A luxury cruise tops Kiwi travellers' bucket lists followed by visiting the Wonders of the World and seeing the Northern Lights. Great photo opportunities are important with eight in 10 saying it was a key driver in holiday planning, according to a survey out today.

And the research by travel firm Expedia finds more than nine in 10 New Zealanders have travelled overseas at least once in their lives and on average have visited about eight countries.

Kiwis' Top 10 international travel destinations
Expedia's travel sites to list more info on airline fees

The survey of more than a 1000 New Zealanders finds the number of Kiwis who have travelled overseas at least once in their life was up from 8.7 per cent last year.


"It also appears a weaker New Zealand dollar and resurgence in domestic travel are not deterring Kiwi travellers from travelling overseas or aspiring to travel overseas," Expedia says.

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of Kiwis who have ever been overseas intend to travel internationally again in the next 12 months. Men on average are more likely to have travelled to a greater number of countries - average 8.3 as opposed to 7.2 for women.

Married people are the most likely to have visited the greatest number of countries (10.3; never married 6.7, defacto or living together 8.5, separated/divorced/widowed 7.9).
Seven in 10 Kiwis who have been overseas have been on at least one overseas holiday in the last two years - about the same as last year.

Northern Lights, Norway.
Northern Lights, Norway.

Nearly all (98 per cent) of travellers keep a bucket list with destinations ranging from North America to Asia and nearly the same proportion have crossed at least one activity off their bucket list.

Top experiences on bucket lists for Kiwi travellers include taking a luxury cruise (35 per cent), visiting one or more of the Seven Wonders of the World (33 per cent), holidaying like a VIP (33 per cent), seeing the Aurora Borealis (29 per cent) and driving around the country in a motorhome/caravan (28 per cent).

Top international Bucket List destinations:

"What's exciting is that Kiwis are thinking beyond traditionally popular destinations and are seeking unique travel experiences." said Georg Ruebensal, managing director Expedia Australia and New Zealand.

Activities Kiwis have already crossed off their bucket lists include: visiting a major theme park such as Disneyland, Alton Towers or Wet 'n' Wild (59 perk cent ), camping or glamping (33 per cent and seeing snow at Christmas (32 per cent.)

Two in five travellers have visited a site of historical significance, such as Gallipoli.


Countries topping the international bucket lists were all English speaking destinations, with Australia the country most likely to be on Kiwi travellers' bucket lists in the next five years (47 per cent), compared to England (30 per cent) and Canada (22 per cent).

When planning holidays, 89 per cent of travellers consider the ability to refresh and disconnect from the daily grind an important factor when choosing a travel destination.

The same proportion (89 per cent) see health and wellbeing, pristine natural environments and seeking unique cultural experiences as important when choosing a travel destination, showing travellers need a completely different experience from their everyday lives.

Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.
Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.

The rise of Instagram saw great photo opportunities as a key driver for Kiwi travellers when choosing a destination (80 per cent) as compared to adventure and physical pursuits (59 per cent).

Eighty per cent of those surveyed say the opportunity for great photo opportunities was a key driver when choosing a destination.

This trend is mirrored by more than half (57 per cent) choosing digital cameras as a travel essential, aside from a smartphone, compared to other travelling features such as WiFi (43 per cent), travel apps (21 per cent and GPS devices and laptops (18 per cent).
Despite the initial hype, Kiwis are not so keen on selfie-sticks, with only 4 per cent deeming them a travel essential.


Top domestic Bucket List destinations:

• The online survey of 1014 New Zealanders aged 18 and older was done over a fortnight from September 17.

To comment on destinations or visual memories, respondents must have either travelled overseas at least once and at least once internationally in the last two years; or intend to travel internationally in the next 12 months.