Roaming Aussies: taking flight younger, going farther and more frequently

On November 17, 2014 at 06:23 AM

Expedia ‘State of the Nation’ travel report reveals changing trends

  • Aussies taking flight younger and more often than their parents
  • City slickers vs. country counterparts in the battle of the boarding past
  • Families heading farther afield – USA and Canada growing in popularity released its inaugural ‘State of the Nation’ report, delving deep into the behaviour of Australian travellers, revealing those aged 24 and under are shaping the future of Aussie travel; taking off earlier and travelling farther and more frequently.

The study, conducted among 2,567 Aussies aged 18 and older who have travelled in the past two years, or intend to travel internationally in the next 12 months, found 18-24 year olds have travelled more than any other age group over this time period, and eight in ten (83%) intend to take an international holiday in the next 12 months – a finding that consistently diminishes across each age group (25-34 75%, 35-49 66%, 50+ 61%).

“More than any generation before them, young Australians are seizing every opportunity to see the world, explore new destinations, enrich themselves with cultural experiences and meet locals in different lands. They’re traveling more and spending more than ever,” said Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director Expedia Australia and New Zealand.

"Our data shows international air ticket prices have been declining by approximately 20% over the last three years, driven by low cost carriers and increased competition. Combine this with the rise in mobile device use, there is now more flexibility and choice than ever when planning and booking travel, and younger travellers are really taking advantage of this."

Generation gap

The study found the age in which Aussies are acquiring their passport has shifted. Kids today, aged 17 years old and under, are receiving their first passport on average at two and a half years old; a stark contrast to the average adult who received their first passport at 17 years old. Currently more than half of the nation’s youngsters aged 17 years and under  own a passport (54%), while only a third (33%) of parents owned a passport at this age, and nearly a quarter (24%) of children already hold a passport before 2 years of age. Geographically, urban travellers have five years on their rural counterparts, receiving their first passport on average at 15 years old, versus those from the country at 20 years old.

City vs. country

Metropolitan travellers have taken twice as many international holidays in the past two years than those living outside of capital cities. They are also 38 percent more likely to take an international holiday in the next year, almost twice as likely to travel overseas at least once a year. On the other hand, country locals are 16 percent more likely to agree that interstate travel is just as good as venturing abroad – supporting why 18 percent of country locals have never had a passport, compared to just 7 percent from the city. Yet the disparities between city and country travellers are slim, proving the travel bug runs deep in all Aussies, irrespective of geographic location.

Family getaways

Aussie parents rate beach holidays as the number one choice for families with babies or toddlers, while two thirds think outdoor holidays are best when the kids are at primary school and 60 percent opt for big city holidays when the kids are at high school. The Gold Coast rates as the number one domestic destination for families with kids of all ages; a finding consistent with Expedia data showing a 38 percent increase in demand to this area. Yet when looking at international destinations it’s a different story. Parents of young children aged 12 and under favour New Zealand as their top preference (61%), while parents of older children prefer to venture to the USA/Canada (70%), with the US being the most popular international destination for families, according to Expedia’s data.

Looking to make the most out of any holiday, parents are more likely than those without children to include an overnight stopover when travelling abroad (81% vs. 74%). Reasons include combatting jetlag, having a ‘bonus holiday’ and securing the cheapest flights.  When it comes to stopover destinations, Hawaii is ranked as the place parents would most like to stay.


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