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A third of Australians choose overseas travel over a home

When asked to choose between being well travelled or owning a home, one in every three Australians values travel over home ownership.

That was the key finding from ME’s recent travel survey which explored how important travel is to Australians.

The trade-off between buying a home and exploring the world was far more apparent among 18-24 years olds, with 50 per cent saying they’d rather be well-travelled than own a home.

ME’s money expert Matt Read said younger people’s tendency to value travel more than home ownership could be a factor of youth, but also the current price of housing may be playing into the choice as home ownership becomes less attainable.

“ME’s survey highlights travel is a high spending priority for Australians, and given the costs associated, it’s worth saving for in advance as you would for a car or home,” he said.

The survey further explored the importance of travel in the context of other life goals and found a third of Australians have delayed life goals – such as buying a home, having kids and getting married – in order to travel overseas.

Respondents were also willing to go into debt to travel. When analysing the experiences or big-ticket items worth going into debt for, 20 per cent said they would go into debt for travel, coming fourth behind a home (58 per cent), education (29 per cent) and business venture (28 per cent).

Nineteen per cent of respondents have gone into debt in order to travel overseas, and a further 14 per cent have taken an overseas holiday before paying off the debt on a previous trip.

The average spend on overseas holidays was $8,000 which is no measly amount. And when it comes to holiday costs, 48 per cent didn’t add up how much they spent, and of those, 72 per cent said it was irrelevant because holidays cost what they cost.

A mighty 93 per cent said the experience of travel is worth the cost, and 89 per ccent have no regrets about what they spent overseas.

It wasn’t uncommon for travel costs to blow out, with 26 per cent spending more than they planned, while 14 per cent didn’t set a budget because they prefer to just spend what’s necessary while away.

Mr Reead said setting a goal and putting a small amount of money aside from every pay was a simple way to slowly build up enough savings to enjoy a holiday without the stress of coming back in debt.

“Travel can also be costly given it’s a highly emotional experience – it’s easy to get swept up in the romanticism of spending on holidays,” he said.

“Being careful and putting some limits on your spending can ensure costs don’t get too out of hand.

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