Australia’s borders reopen to international travellers on Monday 21 February and it seems many Aussies are itching to get away, with new research from the Commonwealth Bank showing 51 per cent of respondents are saving to travel in 2022.

In fact, over 70 per cent of Australians are dreaming of the top travel destinations with many planning to travel either internationally or domestically this year. The desire to save and to travel is consistent across all ages according to the CBA research.

Australians’ urge to get away has already been reflected in spending trends in January, with data from the most recent CommBank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) Index showing a 14.9 per cent increase in travel spending intentions in January 2022 in comparison to January 2021. Increases in spending were recorded in all travel categories, including travel agents, airlines, motor home & RV rentals, cruise ships, bus lines and airports.

CBA’s Executive General Manager, Everyday Banking, Kate Crous said: “It’s great to see Australians are planning to take a much-deserved break this year. Encouragingly, saving for a holiday was the third most popular type of goal that customers chose to create within the CommBank app Goal Tracker tool in both 2020 and 2021.”

Our dream destinations

After a challenging few years, wanting to get away and relax is the top reason motivating Australians to travel (65 per cent). This is followed by visiting family and friends (52 per cent) and exploring new places (46 per cent).

When it comes to where Aussies plan to travel, topping the list was ‘somewhere we can be surrounded by nature’ (37 per cent), followed by ‘a beach or tropical island’ (34 per cent). And, when Aussies do end up getting away, the majority of us will be going with a partner (62 per cent) compared with on our own (22 percent), while more than half (58%) of those who have school aged children said they will be taking them.

Holidays come at a cost

Sensibly, Aussies agree they will save for their holidays. On average, Australians plan to save and spend $5,072 on travel in 2022.

Behaviours around savings are supported by the latest CBA and Melbourne Institute Australian Consumer Financial Wellbeing report  which found elevated savings balances are helping to keep financial wellbeing levels higher than they were before the pandemic began.

However when it comes to saving for holidays, CBA research shows the majority of Aussies have saved less than 50 per cent of the desired amount so far (average of $1,848 saved for travel).

“We’re seeing that while people feel excited about travelling again, one in two Aussies are worried about the cost of travelling – and this is even more common for young adults,” Ms Crous said.

“To help mitigate concerns, there are a number of tools online and in our banking app that can help customers set savings goals and track their progress. There are also payment options that allow customers to break up the cost of their holidays – so they can focus on enjoying them,” Ms Crous said.

Payment trends

The CBA research shows one third (34 per cent) of people say they’d be more likely to travel or travel more if they could spread out the payments over time, with this increasing to 1 in 2 (54 per cent) for those under 30 years old.

Almost seven in 10 (68 per cent) Australians plan to pay for their travel bookings upfront with physical cash or debit cards, compared to 46 per cent of Australians who plan to pay for their travel through a buy now, pay later provider or with a credit card.

More than one in five (22 per cent) Australians said they will pay for their travel using their frequent flyer rewards points, while one in 10 (10 per cent) plan to redeem vouchers they have from earlier travel plans that were cancelled / postponed due to the pandemic.

According to industry research by RFI Global, over half of the Australians who are likely to travel overseas in the next 12 months would prefer to make payments using a prepaid travel card with locked in exchange rates and the ability to load multiple currencies onto the card.

Media Asset

Other research insights

  • Young adults (18 – 29 years) are more likely to be planning to travel internationally in the next year (2 in 5), compared to Australians over fifty years old (1 in 5).
  • Men are more likely to be planning international (66 per cent) and domestic (34 per cent) travel than women (60 per cent domestic and 23 per cent international).
  • With the pandemic still impacting people’s attitudes to travel, it comes as no surprise that many Australians are still planning to travel domestically rather than internationally for leisure.
  • Despite our best intentions, less than 1 in 5 Australians who intend to travel have actually made plans and bookings, and more than 2 in 5 still have no plans for where and when they will go.

CommBank’s tips to help you save for your holiday

  • Get into holiday planning mode – half the fun of a holiday is planning for it. As part of this process, remember to set a savings goal and budget to ensure you are not left with a financial holiday hangover.
  • Blitz those goals – once you know the cost of your holiday, use Goal Tracker in the CommBank app, to help set, track and reach your savings goal.
  • Be budget friendly – use Spend Tracker in the CommBank app to help you stay on track with your debit and credit card spending.
  • Break it up – Split the cost of your holiday and pay it off over a period of weeks, using StepPay.  
  • Be currency ready - convert some of your holiday savings into the currency you’ll need while travelling by visiting one of our CBA Foreign Cash branches.
  • Set and forget – With Travel Money Card you can load up to 13 currencies and lock in the exchange rate onto a preloaded card. Simple and convenient.


Notes to editors

About the CBA research
  • 118,205,855 adults aged 18-74 years of age, ABS Population June 2020
  • The survey was conducted by the House of Brand Group, with fieldwork conducted between 1st December – 8th December 2021, amongst a sample of n=1,005 nationally representative respondents with quotas set on age, gender and location
About the CBA data
  • Data from the Goal Tracker tool in the CommBank app shows:
  • 498,000 goals were created in 2020 and 445,000 goals were created in 2021
  • The three most popular categories of goals created were:
  • 2020: Purchase (15 per cent), Property (13 per cent), and Holiday (11 per cent)
  • 2021: Purchase (16 per cent), Property (14 per cent) and Holiday (7 per cent).
About the CommBank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) Index
  • The index combines CBA internally generated transaction and lending data with publically available Google search terms to provide a view not only on what Australians were spending money on, but also what they intended to spend money on.
  • Data from the January HSI index shows:
  • There has been a solid recovery from the lows of 2021 and spend in Travel is up a solid 14.9%/yr.
  • On an annual basis, ie. relative to January 2021, there were increases in Travel spending in January 2022 across all categories, including most noticeably for: travel agents (off a low base), airlines, motor home & RV rentals, cruise ships (off a very low base), bus lines and airports. Read the full report here.
About RFI Global’s Australian Travel and Payments Program 
  • The research was conducted by RFI Global, with fieldwork in November 2021, amongst a sample of n=2,065 nationally representative respondents with quotas set on age, gender and location.
  •  This data point is based amongst n=578 consumers who are likely to travel overseas in the next 12 months.