Latest available data from May 2019

Quick stats

  • In 2018, the average cost of an overseas holiday for Australians was $4,750 per person
  • 6.3 million Australians embarked on overseas holidays in 2018
  • The average cost of a domestic holiday in Australia is $190.92 per person per night
  • The average cost of an international holiday to Australia’s five most popular travel destinations is between $162.25 and $233.33 per person per night
  • Australia is the 12th most expensive country to catch a flight from
  • The most expensive month to travel is December, while the least expensive month is May

In 2018, 11.1 million Australians embarked on short-term overseas trips, of which 57% (6.3 million) were holidays. The most popular month for Australians travelling overseas was January (1.3 million people), while the least popular month was February (709,020 people)1. Additionally, Australians spent 368.2 million nights travelling domestically - a 6% increase from 20172.

Nevertheless, research shows that one third of Australians spend more than they intend to when travelling overseas. Cumulatively, Australians overspend by more than $900 million when travelling internationally3. When it comes to how much people spend on holidays, studies show the average Australian spends $4,750 on an overseas trip3, which is equal to 7.6% of the average Australian’s yearly income. However, this figure can vary significantly depending on your budget and destination.

Our in-depth 2019 analysis of the average holiday costs reveals the median cost of a holiday in every Australian state and capital city, as well as the average cost of a holiday in Australia’s five most popular international travel destinations. Additionally, we compare the average cost of airfares in Australia to international norms and analyse the best months to travel.

The average cost of a domestic trip (per person per night)

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Where do the majority of Australia’s tourists come from? Currently, the top six countries people visit Australia from are: China, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Singapore. Each country’s visits are up on the previous year’s visits, with China experiencing the highest growth with an increase of 12% from 2016 [4].

New South Wales

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 33,633,000 domestic travellers visited New South Wales in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 105,110,000 nights in New South Wales in 2018, spending $20,421,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 3.12 nights and an average cost of $194.28 per person per night for a domestic trip to New South Wales.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to New South Wales is $607.16.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Sydney is $197 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $191 per person per night to travel to Sydney.

Victoria

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 25,366,000 domestic travellers visited Victoria in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 73,436,000 nights in Victoria in 2018, spending $14,574,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 2.89 nights and an average cost of $198.45 per person per night for a domestic trip to Victoria.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to Victoria is $574.52.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Melbourne is $197 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $160 per person per night to travel to Melbourne.

Queensland

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 22,794,000 domestic travellers visited Queensland in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 92,074,000 nights in Queensland in 2018, spending $17,606,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 4.04 nights and an average cost of $191.21 per person per night for a domestic trip to Queensland.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to Queensland is $772.37.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Brisbane is $158 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $160 per person per night to travel to Brisbane.

Western Australia

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 10,582,000 domestic travellers visited Western Australia in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 45,033,000 nights in Western Australia in 2018, spending $7,448,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 4.25 nights and an average cost of $165.39 per person per night for a domestic trip to Western Australia.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to Western Australia is $703.84.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Perth is $178 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $160 per person per night to travel to Perth.

South Australia

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 6,552,000 domestic travellers visited South Australia in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 23,349,000 nights in South Australia in 2018, spending $4,123,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 3.56 nights and an average cost of $176.58 per person per night for a domestic trip to South Australia.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to South Australia is $629.26.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Adelaide is $165 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $81 per person per night to travel to Adelaide.

Tasmania

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 3,018,000 domestic travellers visited Tasmania in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 12,145,000 nights in Tasmania in 2018, spending $2,545,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 4.02 nights and an average cost of $209.55 per person per night for a domestic trip to Tasmania.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to Tasmania is $843.27.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Hobart is $186 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $151 per person per night to travel to Hobart.

ACT

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 2,792,000 domestic travellers visited the ACT in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 7,420,000 nights in the ACT in 2018, spending $1,726,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 2.65 nights and an average cost of $232.61 per person per night for a domestic trip to the ACT.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to the ACT is $618.18.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, research conducted by Roy Morgan7 estimates the average cost of a holiday in Canberra is $151 per person per night, while Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $159 per person per night to travel to Canberra.

