New research shows Kiwis travel habits over the Christmas period

NZ 10/10/2018

Christmas break is one of the best times of the year for Kiwis around New Zealand. The weather is warm, the days are long, the smell of barbecues fill the air and everyone tries to sneak in some time off work so they can head to the lake, beach, river or even just have a staycation.

New research from Expedia claims more than half of New Zealand's population took a short break between Christmas, 2017, and the end of January, 2018.

Forty-three percent of those holidaymakers spent one-and-a-half weeks on a trip within Aotearoa.

There are less than 90 days until Christmas and the closer it gets, the more expensive booking summer accommodation will become.

According to Expedia's data, a third of Kiwis have their summer holiday booked by October. However, a fifth of travellers wait until just two weeks before Christmas to make their reservations.

Bookings made via Expedia show that by November, prices have gone up 20 percent compared to the month before.

Haley Purdon from Expedia New Zealand said despite the possibility of last minute bargains, travellers take a risk waiting until the last minute to book.

"The reality is travelling during Christmas / New Year is not cheap as chips, and at this time of year, every cent counts," said Ms Purdon.

"With so many people travelling, the peak in demand does mean higher prices and scarce availability in popular holiday spots."

Sean Berenson from Flight Centre said how pricey flying around New Zealand is over the summer break is dictated by supply verses demand, but those willing to spend Christmas Day in transit can save money.

"Christmas Eve and Boxing Day are traditionally the year's busiest travel days, so the cheapest seats tend to sell-out quickly. Christmas day itself can be a much more affordable option," Mr Berenson said.