Off the back of 12 interest rate hikes, Australians are under more financial pressure than ever before. However, research from Carnival Cruise Line has revealed Aussies are refusing to give up their holidays. Carnival’s bookings have increased by 20% this year, compared to the last full cruise season in 2019, showing the importance of R&R despite the cost-of-living crisis.
The national survey reveals Australians are more likely to spend their hard-earned cash on a holiday with friends and family (63%) than having brunch with friends (23%), going to the movies (22%), or going for drinks and eating out. In fact, when asked what they’ve had to sacrifice this year, expensive clothing, handbags and footwear (86%), new cars (82%) and house renovations (79%) were more likely to hit the chopping block before a much-needed holiday (53%).
But what’s influencing this demand for holidays? Well, day-to-day pressures have left 84% of Aussies saying they need a holiday now more than ever. The stats revealed we spend a whopping 15+ hours a week cleaning, doing laundry, cooking and meal planning, equating to more than one month’s worth of chores annually (780 hours). Parents also spend an additional 20+ hours a week taking care of the kids, so it’s no wonder 67% of us say we have no downtime.
According to Psychologist and Family Therapist, Leanne Hall, this refusal to give up our time off reflects a broader trend of Australians prioritising their happiness and mental health by finding ways to enjoy affordable holidays.
“After what has been an extremely difficult few years, Aussies are fatigued and tired of our day-to-day pressures, resulting in a shift in priorities. We are now recognising the true value that taking time out and spending quality time with our loved ones provides for both our mental, and physical health.
“Research tells us that connecting with others and taking time to unwind boosts our feel-good neurotransmitters including serotonin and oxytocin. These chemicals also help to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. This, in turn, helps to reduce blood pressure, boost our immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease. Ultimately, this trend of Aussies choosing to book holidays is them choosing to prioritize their health.”
Despite being able to justify the cost of a holiday, Aussies still need to overcome some stress points when it comes to taking time off. Blowing the holiday budget (41%) and the hassle of navigating airports and flying (32%) were two major deterrents, but what’s even more concerning is that nearly half of us (45%) are discouraged from taking a holiday because it’s too stressful to plan one on top of everything else.
Undoubtedly, this has influenced Australia’s desire for all-inclusive holidays, with 61% of the nation more likely to book one because they don’t need to worry about the planning. To provide some relief to tired Aussies, Carnival Cruise Line has introduced its new Choice Plus offering, giving guests double the onboard spending money so they can treat themselves to anything from hand-crafted cocktails to specialty dining or massages. All this, on top of the extensive inclusions already provided in the fare. Additionally, to help with budgeting, guests can automatically split their cruise payments over the months before they set sail using Carnival EasyPay, with only a minimal deposit.
“For many of us, the daily pressure of life is more stressful than ever, so it’s no surprise that Aussies are desperate for some time off. A holiday with Carnival helps provide some fun and relief from the daily grind, whether that’s a game of onboard mini-golf with the kids, catching up with friends over a famous ‘Guy’s Burger’ or having some me-time with a cocktail at our adults-only retreat Serenity.
“From three-course meals, to Broadway-style entertainment, to kids clubs and Dr Seuss-at-Sea activities and more, a cruise with Carnival is a value-packed holiday, with so much included. Just pick a date, and we’ll take care of the rest,” said Carnival Cruise Line VP, Kara Glamore.