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What makes a holiday destination special? For some it is five-star all the way with top of the range accommodation, gourmet food, wines, shopping at designer brand stores and personally guided tours to the main touristy attractions. At the other end of the spectrum is the budget holidayer, staying at Youth Hostels, couch surfing or sleeping in cheap Hotels, bumming their way around to see the sites and surviving on a diet of instant noodles and street food.
Holiday experiences are a very personal thing. For some they barely leave the city or town that they live in and holiday close by. Many people like to holiday at the same seaside location year after year because it is within their budget, they are comfortable with this and are maybe a tad frightened to look further afield.
Other people do venture overseas, but only to our nearby cousins, Bali and Thailand, because it only involves a shortish flight and is very affordable. You can holiday in Asia for about $100 AUD a day, including 4 star accommodation, meals and drinks. Plus you can walk down the street and have a massage or beauty treatment for as little as $10 AUD.
Flying on long haul flights can put a lot of people off travelling to overseas destinations. The whole process of checking-in, going through security and immigration, boarding and the actual flight can test anyone’s patience and it can be a very uncomfortable experience. For some there is also the anxiety of flying or the threat of a terrorist being aboard the flight. Not everyone can have the attitude that “flying is safer than driving a car”!
For those cashed-up travellers where money is no option, or have saved up for that once-in-a-lifetime holiday, luxury is paramount. It is as though they want to pack up their entire home and travel with “everything but the kitchen sink”, so that they will not miss all the comforts of home!
According to Visa Affluent Traveller Survey, the affluent traveller it seems like travel experiences that show “a sense of status, exclusivity and uniqueness” and prefer upscale hotels to mid-scale ones, although boutique hotels are also popular. They also list their main preferred activities when travelling abroad as relaxing on a beach as their top pick (44% of respondents), while 36% want shopping in popular or large shopping centres and 35% prefer exploring landmarks independently.
However, I am guessing that the “affluent traveller” rarely gets off the beaten track and actually has an authentic travel experience, like exploring a remote beach at one of the lesser known beachside villages spread all along the Australian coastline. I’m also guessing that not many of these tourists have been to West Australia or to Central Australia, let alone roughed it in a tent!
I have experienced travel at many different levels, from camping in a tent, camping in a caravan, touring in a campervan, sailing on a yacht, a luxury cruise, staying in Bed & Breakfasts, roughing it in cheap hotels to luxury five star hotel resorts. I must say that each travel experience has been unique and enjoyable. I have fond memories of camping in our tent with our small children and also have the same great memories of chillaxing in a five star resort in Vietnam.
However, by far the best travel experience I have ever had is seven months touring in a 4WD and caravan doing the big lap of Australia. The best things we experienced were the ones that involved getting off the beaten track, like swimming with Whale Sharks in Exmouth, hiking in gorges in The Kimberley, walking on a remote beach picking up shells on the Eyre Peninsula and 4WD driving on rough dusty red-dirt tracks into Cape Leveque, WA.
For us this was a true holiday experience as we saw absolutely everything that the particular destination had to offer, even if it meant getting right out of our comfort zones on several occasions. This sense of being in the moment in a foreign place has made me a better traveller and made me appreciate the beauty and mystique of places I have visited.
So for me, I am the adventurous type of holidayer, who doesn’t want to settle for just staying in a resort or visiting the same place year after year. I like a variety of experiences in different travel locations with different cultures, cuisine and attractions. So I like to mix it up a bit and travel in my own amazing country, but also travel abroad to see new places. I want to seek and explore!
What type of holidayer are you? Take my quick quiz to find out. Choose either A. or B. from the photos above. If you choose mainly A’s then you are a 5 star type of holidayer. If you choose both A’s and B’s you enjoy a mixture of holiday experiences (5 star down to roughing it). If you choose mainly B’s then you don’t mind roughing it and having a lot of adventure on your holidays! Leave your answer in the comments.
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Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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