Kiwis keen to strike up romance on holiday

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 05:00 11/05/2014
Adam Lawlor and Lucy Townend

SERENDIPITY: Adam Lawlor and Lucy Townend met in a bar in Dublin when Townend was on her OE.

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Lucy Townend met her future husband while drowning her sorrows in a Dublin bar after missing a flight to London during her OE.

The 24-year-old from Palmerston North said she was not looking for love when she embarked on her overseas trip almost six years ago but she never ruled out romance.

Not all whirlwind holiday relationships have such a happy ending but, according to a new report, almost a third of Kiwis have booked an overseas getaway in the hope of striking up a holiday romance.

Townend's Irish now-fiance Adam Lawlor followed her back to New Zealand after her OE ended.

"It was a fortuitous meeting that blossomed into a whirlwind romance that I think is set to be lifelong love."

Townend says her father jokes that Lawlor is a souvenir-turned-keepsake.

According to the survey of more than 1000 Kiwis by online travel company Expedia, men are more likely to book a romantic getaway than women.

Not surprisingly, islands, beaches and cruise holidays are top of the list as go-to love destinations.

Almost 50 per cent of Generation Y, 25 to 34-year-olds, booked a holiday for romantic reasons and they did not seem to have any trouble sealing the deal.

Gen Y is most likely to have a one-night stand while on holiday, with 14 per cent admitting to doing so, and almost 20 per cent of that age group shared a kiss with a complete stranger while on holiday. Overall, 11 per cent of Kiwis surveyed said they had a one-night stand with someone they met while on holiday and one in eight shared a kiss with a stranger.

Men are more likely than women to snog a stranger on holiday.

But 18 per cent of women, compared to 16 per cent of men, said they booked a holiday following a breakup.

Gen Y is the age group most likely to use a holiday to help mend a broken heart.

Older Kiwis, over 65, are more outgoing while on holiday, with 61 per cent striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar.

According to the report, 65 per cent of Kiwis said they are more extroverted while on holiday.

Expedia travel expert Kelly Cull said during holidays people are more relaxed and, as a result, are more open to new experiences and to meeting new people.

"For some, this means finding love," Cull said.

When people discover new destinations and cultures on their travels they are presented with the "perfect opportunity to embrace the unknown".

Meanwhile, a global survey conducted by international office space provider Regus shows Kiwis are less adventurous when travelling for business. The Regus survey of 20,000 people, including 69 New Zealand participants, shows Kiwis missed their home comforts more than anyone else.

Almost 50 per cent of Kiwis surveyed said they missed their home when they travelled for business and 80 per cent said they missed their family.

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