Nearly half of New Zealanders travelled abroad last year and they spent more on their holidays than they did in 2012, according to a new survey.

The study, commissioned by credit card company MasterCard, found that 49 per cent of Kiwis travelled overseas last year, up 3 per cent on 2012, and spent an average of 11 per cent more, at $3479.

According to the study, the bulk of the money was spent on getting to the destination (39 per cent) and accommodation there (20 per cent), followed by eating out (13 per cent), shopping (13 per cent), recreational services (9 per cent) and local transport (6 per cent).

Credit cards were the preferred mode of payment to cover flights, accommodation and shopping while cash was more commonly used to pay for meals, recreational services and local transport costs.


While they were away, Kiwis were most likely to stay in mid-range (40 per cent) or economy (15 per cent) hotels, or to grab a spare bed or couch with friends and relatives (35 per cent).

The study found that 23 per cent of Kiwis planned to travel overseas in 2014, with 49 per cent cent intending to maintain their current level.

MasterCard New Zealand manager Peter Chisnall said the strong Kiwi dollar and growing optimism around the economy and personal prospects meant New Zealanders were feeling more able to scratch that intrepid itch.

"New Zealander's are savvy travellers. Given our position at the bottom of the South Pacific, transport to international destinations naturally takes up a significant proportion of travel budgets.

"However, the results suggest that a significant portion of Kiwis are balancing costs by opting to stay with friends and relatives or in cheaper hotels in order to make the most of their budgets, and their holidays."

The research was done by market research company Ipsos, which carried out online surveys of 406 New Zealanders aged 18-16.

New Zealanders' top 10 intended overseas holiday destinations for 2014
Australia 58 per cent
USA 36 per cent
UK 24 per cent
Canada 23 per cent
France 18 per cent
Fiji 17 per cent
Hong Kong 15 per cent
Japan 14 per cent
Thailand 13 per cent
Italy 13 per cent