Skinny dipping, strip clubs and shots… New research shows more than half of Aussies go from sensible to self-confessed ‘wildcards’ on holiday
From bungy jumps to getting locked up, over two thirds of those surveyed (68%) confessed to letting loose on holiday, regardless of the consequences.
Shedding light on the shenanigans Aussies get up to, research conducted by Southern Cross Travel Insurance shows 39% of travellers took their tastebuds for a whirl, munching on bugs and insects, while over a third (35%) got their adrenalin pumping with cliff jumping, river tubing and bungy jumping.
Other wildcard behaviour included skipping the sun lounger for stripclubs, gambling, and late night swims. Some travellers even brought home a special souvenir in the form of a new tattoo or piercing.
Known for enjoying a tipple or two on holiday, over a third (34%) of those surveyed got boozy on the local beverage, with a further 16% knocking back unknown shots and spirits.
Feeling the repurcussions of their holiday wild streak, more than half (54%) had to seek medical treatment, with 36% of travellers falling unwell or being injured as a result of their behaviour.
Craig Morrison, CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance, says, “With the promise of sun, sea and a good time, a holiday for some travellers is a little bit like a hall pass from real life, with some acting in a way they wouldn’t do back home in Australia.”
Wild antics weren’t just limited to millennial travellers, with the over 65’s being just as guilty as the under 30’s of walking alone down backstreets at night. From risky to frisky, 1 in 10 amorous elder travellers also admitted to getting cosy with a total stranger.
Despite 14% having to make a travel insurance claim as a result of doing something on holiday they wouldn’t do at home, Aussies are still skimping on travel insurance. Almost a quarter (23%) of those surveyed are going overseas with no travel insurance at all.
“As the research shows, some Aussies found themselves in some compromising situations, from extreme hangovers to a hefty fine from the police. It’s easy to see how some travellers can get caught up in the moment, but we definitely don’t want travellers to be paying the price of a good time with their health or personal safety,” adds Craig.
The research reveale most common hotspot for travellers to let their hair down was the United States (24%), shortly followed by Bali/Indonesia (21%) and Thailand (20%), both popular destinations with Aussies for their buzzing nightlife and sandy beaches. The UK and Europe also placed high on the list of locations for wild travellers.
With more Australians travelling overseas, tourism behaviour expert, Jennie Small says some travellers see the world as a ‘holiday playground,’ “Aussies travel overseas to escape the everyday norm and seek out different experiences. With this comes an anonymity to engage in antics that might not be acceptable back home, while some travellers adopt a sense of feeling invincible – believing because they are overseas for a short time, statistically the chances of anything happening to them are minimal.
The rise of social media could also be fuelling the wild behaviour of Aussies overseas.
“Social media and the need to document holiday experiences has definitely raised the bar for Aussie tourists, encouraging travellers to outdo each other in the status stakes,” adds Jennie.