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The Rio de Janeiro Olympics starts today! Something about the games gets me really excited. I love watching the opening ceremonies when all the athletes march in together and all the fans cheer on their favourite countries. For some reason, I enjoy seeing the athletes from countries I’ve never heard of. Their small group of athletes is an inspiration to their country and I admit, it does encourage me to find out more about their country.

When you think about it, the Olympics is also a unique travel opportunity. Rarely do hundreds, if not thousands of people from a fair amount of countries travel to a single destination. Travel search engine KAYAK took a look at all the bookings to Rio de Janeiro and came up with a GLOBAL TRAVEL GAMES; a competition among 40 countries. The idea was to see what the travel habits were. Some of the results were a bit surprising.

Travel habits

Global Travel Games results

Top Advanced PlannersTop Last-Minute BookersTop Mobile SearchersTop Family Travellers
1st - Germany1st -Spain1st - Japan1st - Austria
2nd - Great Britain2nd - Canada2nd - Hong Kong2nd - Hong Kong
3rd - Netherlands3rd - Mexico3rd - Korea3rd - Italy
Top Travellers to RioTop Bargain HuntersTop First-Class TravellersTop Direct-Only Flyers
1st - Brazil1st - Germany1st - Korea1st - Switzerland
2nd - Argentina2nd - Italy2nd - Switzerland2nd - Ireland
3rd - Colombia3rd - France3rd - United States3rd - United States

The only category where Canada ranked in the top 3 was for last-minute bookers. Mind you, this data was specific to trips to Rio de Janeiro, but I never recommending booking last-minute. Generally speaking, flying from Canada is already expensive, so why would you wait for the last minute when prices are sure to be higher?

It was also interesting to see that the top mobile searches all came from Asian countries. I’ve been to all three countries and I always felt they were ahead of everyone when it came to technology. In Korea, you can get Wi-Fi pretty much everywhere, including the subway. In Japan, pocket Wi-Fi is a standard thing, and in Hong Kong data packages are extremely cheap.

The top three visitors to Rio de Janeiro are all from South America. This makes perfect sense considering the host country always gets the most visitors for the games. It would be pretty sad if that wasn’t the case.

Top direct-only flyers was also a bit surprising. You would think that the South American countries would be tops here due their proximity. I’m actually pretty surprised that Switzerland and Ireland ranked so high – those are destinations don’t have many ties to Brazil but I suppose stranger things have happened.

So what kind of traveller are you? I don’t have any set rules I follow, I’m constantly looking for cheap flights, and as soon as I find one, I book it.

Travel habits[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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