The travel trends that will be taking Australia by storm in 2022

Despite some still feeling cautious towards travel, a new wave of excitement is bubbling as travellers chase travel greatness.

After nearly two years of on-and-off lockdowns and ever-changing border restrictions, unsurprisingly, most Australian travellers say they want their next holiday to be their greatest, 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.

The global report found 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.

Appreciating that each trip is a privilege, travellers are in pursuit of fulfilling journeys, without holding back. Among the top GOAT characteristics uncovered by the Expedia report, travellers are planning to be more present and live in the moment,  splurge on experiences, and seek out excitement. 

“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,” Lisa said.

The research revealed some quirky data takeaways:

  • Four in ten (39%) Australians are willing to treat themselves/spend more on their next trip
  • 24% want to switch off on a digital-detox holiday
  • A cheeky 14% are looking to have a holiday fling!
  • 25% want an unforgettable night out
  • 21% are looking forward to stepping outside of their comfort zone 
  • 12% of Australians want to skinny dip (Ooh, la la)
  • 31% will be ticking off a bucket list destination

With Aussies embracing the ‘GOAT’ mentality and living without regrets to make use of lost time, Expedia found these five new habits to live your best ‘GOAT’. 

  1. 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. 

Expedia’s research also found Australian travellers are preferring to go with the flow and forgo an itinerary (27%) to embrace the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want (35%). 

Expedia’s tip for achieving your GOAT: 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. Yet to get your annual leave approved, or your travel buddy onboard, but feeling spontaneous and found a great deal? Look out for Expedia’s handy “Fully Refundable”** or “Buy Now, Pay Later” options to help you take the first step towards living your GOAT.   

  1. The Splurge-cation

After cancelled trips, postponed celebrations and foregoing simple luxuries, people will have a new lease on life in 2022. Travellers are ready to make up for lost time and put themselves first to get the GOAT they deserve. 

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.

Expedia’s tip for achieving your GOAT: 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. 

  1. Immerse to Discover

Going big doesn’t just mean taking a bucket-list trip. In the coming year, travellers are going after their GOAT by going beyond the norm, with more willing to step outside their comfort zone (21%) and immerse themselves in a destination, 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. 

Expedia’s tip for achieving your GOAT: 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.

  1. Sensation Seeking

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.

Interestingly, 12% of Australians want to skinny dip – the highest of any country and tied with France – with nearly one in ten willing to try daring or high adrenaline activities (9%) and feel a sense of danger or riskiness (8%) on their next trip. 

Expedia’s tip for achieving your GOAT: 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. 

  1. Unfiltered and Unlimited Enjoyment

Travel in 2022 is 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%). 

What’s clear is that a successful trip is also no longer defined by likes on social media; devices are out and enjoyment is key, with 28% seeking trips that enable them to prioritise their mental health. Nearly half (43%) are searching for a sense of contentment and mental wellbeing, and a quarter (24%) plan to spend less time on their devices to be more present. This coupled with the fact Australian (45%) and New Zealand (49%) travellers lead globally when it comes to wanting to feel connected with those they care about, shows the strong desire to switch off and refresh themselves after another challenging year.

Expedia’s tip for achieving your GOAT: 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.

To support travellers in their trip planning, Expedia has implemented a range of tools to help travellers make informed decisions. For the latest information on regulations and health and safety guidelines for their destination and origin visit Expedia’s handy COVID-19 Travel Advisory, while using Expedia’s “free cancellation” or “Book Now, Pay Later” filters will help travellers find hotel options with flexible and refundable rates**. 

To book your next trip with Expedia visit their website

To stay up-to-date with border restrictions check out SmartTraveller here

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