Travellers — especially young travellers — heading overseas should consider cruising over backpacking to save potentially hundreds on their trip, reports news.com.au.
As cruises, formerly the domain of the older holiday-maker, become more popular among the younger set, a Travel Insurance Direct analysis has found they are the most budget-happy option for travellers heading abroad.
An eight-day round trip to Fiji from Auckland could be as much as A$685 cheaper via a cruise than holidaying in the traditional way, taking into account costs of travel, accommodation, food and activities, as well as time spent in transit, the insurer found.
And it's not such a wild idea, as research suggests cruising is becoming increasingly popular among younger travellers.
"We've seen cruises skyrocket in popularity among Aussie travellers over the last several years, and it looks like Millennials are now jumping on board too," Travel Insurance Direct spokesman Ash Zaman said.
"You take the cost savings of a cruise over a traditional backpacking holiday and couple it with the prospect of not having to waste precious holiday time stuck in airports and planes, what you end up with is a really great holiday proposition."
Travel Insurance Direct broke down the average costs of an eight-night trip to Fiji and a 14-night journey through South East Asia to compare costs between cruising and backpacking.
It found travelling to Fiji cost A$1160.01 for return flights compared with A$806.19 for a cruise voyage.
Overnight accommodation for backpackers cost A$344.80, entertainment cost A$32.57, food cost A$105.48 and public transport cost A$26.96, while on a cruise, they're all included.
Tourist attractions cost the same for both, and while beers were more expensive on the cruise, all-up a backpacking holiday could cost A$1855.27, while a cruise would cost just A$1170.85.
Crucially, travel times while backpacking could be more than 19 hours, while on a cruise, it's all part of the experience.
The company also looked at costs of a 14-night trip through South East Asia, starting in Singapore and including Bali.
Flights to the region could cost A$1149.39 while only A$899.10 on a cruise, it found.
Costs of overnight accommodation, food, entertainment and public transport for backpackers could total A$349.85, while that's all free on a cruise.
Again, attractions cost about the same (A$134.18) and cruise beer prices are more expensive, but that backpacking trip could cost A$1698.76 — a whole A$439.10 more than a cruise.
The most recent cruise travel survey by Cruise Lines International Association found Millennials (aged 22 to 37 years) are increasingly interested in cruise holidays, with around one in four having taken a cruise in the past three years.
And more of them are keen to give it a go. Some 70 per cent of Millennials surveyed said they "definitely will" book a cruise for their next trip in the 2018 survey compared with 63 per cent in the previous year.
Younger travellers preferred trips with itineraries of one or two weeks, the market research found.