Getting around: Australia's love of travel

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A love of travel has always been engrained in the Australian way of life, but only recently have we been able to travel as often and as far as we now do.

We hop on and off planes, trains, and buses to holiday, visit family and friends, for businessi and to study. We take gap years, save up our work leave to take month-long trips, and plan our next holiday the minute we pass through Australian customs.

In the 2011-12 financial year, there were a record 29 million crossings in and out of Australia's international borders.

Just as the package holiday revolutionised travel for the Brits in the 1970sii, the budget airline has revolutionised travel in 21st Century Australiaiii. These airlines, including Jetstar, Tiger, and new-on-the-scene Scoot, offer affordable seats to destinations across Asia and Australasia -taking us further afield for cheaper than ever. Combined with a strong Aussie dollar and the social normalisation of overseas travel (you only have to look at your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds to see friends and family enjoying time abroad), it's no wonder that we travel overseas so often.

More than a case of the travel bug

In the past decade, the number of people travelling in and out of Australia has risen significantlyiv. The National Visitor Survey found that in the year ending June 2012, Australians over the age of 15 took 7.1 million trips overseas; ten years before, in the year ending June 2002 this number was closer to 3 millioni. Holidays accounted for just over half (58%) the stints abroad between June 2011 and 2012.The survey found that Aussies spent 143 million nights abroad in the year, which works out as an average 20 nights abroad for each international trip.

A graph from the National Visitor Survey showing how Australians travelled more in 2011 than in 1998 (Source: i.).

The survey also found that we don't limit ourselves to distance. While the most popular international destination was just across “the pond" to New Zealand (14%), the second most popular was Indonesia (11%)i. The USA was the third favourite (10%); Thailand was fourth (8%) and the UK (6%) fifth populari.

The cost of a holiday

It's safe to say that we Australians get around. Whether it's to relax, go on an adventure, or to tick those dream destinations off the bucket list, more and more Australians are seeing more and more of the world. However, creating priceless memories requires preparation and financial planning. Even with cheaper airfares, the cost of travel can add up to a fair sum after accommodation, local transport costs, activities and food are factored in. Make that holiday one for the whole family, and the trip overseas is suddenly a significant expense.

In the event you are unable to provide stable financial support for your family due to critical illness, injury or death, taking out life insurance can lessen your family's financial burden and keep holidays a part of your family's lifestyle. Contact Allianz today for more information on the types of life insurance cover we have on offer or apply for cover online in just 12 minutes.

i Tourism Research Australia (Dept. of Resources, Energy & Tourism), 2012, Travel by Australians September Quarter 2012, p.5,

ii Bray, R. & V. Raitz, 2001, Flight to the Sun: The Story of the Holiday Revolution, Chapter 10

iii O'Sullivan, M., 2011, Cheaper fares, strong $A lifts overseas travel,

iv Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia,