The FINANCIAL -- The first 24 hours of a holiday are crucial, with nearly half of travellers (46%) believing that the first day sets the tone for the rest of the holiday, and just over one in three (36%) going as far to say that these hours can make or break their trip.
But how do these hours play out? Booking.com, the global leader in connecting people with the most incredible places to stay, conducted research across over 18,000 people from 25 countries worldwide, to investigate what really goes on in the first 24 hours of a holiday.
21st Century traveller’s top priorities
When respondents were asked about the top things they’d want to do during the first day of their holiday, the results paint an interesting picture of a 21st Century traveller. While more ‘traditional’ elements such as unpacking bags (63%), exploring accommodation (60%) and starting to plan for the next day’s activities (53%) came out as the top three activities, the research also shows how varied and much more tech orientated our activities on holiday are today compared to holidays gone by:
Take the ultimate picture for social media channels (27%, rising to 37% for 18-34 year olds)
Go online to check out local restaurant reviews (26%)
Meet someone new/attempt to make new friends (24%)
Try to improve language skills (16%)
Order room service (15%)
Listen to my holiday playlist (13%)
Check work emails (10%)
In terms of how long it takes travellers to do these activities, results revealed that taking pictures for social media channels, checking work emails and ordering room service all tend to happen before the more traditional aspects of a holiday like indulging in our first holiday ice cream and hitting the pool - 47% have a holiday treat within the first hour and only 19% hit the pool, versus 54% who take pictures, 56% who check emails and 57%, who order room service, within the same timeframe.
High expectations can mean we’re prone to worrying that things won’t go as well as we want with almost one third (29%) saying they worry about things going wrong in the first 24 hours. But are these anxieties founded?
When questioned about what travellers were worried would happen versus what actually happened, it’s clear that we tend to fret more than we need to:
Four in 10 (39%) were worried they would lose their luggage; this may be more of an urban myth as only eight per cent had this happen to them.
Other anxieties that didn’t materialise include not being able to satisfy hunger by finding a good place to eat (35%) and fretting about falling ill (34%)
One key worry for travellers was not being able to get online/connect to Wi-Fi (40% worried about this!)
Lastly, 40% fretted about accommodation not living up to their expectations but their holiday story had a happy ending as 83% were pleasantly surprised when this actually did
When looking at traveller reviews on Booking.com, the nationalities most likely to talk about the above positive elements in their reviews and who may well have had the most fulfilling first 24 hours are Russians, Dutch, Thai, Spanish and Norwegians.
The perfect home away from home
In the first 24 hours of a holiday, activities involving accommodation ranked highly in traveller’s list of priorities. Exploring the accommodation came second (60%) and over one third of travellers (36%) said one of their top things to do on day one is to test out the bed, by jumping or having a snooze on it.
Reflecting the importance of getting comfortable in our temporary home base, when asked about the top things to take advantage of in their accommodation in the first 24 hours, the results revealed:
A comfortable mattress (44%)
An amazing view (39%)
A hearty breakfast (35%)
A spacious room (33%)
Strong Wi-Fi signal (32%)
It appears that some travellers prefer the simple things, with 16% saying that anything complimentary is important, 9% preferring the mini toiletries and one in 20 (6%) opting to make the most of the “Do Not Disturb” sign!
Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments: “Holidays are times when we can go to new places, try new experiences and take a break from the routine of everyday life. Expectations often run high and with so much to see and do, a lot rides on those first 24 hours. Our mission at Booking.com is to empower people to experience the world, and that includes helping to ensure that those first holiday hours meet, if not exceed, those expectations. Accommodation is one component integral to any holiday, so whether you want to stay connected via Wi-Fi, munch a hearty breakfast every day or simply gaze on a great view, we make it easy to find the right stay for you, as well as developing the best in technology-powered solutions to make in-destination exploration a cinch, right from the start.”