Northern Territory

According to Tourism Research Australia6, 1,546,000 domestic travellers visited the Northern Territory in 2018. These overnight domestic visitors spent a total of 9,649,000 nights in the Northern Territory in 2018, spending $1,815,000,000. This equates to an average trip length of 6.24 nights and an average cost of $188.10 per person per night for a domestic trip to the Northern Territory.

As such, the average cost of a domestic trip to the Northern Territory is $1,173.98.

Looking specifically at Australian capital cities, Budget Your Trip8 suggests that travellers allocate $136 per person per night to travel to the Northern Territory.

The average cost of an international holiday (per person per night)

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When it comes to international travel, average holiday costs are more difficult to accurately predict, given fluctuations in exchange rates, airfare prices, and accommodation prices. Additionally, different people will have different priorities when travelling overseas. For example, the budget for a backpacker’s trip to New Zealand will be vastly different compared to the budget for a family holiday to Europe.

Research by Westpac shows that the average Australian overseas holiday lasts three weeks and costs $4,679 - an average of $222.81 per person per day9. A survey by CommBank corroborates these findings, revealing an overseas trip costs the average Australian $4,7503.

Further the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) shows the average Australian household allocates $77 towards ‘holidays’ per week, or $4004 per year10. As such, it seems likely that the average Australian spends between $4000 and $5000 on an overseas holiday.

Of course, these numbers can fluctuate depending on your destination and lifestyle choices (i.e. which airline you fly with, what type of accommodation you stay in etc.).

Below are the average holiday costs for Australia’s five most popular overseas travel destinations.

New Zealand

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 1.43 million Australians visited New Zealand in 2018, meaning it was once again most popular international destination for Australian travellers1.

In 2018, 3,822,000 overseas travellers visited New Zealand. The average cost per person per trip was $3,270 - 3% more than in 2017 - while the average stay length was 18 days. This equates to an average cost of $181 per person per night to visit New Zealand11.

Budget Your Trip8 also recommends allocating $181 per person per night to visit New Zealand.

Indonesia

According to the ABS, 1.27 million Australians visited Indonesia in 2018 - an 8.2% increase from 2017 - making it the second most popular international destination for Australian travellers1.

In 2018, 15,806,191 overseas travellers visited Indonesia, staying for an average of 12.58 nights12.

While information is not currently available for the average cost of a holiday to Indonesia in 2018, in 2015, visitors spent an average of $1617.12 per visit, or $215.55 per person per night13.

Budget Your Trip8 recommends travellers allocate $63.29 per person per night to visit Indonesia.

United States of America

According to the ABS, 1.09 million Australians visited America in 2018 - a 1.9% increase from 2017 - making it the third most popular international destination for Australian travellers1.

According to the US Travel Association14, 76.9 million overseas travellers visited America in 2017. Overseas travellers visiting America spent an average of $4,200 per visit in 2017, staying for an average of 18 nights. This equates to an average cost of $233.33 per person per night to visit America.

Budget Your Trip8 recommends travellers allocate $223 per person per night to visit America.

United Kingdom

According to the ABS, 663,500 Australians visited the United Kingdom in 2018 - a 5.6% increase from 2017 - making it the fourth most popular international destination for Australian travellers1.

In 2017, 39.21 million overseas travellers visited the UK, spending a total of £24.51 billion ($45.64 billion AUD). This equates to an average spend of $1,163.90 AUD per visit. Overseas visitors spent 284.74 million total nights in the UK, for an average trip length of 7.26 nights15.

As such, the average cost of a trip to the UK is $160.25 AUD per person per night.

According to forecasts for 2019, 38.8 million overseas travellers are expected to visit the UK in 2019, spending £24.9 billion ($46.38 billion AUD)16. This would equate to an average cost of $1,195.38 AUD per person per visit to the UK - a slight increase on 2017 figures.

Budget Your Trip8 recommends travellers allocate $217.95 per person per night to visit the UK.

