Transport costs are set to climb again this year, as more people head to the office and more families take to the road to visit friends.
In fact, the number of trips taken by Australians over the past three years has risen by almost 60% over the same period last year, according to new research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The figures show that there are more trips taken on foot and by bike than in the past, and many more Australians are travelling by car.
According to the ABS data, Australians spent more than $18bn on car travel last year.
However, with an estimated 1.2 million more people travelling than in 2016, the numbers are set for another surge in next year’s figures.
There are more than 2.2 billion people living in Australia, and the latest ABS data shows that there were almost 2.7 million trips made on foot in 2016.
This means Australians spent an estimated $17.5bn on travel in 2016 alone.
That equates to an average of more than 6 trips per day.
So while the number and type of trips is set to increase next year, the figures also indicate that the costs of living are set on the increase.
If you’re a parent, this could be a good time to consider whether your family will be able to afford the extra costs of travelling.
What’s driving the rise?
There are three major factors that could affect how much you can afford to spend on transport next year: The cost of living in a given region: A new survey from The Australian Institute of Travel Economics shows that the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney is around $600,000 while the cost in Melbourne is around double that amount.
Travelers in Queensland, where many travel to regional centres to work, also found that the average cost of renting a car is $5,500.
On the other hand, the cost for a one bedroom apartment in Brisbane is around triple the cost here.
Australia’s growing population: The latest ABS figures show Australia’s population is on track to overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy by 2026.
And while Australia’s growing middle class is making it easier for people to travel, there is a downside: Australia’s ageing population.
With about 1.3 million Australians aged 65 and over now living in the country, the ageing population is set for a significant rise.
Currently, around 4.2% of Australians are aged 65 or over, according the latest census figures.
If you are in a job that involves a lot of travel, the impact could be even more serious.
A survey by the Australian Council of Social Service revealed that there is about 1,000 people per week who have to work longer hours than they’d like to, and those workers are more likely to be travelling to work.
“In many cases, they’re also looking to travel to see their family, to get away from the office, and to do things that are important to them,” says Dr Chris Rimmer from the University of Sydney’s Institute of Community Health and Community Development.
Some people could even end up staying longer in Australia than they need to because of the high costs of housing.
It’s also worth remembering that Australia’s budget has not kept pace with rising population and health costs, and in many cases the budget is not being spent wisely.
Are you on a journey?
If you’re looking for a way to save money on travel, you could consider getting on the road.
While you’re at it, get an extra set of shoes or socks, and perhaps a new car.
These may be less expensive to buy than a ticket.
Another good idea is to take your car insurance to cover your trip, and check with your insurance provider to see if they have an option for a low-cost car insurance policy.
Find out more about how to save time and money on the ABC’s Travel Health page.