Australians work-holiday balance

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How do you decide your work-holiday balance and how do you feel about taking a break from work: Do you look forward to one big holiday every year, or take lots of little breaks or even both? Do you feel guilty about taking a holiday, and worry about work while you are away?

A recent survey of 10,000 Australian travellers by Travelonline shows some remarkable statistics about the way that Aussies feel about their holidays and travel. Here are some of the findings:


Not taking enough holidays can impact on our general wellbeing. Most of us have to work and it’s sometimes a challenge to get the work–holiday balance right especially if you have a family.

The survey showed that 60% of respondents experience increased stress levels when not taking enough holidays but that means 40% don’t so we can only imagine they love their work!

Amazingly, 9% of people asked haven’t taken a holiday in over 2 years! and 39% of workers don’t feel they deserve a holiday. Perhaps we can reassure them that they do – really!

Only 34% of workers take the full 20 days they are entitled to.


We think we know the reasons why we travel and it might seem obvious but there might be hidden motivations that you may not consider particularly the influences from friends, family and of course co-workers who you may spend more time with than your best friends.

The survey results showed 17% are constantly filled with holiday envy from co-workers but 50% are influenced by co-workers to travel sooner.

28%, not far off a third of travellers, said they experienced guilt for taking a holiday. If you are reading this and you feel guilty about your holiday then don’t, please you deserve it!



Oh yes, taking the kids on holiday is a pain and pleasure experienced by millions of Aussies every year. The Travelonline survey reported that 68% travel without kids all or some of the time. It doesn’t report if that’s because they don’t have any or they just left them at home – with the grandparents of course.

12% say travelling with a family is hard because of cost, 11% avoid school holiday travel and 43% specifically target off-peak travel.

Cost vs value

We all need to escape from time to time even the 9% that haven’t taken a holiday for 2 years. Taking time off work is essential for recharging and balancing that against cost is not always easy. 66% of people surveyed said they return to work refreshed and energised. Some other results from respondents about justifying the cost included 84% who said they took a holiday to relax and unwind.

63% said their holidays improved their health but 44% said they were not sorry their holidays were over; maybe they went to the wrong place?


If holidays are a great way to de-stress and unwind then discussing our holiday experiences is a natural part of the process. Do we take it too far? How much do we like looking at the pictures or hearing the tales of the travels of our friends and family? Some interesting statistics around behaviour and holiday decision making came up in the survey results:

54% are influenced by the weather when planning a holiday.

47% never brag about their holidays and 34% shared their holiday snaps on social media. That’s a form of bragging isn’t it!

Only 11% love to make their friends jealous with their holiday gloating. I’m sure we could all do better than that if we try!

The survey gives a fascinating insight into the thoughts of Australian travellers. See the full results from Travelonline and compare them to your own answers.

And next time you head off abroad on holiday make sure you find the best exchange rate for your dollars by comparing the supplier rates on CompareHolidayMoney.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the business development manager for Compare Holiday Money and an active blogger across the websites.

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