On the road again: where Time Out readers want to go this summer

Photograph: Destination NSW

Unsurprisingly, many Australians are looking forward to travelling, but how do our readers decide upon destinations, whether within their own state or beyond? Audience Development Manager Delima Shanti takes a deep dive into the survey results

Just like Willie Nelson, Time Out readers just can’t wait to get on the road again. With many having to cancel or postpone interstate and overseas travel plans this year, Australians have shown that their thirst for travel is unquenchable, and will happily turn their wanderlust towards their own state when given the opportunity.

Naturally, many in Victoria are feeling the urge to travel a little more keenly at the moment and are eagerly waiting for when they can travel between metro and regional Victoria from November 9. But what will intrastate travel look like for these travellers?

We can look to a survey conducted by Time Out in July – at a time when NSW had only just started dipping its toes back into regional travel – to get an idea of how Victorians feel about domestic travel.

Time Out readers are champing at the bit to travel beyond their state

Back in June, when restrictions on regional travel were rolled back for New South Wales residents and briefly for Victorians, page views to Time Out’s travel section saw a 260% YoY surge as readers flocked to content including the best road trips in NSW and the best day trips from Melbourne. Since then, despite travel restrictions out of those surveyed in July:

  • 82% want to go on a domestic holiday as soon as restrictions ease.
  • 58% intend to go on a domestic holiday if restrictions allow. 28% want to go in the next 12 months.

Where do they want to travel?

When restrictions are lifted, our survey found that people are more likely to choose destinations within their state first before they consider interstate destinations. That said, after a year of mostly being confined to their state, many readers are also looking further afield to other states for their dream domestic getaway.

  • Queensland is by far the most coveted interstate travel destination, with 1 in 2 Time Out readers saying they want to visit in the next 12 months.
  • New South Wales came second, with 33% of readers saying they’d like to visit in the next 12 months.
  • Tasmania was a close third, with 32% saying they’d like to visit in the next 12 months.


Illustration: Time Out

Interestingly, while they hope to be able to travel interstate soon, far more respondents (93%) said they are comfortable going on a road trip than flying when they were surveyed in July. More readers are undecided on domestic flights, with 51% reporting they are not yet comfortable to fly domestically.

How do people choose which domestic destination to travel to?

We had an inkling of what might influence travellers’ decisions – Time Out’s editorial team know content about gorgeous spots like secret Sydney beaches and the best natural wonders near Melbourne are regulars on our top travel content – but we wanted to back that up with some data.

Turns out our editors’ instincts were on the mark, because these are the top five factors our readers take into consideration when weighing up domestic destinations, in order of importance:

  • Natural attractions
  • Activities and experiences at the destination
  • Cost of accommodation and experiences
  • Accommodation choice
  • Cost to travel

What does all this mean for Time Out readers’ upcoming travel plans? No matter where they live, road trips are definitely in, and they’re looking to visit the gorgeous natural wonders right on our doorstep.

Keep an eye out for handy travel guides from Time Out editors on our social channels and our website, and if you’d like to get more insights on the Time Out audience, get in touch with our friendly team.

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