiday fling (14%) are just some of the things travellers are willing to do, to ensure they have the best trip of their life.
Unfiltered and Unlimited Enjoyment
Travel in 2022 will be all about rediscovering how incredible it is to travel. Australians (36%) are looking forward to re-visiting a favourite destination they haven’t been able to visit due to the pandemic, while 31% will be ticking off a bucket list destination. Over indexing compared to global travellers, Australians (32%) plan to travel for longer and holiday more frequently (28%). Interestingly, Australians also lead when it comes to wanting to relax and do nothing on their next holiday (41%).