AUSTRALIANS are prepared to travel up to eight-hours each way for a quickie getaway of just three days, and are doing so in growing numbers.
Analysis by Cheapflights.com.au has tracked the rise of the three-day escape to places as far flung as Singapore, Nadi in Fiji and Kuala Lumpur.
Not even the prospect of spending almost 20-hours travelling and just 48-hours on the ground is deterring travellers with searches for places like Nadi increasing 575 per cent, and interest in a Queenstown escape soaring 180 per cent.
Cairns also recorded a triple-digit increase of 393 per cent, and searches for Brisbane escapes climbed 287 per cent.
Heading across the country and Perth was also on the radar for many Australians seeking to refresh and recharge, as well as stretch their holiday budget further.
Cheapflights Regional Sales Manager Australia New Zealand, Nathan Graham said booking an overnight flight could save on a night’s accommodation.
“Booking travel this way allows us to maximise our time visiting our neighbours and exploring their country,” said Mr Graham.
“Short escapes can also mean no check-in luggage, saving on baggage fees.”
He said the trend went beyond public holiday periods, with the upswing in searches visible throughout the year.
“From June through October, Auckland, Denpasar and Singapore are our favourite international destinations for an extended weekend while Melbourne, Sydney and Perth take out top honours domestically,” Mr Graham said.
“Australians have never been deterred by long distance travel, in fact we’re accustomed to it.”
And there was no reason to believe the three-day holiday would be a “passing fad” with frequent fare sales making the mini-break irresistible.
“It is also helped by the continued popularity of Airbnb, offering affordable accommodation options and more flexibility in terms of minimum night stays,” said Mr Graham.
At the same time, research by Kayak.com.au has highlighted the rising popularity of online travel search engines to book holidays at the expense of bricks and mortar travel agents.
In the last decade, booking through travel agents has more than halved, while websites have tripled in popularity.
Kayak Vice-President for the Asia Pacific region Debby Soo said technology was a driving force in the way consumers sourced inspiration, booked and shared their travel experiences.
“The mobile is growing in popularity but not yet taking centre stage for all Aussie travellers,” said Ms Soo.
“The desktop remains king with 75 per cent of Australian travellers preferring this method compared to 12 per cent who use their smartphones to book, and six per cent who rely on tablet devices.”