Australians are some of the world’s most organised travellers

Stephanie Yip 20 July 2017 NEWS

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We come up third, behind Hong Kong and Russia, for booking holidays long in advance.

When it comes to travelling, are you a last-minute impulsive traveller or a well-thought-out forward planner? According to new research by hotel booking site Agoda, it's highly likely you're more the forward-planning type.

After analysing millions of bookings made on its site in 2016 by 20 countries, Agoda discovered a clear distinction between nations more inclined to book with plenty of time to spare and those that were more relaxed about their travel plans.

Australians ranked third on the list of forward planners, booking over seven weeks in advance, or 44.3 days to be exact. This is an increase on last year's effort, where we had a booking lead time of 40 days, ranking us tied for second.

Top of the list for two years running is Hong Kong, booking 49.4 days prior to arrival. This is again an increase on last year, which saw the nation securing rooms 42 days in advance.

Russia was the most notable riser, jumping from 4th place to 2nd with a booking lead time of 46 days, as opposed to 40 days in 2015.

The United Kingdom also moved up the ranks, edging into the top 5 by forward booking 37.2 days prior to their stay.

There are always going to be late planners and Saudi Arabians are most likely to leave things to the last moment. Obviously unafraid to travel up to the wire and potentially pay more than required, they tend to book just over two weeks (16.9 days) before arrival. This is a slight decrease on last year's effort of 17 days.

Joining Saudi Arabia in the bottom five are Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia. They give themselves no more than a little over three weeks to book, though interestingly all except for Malaysia improved on their booking lead time by up to three days on last year, suggesting nations across the globe are becoming more savvy when it comes to snapping up early bird prices.

"The trend is shifting to more advanced booking, with an average global increase of two days lead time in booking compared to the previous year," says Andy Edwards, the global director of brand and communications at Agoda.

While Edwards admits we're living in an age of "instant gratification", price and choice play a part when it comes to booking travel. "The longer you book in advance, the better the choice and the lower the cost," he says.

"Popular culture portrays this image of the adventurous, last-minute traveller, but in reality consumers are investing more time preparing their holiday to get the most out of their well-deserved break."

Top five forward planners (2016 v 2015)

Country Number of days booked in advance (2016) Number of days booked in advance (2015)
Hong Kong 49.4 42
Russia 46.4 40
Australia 44.3 40
Taiwan 43.3 40
United Kingdom 37.2 N/A

Bottom five forward planners (2016 v 2015)

Country Number of days booked in advance (2016) Number of days booked in advance (2015)
Malaysia 24.4 N/A
India 21.7 20
Vietnam 18.7 18
Indonesia 18.0 15
Saudi Arabia 16.9 17

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