Travel as Self-Care: Booking.com Shares 6 Destinations to Help Travellers Feel Rejuvenated

Coral Sea Marina Resort 1_UX

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic arriving in Aotearoa, the important benefits that travel has on health and wellbeing are now sorely missed. According to recent Booking.com research, nearly two thirds (60%) of Kiwi travellers say they didn’t realise how important travel was to their wellbeing until it was no longer an option. For 64% of global travellers, travel is an essential part of their self-care, and almost three-quarters (71%) say that travel helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of rest and relaxation. 

Now that New Zealand has a clear path to opening borders , international travel is on the horizon again. With this in mind, Booking.com looked at endorsement data shared by global travellers for various travel activities to present six inspiring destinations that will help travellers feel rejuvenated.

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

According to Booking.com research, two-thirds (67%) of Kiwi travellers say that staying somewhere with different scenery helps them feel rejuvenated. As one of Europe’s most picturesque capital cities, there is no shortage of scenic spots in Edinburgh. Wander around the cobblestone streets and enjoy the medieval buildings and monuments scattered around the city. Visit one of the many castles, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle which is located on Castle Rock and offers incredible views of the entire city. Or learn how Scotland’s national drink is made during a Guided Whisky Tour with Tasting.

Where to stay: Princes Street Suites is the perfect place to stay to indulge the beautiful scenery of the city. This sustainable aparthotel, located in Edinburgh’s Old Town, overlooks Edinburgh Castle with historical sites in walking distance. Most apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible views of the city and there is a shared rooftop terrace to enjoy the beautiful scenic city while sipping on your whisky. 

Airlie Beach, Australia 

In the heart of Australia’s Whitsundays region, and the gateway to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a perfect place for relaxation. 34% of Kiwi travellers say that doing an activity that isn’t as accessible for them at home, helps them disconnect from the day-to-day routine to feel rejuvenated. With many options available, it’s not surprising that this coastal town is one of the top recommended destinations for sailing by Booking.com travellers. Jump aboard a Whitsunday Islands Boat Tour with Lunch, Sunset Cruise with Champagne or private charter and explore the 74 Whitsunday Islands nearby, or explore the crystal-clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef by boat.

The Rees Queenstown 2

Where to stay: Situated on the absolute waterfront and just a short walk from Airlie Beach village, Coral Sea Marina Resort offers a relaxed stay to totally reset and recharge. Most rooms offer stunning ocean views for guests to wake up to every morning. For guests looking to experience sailing and explore the beautiful surrounding area, Coral Sea Marina provides the perfect port for superyachts as well as a range of tours and activities, providing access to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.

Queenstown, New Zealand

For nearly seven in 10 (71%)* of Kiwi travellers, relaxing all day helps them to disconnect from the day-to-day routine to help them feel rejuvenated. A little closer to home, Queenstown is not only the adventure capital of Aotearoa with adrenaline filled activities, but also caters to the opposite end of the travel spectrum as a go-to R&R destination for Kiwis. Onsen hot pools may be one of the most ‘instagrammable’ places in the Southern region! Whether it’s a trip around all the beautiful vineyards, soaking in a picturesque hot tub, or simply a cruise through the scenic lakes and mountains, Queenstown is a tried and tested destination to get your dose of self-care.

Where to stay: Offering breathtaking views of the lakefront and mountains, The Rees Hotel & Apartments is the perfect place to get some R&R and completely unwind. Guests can enjoy a range of in-room massage services, including invigorating body and facial treatments. With self-care literally coming to you, guests may not even want to leave their hotel room to recharge!

Bologna, Italy 

A majority of travellers (61%) say that trying new and different cuisines helps them get out of their comfort zone, which in turn makes them feel rejuvenated. According to Booking.com travellers, Bologna is one of the top recommended destinations to visit for traditional food. While the Italian cuisine may not be new to many, Bologna is famed as a foodie's paradise and some of Italy's well-known pasta dishes, meats, cheeses and wines, originated in this city, including the famous Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese (hence the name!). Discover traditional cuisine by joining a Traditional Home Cooking Class with a Mealwhere you'll meet a chef at a typical Bolognese home and spend three hours learning how to prepare typical dishes from scratch.

Where to stay: Villa Savioli Room & Breakfast is a perfect place to stay for the ultimate Bologna experience. Set in a historical, traditional building, this sustainable property offers luxurious rooms with a homely feeling. Guests can enjoy traditional Italian breakfast each morning, including home-made biscotti, croissants and of course a tasty cappuccino. With just a short walk away from the city centre, guests can choose from plenty of restaurants that offer amazing traditional cuisine.  

For those travellers looking for a trip to reset again, Booking.com is sharing Early 2022 Deals for travellers to use when booking their next trip. Discounts start at 15 percent and are valid for stays until 31 March 2022.

*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.
**Endorsement data from Booking.com based on the most recommended and relevant destinations by global travelers for scenery, sailing, tranquility, traditional food, kite-surfing, friendly-people.