Winter has always been a season of escape for Australians, as we head north to discover warmer weather in the Pacific, South-east Asia and Europe.
And with international travel now firmly back on the cards, flight capacities increasing and entry requirements around the world loosening, it’s a good time to start planning that overseas getaway. According to travel app Expedia, close to three in four Australians will be booking a trip this year. Here’s five holiday ideas that will inspire you to get booking.
When it comes to the Mediterranean, there’s no matching Greece for sheer variety: there’s more than 100 islands to explore. These range from the popular, history-rich Crete and artsy Hydra to less celebrated gems like pine-laden Skiathos and serene Antipaxos. Beaches are the perennial draw for this region, but that’s just the tip of the sandbar. Each individual island has its own vibe, so you can cater your visit to exactly what you’re after, and then connect the dots with strategic ferries. That might mean swimming in pristine water, snacking on fresh seafood, exploring volcanic backdrops or joining in on endless parties. And of course, for those looking for an educational trip, Greece is steeped in history, extending all the way to back to its enduring ancient architecture and mythology.
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Fiji is one for nature-lovers who don’t relish crowds, with outdoor activities ranging from snorkelling and surfing to hiking and wildlife spotting. The mountains and rainforests are just as enticing as the untouched coastlines and coral reefs, so why limit yourself to one type of terrain? It’s historically been a popular holiday spot for Aussies, but Fiji is big enough so that there are many remote spots where you can easily feel like you’re all on your own.
Not much further away than Fiji – and even closer for Western Australians – Singapore is often utilised as a convenient stepping stone to other destinations. But it’s well worth lingering in, with tropical beaches giving way to sprawling gardens, blissful bird watching and other outdoor pursuits. But if cities are more your thing, you can tap directly into the hawker street food culture that has been much replicated in Aussie cities but never fully matched. Delve into laksas and curries in open-air food courts or hit the glossy shopping districts instead. There’s also a wealth of wellness activities in Singapore, so you can dabble freely between relaxation and urban stimulation.
Vietnam is one of the most affordable travel destinations for Australians, especially with Bamboo Airways now flying direct from Melbourne and Sydney. The delicious food is an easy in, varying so notably by region that it’s like tasting your way through multiple countries in one. Equally diverse are the natural wonders, spanning circuitous cave formations, soaring mountain ranges, intricately patterned sand dunes and misty waterfalls. That means you’re just as likely to find your sweet spot by island hopping as you are by mountain climbing. And whether you choose northern, central or southern Vietnam – or even all three – the cities offer up a bright collision of history and culture that’s peppered with street festivals and other celebrations.
You don’t have to fly all the way to mainland America to access the country’s charms. Hawaii is very much its own vibe too, with a romantic island backdrop that’s also rich in metropolitan culture and nature escapes. With multiple islands to choose from and beaches ranging from dramatic black sands to more familiar golden hues, the outlying US state is a perfect perch for Australians who want to venture beyond Southeast Asian destinations.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Expedia. Book your next holiday with Expedia. Be advised all travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions. Please check local advisories before scheduling trips.