China

According to the ABS, 593,300 Australians visited China in 2018 - a 9.6% increase from 2017 - making it the fifth most popular international destination for Australian travellers1.

In 2017, 29.1 million foreign visitors travelled to China - a 3.6% increase - spending a total of $98.52 billion17. This equates to an average cost of $3,385.56 per person per trip.

Budget Your Trip8 recommends travellers allocate $98 per person per night to visit China.

Average cost of airfares: Australia vs international (cost per 100km)

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Compared to other countries, Australia fares poorly when it comes to average airfare costs. According to Kiwi.com’s comprehensive flight price index18, Australia is the 12th most expensive country to catch a flight from. The average cost of a flight from Australia is $39.59 per 100km travelled.

In comparison, Belgium is the most expensive country to catch a flight from, with an average cost of $77.25 per 100km travelled, while Malaysia offers the most affordable flights at $5.91 per 100km travelled.

Flights from New Zealand cost an average of $11.92 per 100km travelled, while flights from the UK cost an average of $15.64 per 100km travelled and flights from the USA cost an average of $16.26 per 100km travelled.

Average cost of a holiday by month

As airfare prices fluctuate seasonally, research shows that booking your flights at the right time can either save you 15% or cost you up to 30%. In fact, 75% of Australians miss out on the best international flight deals, while 90% miss out on the best domestic flight deals19.

According to a comprehensive study by SkyScanner19, travellers should book 22 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on international flights and 21 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on domestic flights.

For example, the study found that by booking 23 weeks in advance, international travellers could save $135 (12%) on a trip from Sydney to Hong Kong19.

Looking specifically at some of Australia’s most popular travel destinations, travellers should book 5 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on flights to London, 24 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on flights to Bali, 23 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on flights to Los Angeles, 12 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on flights to Auckland, and 23 weeks in advance to get the cheapest deal on flights to Hong Kong19.

Further, December is the most expensive month to travel, with average airfares increasing by 32%, while May is the cheapest month to travel, offering average savings of 13% on airfares for both domestic and international flights.

These figures align with Australians’ travel preferences. According to the ABS, December was Australia’s busiest month for international travel in 2018, with 4 million movements, while May was the least busy month for international travel in Australia in 2018, with only 3 million movements20.

Disclaimer

This survey was conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Budget Direct in October 2018. All figures are from this research unless stated otherwise. The survey was conducted online with a total sample size of 1,000 weighted and representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

Citations

1 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05

2 https://www.tra.gov.au/Domestic/domestic-tourism-results

3 https://www.commbank.com.au/guidance/newsroom/Aussies-overspend-by-900M-on-holidays-201612.html

4 https://www.tra.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/317/NVS_September2018.pdf.aspx?Embed=Y

5 https://www.tra.gov.au/Domestic/Domestic-Tourism-Forecasts/domestic-tourism-forecasts

6 https://www.tra.gov.au/charts/nvs-results

7 http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6452-cost-of-a-capital-city-holiday-june-2015-201509162244

8 http://www.budgetyourtrip.com/

9 https://www.westpac.com.au/about-westpac/media/media-releases/2015/8-june/

10 https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/australian-spending-habits

11 https://www.mbie.govt.nz/dmsdocument/3438-key-tourism-statistics-pdf

12 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Indonesia#Tourist_arrivals_in_Indonesia_by_nationality_ (2011%E2%80%932018)

13 https://www.indonesia-investments.com/news/todays-headlines/2013s-growing-number-of-tourists-in-indonesia-meets-government-target/item1603

14 https://www.ustravel.org/system/files/media_root/document/Research_Fact-Sheet_US-Travel-Answer-Sheet.pdf

15 https://www.visitbritain.org/inbound-tourism-trends

16 https://www.visitbritain.org/2019-inbound-tourism-forecast

17 http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-06/27/c_137284691.htm

18 https://www.kiwi.com/stories/flight-price-index-2017/usd/

19 https://www.skyscanner.com.au/press-releases/skyscanner-reveals-the-best-time-to-book-flights-from-australia#section1

20 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05

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