Travel Love at First Sight: First 24 Hours of a Vacation Can Make or Break the Trip


Photo: Booking.com

You’ll never have a second chance to make a good first impression, and as it turns out, the same thing goes for your vacation.

According to research commissioned by Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the best places to stay, the first 24 hours of a holiday are crucial. Nearly half of Canadian travellers (48%) believe that the first day sets the tone for the rest of the holiday, and almost one in three (30%) go as far to say that these hours can make or break their entire trip.

But how do these first 24 hours play out? For more than two thirds of Canadians (64%), the first day of vacation is essential in establishing rest and relaxation. It’s no wonder then, that more than three quarters of these travellers (78%) said going for a beer or glass of wine was a top priority on their travel agenda after arriving.

In fact, when Canadian 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 (85%) and exploring accommodations (83%) came out in the top three activities, the research also shows how tech orientated vacation activities have become.

For many, technology was a priority, as nearly half of Canadians (42%) opted to first check out online restaurant reviews, while one in three (30%) insisted on taking the ultimate photo for social media.

A Different First 24 Hours?

Globally, 38% of travellers believe that the first 24 hours of a trip are the most memorable, but high expectations can mean we’re prone to worrying that things won’t go as well as we want. More than one quarter (26%) of Canadians say they worry about things going wrong in the first day, with no access to Wi-Fi being one of their top concerns.

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 Canadians tend to fret more than they need to:
– Close to half (46%) were worried they would lose their luggage; this may be more of an urban myth as only eight per cent had this happen to them.
– Forty-two per cent fretted about accommodation not living up to their expectations but their holiday story had a happy ending as 86% were pleasantly surprised when this actually did.

On the flip side, perception matches reality when it comes to our holiday hopes with these often being met. It was revealed that:
– Nearly two thirds (62%) of Canadians hoped to arrive to perfect weather; actually almost seven in 10 (66%) said their wish came true – proving the weather gods may well exist.
– Just over half said they hoped to have a seamless travel experience; this was close to reality with 49% living that wish.


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James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email [email protected]

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