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Published on : Tuesday, July 18, 2017
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? What are our ultimate priorities during that first day on holiday? And do our hopes, worries and pre-travel perceptions match the reality? 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.
Only go for ice-cream if it looks good on your social channels
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,
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.
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,
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!
A different first 24 hours?
While nearly four in 10 (38%) travellers believe that the first 24 hours of a trip are the most memorable, 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 day. But are these anxieties founded? How much do we expect a different first 24 hours to what actually happens?
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:
On the flip side, perception matches reality when it comes to our holiday hopes with these often being met. It was revealed that
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.
Bringing your first 24 hours to life via new emojis
Holidays make up such a huge part of our lives and we often want to share our holiday experiences with others via messaging on our mobile devices. But is the social world equipped with the right emojis to truly express how people feel during their first 24 hours of travel? Booking.com doesn’t think so. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of creating new ones for you…. based on what travellers have told us they can’t live without.
Over 18,000 travellers were asked which new emojis they would like to see and the top ones include someone looking at a map, someone dressed in typical tourist gear, and someone taking a selfie.
Booking.com has brought these emojis to life and created a light-hearted petition for Unicode, the organisation that approves all emojis, to include these as part of their current list. If you would like to see more holiday emojis on your mobile device, sign the petition here: Booking.com emoji petition
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.”