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Hope vs reality – Aussie travel dreams examined

August 8, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Does the first day of a holiday set the tone for the rest of it? About half Australian travellers believe that’s the case, according to a recent survey. conducted research to find the top five hopes and worries that Aussie travellers face before embarking on a special trip.

Half the travellers (49%) believed that the first day set the tone for the rest of the holiday, and nearly one in three went as far as to say that those hours could make or break their trip.

When respondents were asked what they’d most want to do during the first day of their holiday, the results painted an interesting picture of a 21st century traveller.

Hopes, worries and realities

While more ‘traditional’ elements such as unpacking bags (63%), exploring accommodation (60%) and starting to plan for the next day’s activities (53%) came out as the top three activities, the research also shows how varied and much more tech-orientated activities on holiday are today compared to holidays gone by:

  • Take the ultimate picture for social media channels (27%, rising to 37% for 18-34 year olds)
  • Go online to check out local restaurant reviews (26%)
  • Meet someone new/attempt to make new friends (24%)
  • Try to improve language skills (16%)
  • Order room service (15%)
  • Listen to my holiday playlist (13%)
  • Check work emails (10%)

Taking pictures for social media channels, checking work emails and ordering room service all tend to be prioritised over the more traditional aspects of a holiday like indulging in a first holiday ice cream and hitting the pool.

In fact 47% have a holiday treat within the first hour and only 19% hit the pool, versus 54% who take pictures, 56% who check emails and 57%, who order room service, within the same timeframe. 

In the first 24 hours of a holiday, activities involving accommodation ranked highly as a priority. Exploring the accommodation came second (60%) and over one third of travellers (36%) said one of their top things to do on day one is to test out the bed, by jumping or having a snooze on it.

Reflecting the importance of getting comfortable in our temporary home base, when asked about the top things to take advantage of in their accommodation in the first 24 hours, the results revealed:

  • A comfortable mattress (44%)
  • An amazing view (39%)
  • A hearty breakfast (35%)
  • A spacious room (33%)
  • Strong Wi-Fi signal (32%)

It appears that some travellers prefer the simple things, with 16% saying that anything complimentary was important, 9% preferring the mini toiletries and one in 20 (6%) opting to make the most of the “Do Not Disturb” sign!

Looking at the results, it’s clear travellers fret more than they need to:

  • Four in 10 (39%) were worried they would lose their luggage; this may be more of an urban myth as only 8% had that happen.
  • 40% fretted about accommodation not living up to their expectations but 83% were pleasantly surprised.
  • Other anxieties that didn’t materialise included not being able to find a good place to eat (35%) and fretting about falling ill (34%).
  • One key worry for travellers was not being able to get online/connect to Wi-Fi (40% worried about that). For most, the opposite turned out to be true, with over 7 in 10 (73%) finding they could log on to their heart’s content.

On the flipside, perception matches reality when it comes to holiday hopes. It was revealed that:

  • Over half (54%) hoped to arrive to perfect weather; and 62% said their wish came true.
  • One in three (33%) said they’d hoped to make friends with other travellers; and that came true for 32%.
  • Just over one in three said they were able to take the best picture for their social media channels (35%, rising to 46% of 18-34 year olds).
  • Nearly one in five (19%) received an accommodation upgrade.
  • Over one in 10 (13%) met a holiday romance in the first day.

When looking at traveller reviews on, those who may well have had the most fulfilling first 24 hours are Russians, Dutch, Thai, Spanish and Norwegians.

Chief marketing officer at, Pepijn Rijvers, commented that holidays are when travellers venture to new places, try new experiences and take a break from the routine of everyday life.

“Expectations often run high and with so much to see and do, a lot rides on those first 24 hours,” he said.

“Our mission at is to empower people to experience the world, and that includes helping to ensure that those first holiday hours meet, if not exceed, those expectations.

“Accommodation is one component integral to any holiday, so whether you want to stay connected via Wi-Fi, munch a hearty breakfast every day or simply gaze on a great view, we make it easy to find the right stay for you, as well as developing the best in technology-powered solutions to make in-destination exploration a cinch, right from the start.”

Edited by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Great article! I guess the saying don’t count your chicks before they hatch holds true with this data.

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