Australians agree: there are four fundamentals to a great holiday

New research from Carnival Cruise Line shows that four key factors make a holiday the most fun. Learn what they are and the best ways to include them on your next cruise.

Cruising in Mystery Island
Mystery Island, Carnival Cruise Line

New places to explore, family time, doing nothing at all … reasons for a holiday are endless. The past few years have been stressful, and Carnival Cruise Line research shows that feeling relaxed again is the top holiday motivator for the eight in 10 Australians.

Relaxing goes hand-in-hand with two other factors: setting work aside (46 per cent) and freedom from household chores (43 per cent). And then there’s those vistas – about a third of research respondents are excited by the prospect of awakening to a new view each day.

Here are four proven ways to gain holiday bliss – statistically speaking – on your next holiday.

The big chill

It may sound ridiculous, but many of us don’t know how to relax when we’re on holiday. The weight of our daily routines and work-related stress can often impede our ability to enjoy ourselves.

Experts recommend a few simple ways to ensure you disconnect and relax, including finishing outstanding work before you depart so it’s not hanging over you; leaving your laptop at home (and packing books and magazines instead); and limiting your mobile phone time.

Feeling calm doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing. When you’re doing something you love – whether it’s eating out with friends or reclining in a deck chair – you’re more likely to smile and laugh. And these reactions have been shown to further relax your body, reduce stress and boost your immune system.

So, if you’re a fan of nature and adventure, you’ll be happiest exploring beaches or trekking through stunning landscapes. A Carnival cruise to the Great Barrier Reef takes you to postcard-worthy locales like Airlie Beach and Port Douglas, with opportunities to tour the world-renowned Daintree Rainforest and striking Mossman Gorge.

Or consider a destination like Papua New Guinea, where you can immerse yourself in the fascinating local culture and history as well as lounge on picture-perfect beaches and discover remote islands where you can scuba dive to your heart’s content.

Choose places and experiences that make you feel joyful, and you’ll find your tensions fade away.

No work, more play

Recent years have seen many of us adapting to new ways of working, with the home office now a reality. But when the computer is perpetually in front of us, we often find it difficult to switch off, which means we’re working longer hours.

Not surprisingly, escaping the temptation to lean over and check your emails at 6am (or 8pm) is a strong holiday motivation.

While Carnival ships have wi-fi, distractions abound to keep your mind off that to-do list. When you’re cruising, your hardest decisions are which restaurant to select for lunch, what shore activity to register for, and what spa treatment to book.

A chore-free break

Studies show how we’re more satisfied with our lives when we use money to avoid unpleasant daily tasks, freeing ourselves to enjoy other activities.

On a Carnival ship, there are no meals to cook, no dishes to wash, no grocery shopping to do, no beds to make. You don’t even have to worry about repacking your suitcase between destinations. You board, pick your restaurant, take a dip, order a cocktail, watch a show, and retire to your cabin to find your bed turned down.   

The view from here

It’s a thrill to go to sleep in the tropical North Queensland hotspot of Cairns, and wake up in Port Douglas. Or Willis Island. Or Moreton Island. And you arrive without having to do a single thing – no unpacking and repacking, moving hotel rooms, queueing at airports.

On a cruise ship, you’re constantly approaching another great destination without having to endure extended drives or long-haul flights. Flying can trigger stress and anxiety – between waiting, baggage collection and nervousness about flying, air travel can be a dampener for any holiday.

But on a Carnival ship, you’ll be sipping a cocktail and gazing over the ocean without a care in the world while you float towards your next fabulous destination.