Whether you’re after a bit of relaxation or a more adventurous getaway, winter feels like a good time to book that international flight. But it’s been a while – and it’s hard to know exactly which destination to opt for after a few years of border closures. Here’s five ideas to suit all tastes and vibes.
Where to scrap the schedule: India
It’s no use creating a strict itinerary for somewhere as spontaneous as India. With a population of more than one billion people (its capital city, Delhi, which is about half the size of Adelaide, holds roughly five million more people than the entire Australian population), in India surprise and chance lie around every corner. The terrain is diverse, from busy cities to tropical beach jaunts and frosty Himalayan hikes, and the food differs from region to region, so there is forever something new to try. With Qantas now offering new direct flights from Australia to India and more due in September, now could be the time for adventure. Just make sure you allow as much time – and flexibility – as you possibly can to immerse yourself in the country.
Where to lay back and get luxurious: Bali
It’s one of Australia’s best-loved holiday destinations for a reason. Whether your idea of relaxing involves dozing by the pool, surfing, dining, exploring, or being pampered by the beach – or maybe all of the above – your time here will never seem to be quite enough. Between lazing among lush greenery and days spent swimming and shopping, Bali offers a range of settings to explore, from peaceful temples in Ubud and beachfront bars in Canggu, to the hive of activity in Kuta and coastal walks in Jimbaran. According to research from travel site Expedia, Australians are prioritising relaxation on their next getaway. With Bali just over a six-hour flight from Sydney, winding down isn’t far away.
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Where to step outside your comfort zone: Canada
There’s a lot more to Canada than the cityscapes of Toronto and Vancouver – nearly 10 million square kilometres in fact. Much of it holds expansive wilderness, with a huge variety of terrains, where nature-lovers can spot polar bears and grizzlies, puffins and whales, caribou and salmon – depending on the exact destination and time of year. Heading to the Yukon (sitting snugly to the east of Alaska) and other northern reaches opens up an array of activities, including hiking, boating, skiing, camping and even the likes snowshoeing or husky-led sledding to get outside your comfort zone.
Where to catch a wave or dolphin watch: Hawaii
Escape the La Niña downpour with a warm excursion to the Hawaiian islands. As well as the national pastime of surfing, the volcanic landscapes of the Big Island offer up scenic drives and rich black sands in spots like the dolphin-dotted Kehena Beach. While Hawaii is known for its party-friendly vibes, the natural offerings are spectacular – track down hidden waterfalls, go diving with majestic sea turtles or just lie around on the beaches and soak it all in.
Where to indulge: Italy
Italy might seem like a distant destination for Aussies, but with a new direct route from Perth by Qantas launched in mid-June, more than three hours can now be shaved off the usual flight time. Once there, the flight will be a distant memory. Rome, Florence and Venice are steeped in history and culture both new and old, but southern Italy’s Puglia region has also been getting its due in recent years. Head there for pristine beaches, hyperlocal cuisine and whitewashed towns straddling dramatic cliffs. Take a camera, walking shoes and your bathers.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Expedia. For more travel tips, check out Expedia’s Greatest of All Trips and book your next overseas getaway. All travel recommendations are subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions. Please check local advisories before scheduling trips.