Family travel is booming, as Australians explore the great outdoors

Australians remain keen to explore their own country and while families may have wanted to travel to a big city in 2022, this year they want a more immersive travel experience.

Airbnb data reveals that in 2022 the four capital cities made the top five destinations. The Airbnb report found that family travel was up 60 per cent in 2022, compared to 2019.

Last year, families were booking Airbnb accomodation that would give them access to beaches, pools and national parks.

The top spot for 2022 was taken out by Sydney, followed by Melbourne and Gold Coast.

Intrepid Travel’s senior product manager Dyan McKie told The New Daily that Sydney ranking ahead of the other nine cities wasn’t too shocking.

“You’ve got Taronga Zoo, you’ve got the harbour – I can see that draws in families,” she said.

She also adds that with theme parks, the Gold Coast is a “no brainer” and with the Great Ocean Road right on Melbourne’s doorstep, it’s no wonder Victoria’s capital also found a place in the list.

Airbnb’s top 10 family travel destinations of 2022:

  • Sydney, NSW
  • Melbourne, VIC
  • Gold Coast, QLD
  • Perth, WA
  • Brisbane, QLD
  • Sunshine Coast, QLD
  • Adelaide, SA
  • Shoalhaven, NSW
  • Noosa, QLD
  • Cairns, QLD

Domestic travel in 2022 boomed, Ms McKie said, partly because some people, and families, were still hesitant about overseas travel.

Intrepid Data from 2022 also found 84 per cent of their travellers were more keen on discovering Australia.

“That was because they were also eager to support the economy while travelling domestically,” Ms McKie said.

However, not all Australians want beach trips and stays in the big cities. Ms McKie said in 2022, Intrepid Travel saw a lot of interest in the Northern Territory.

Pictured is Ormiston Gorge Water Hole, Ormiston Pound, West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

While the big cities are popular, people are seeking out the Northern Territory.

COVID travel habits remain

During the pandemic, particularly during lockdowns, people were yearning for time outdoors and away from technology.

Anecdotally, Ms McKie said Intrepid Travel saw an uptick in people buying camping gear or caravanning.

“Camping definitely provided that alternative [because] it wasn’t expensive, and you could still get the kids out into nature and I think that that’s a big focus pulling back into the family theme,” she said.

“Families during the lockdown, kids were online learning, devices and digital connection was massive … and I think they wanted to flip that when they went on holidays.”

As an extension of this, people once again fell in love with road trips, which meant travelling families could get around without hopping on a plane.

Travel trends

While it’s still early in the year, there are already a few travel trends emerging.

While Australians are still keen on domestic holidays, some are eager to get back overseas and now Australians are headed to Asia in bigger numbers than in pre-pandemic times.

Borneo has been wildly popular for Intrepid Traveller, with 157 per cent more people heading there compared to 2019.

Australians also are keen to visit Vietnam, Japan and Bali, Ms McKie said, noting that sometimes overseas airfares can be cheaper than domestic fares.

Pictured is Mt. Fuji and Tokyo skyline

Australians are travelling to Asia again, with Borneo, Bali and Japan among the top travel destinations.

Another trend is that parents want holidays to also have an element of education for their children.

“The pandemic taught us was that the world can change in a blink of an eye, and so what we’re seeing is families want that immersive travel.”

Whether this is having an Indigenous guide in the Red Centre or a guided tour of the Taj Mahal, parents want their children to not only have the experience, but also learn about the history and culture of a destination, Ms McKie said.

“They’re learning in school holidays without them really realising that.”

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