When the world is your oyster, how do you decide where to start shucking? So many amazing destinations around the world, so little time – making ‘where to next? ’
The million-dollar question. If you’re looking for inspo, Expedia’s top trending destinations for 2019 have been announced – and they’re all looking mighty delicious.
Japan and the words ‘tropical island getaway’ aren’t usually a combination that jumps to mind, but the Okinawa Islands are the country’s best-kept – or perhaps worst-kept – secret. A cluster of more than a hundred islands, Okinawa has long drawn Japanese holiday-makers looking for some downtime at the beach, and Aussies are catching on. After the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, tack on a few days at the end of your trip to recover from the adrenaline of the crowds while exploring Okinawa’s jungles, traditional marketplaces and one of the world’s largest aquariums.
Hotel recommendation: Ritz Carlton, Okinawa (5 stars)
The beating heart of America’s country music scene, Nashville is back on the bucket list thanks to a few blockbuster TV shows and movies that have a cult-like following. Visitors can’t get enough of dropping into the iconic Bluebird Cafe for open-mic night, or sitting in on a show at the Grand Ole Opry theatre. There are also plenty of diversions for those lacking the love of all things country music. Check out the local craft breweries in the city’s brewing district, get your brisket and pulled pork fix at a barbecue joint and learn more about the country’s Civil War history at the Tennessee State Museum.
Hotel recommendation: Hutton Hotel, Nashville (4.5 stars)
Akaroa, New Zealand
Less than a two-hour drive southeast of Christchurch, Akaroa is one of New Zealand’s most picturesque seaside regions, swiftly drawing visitors away from the big cities – and we can see why. Sprawling down the hillside of an ancient volcano, the main town retains much of its unique historic roots, with French patisseries harking back to its time as a French settlement . Hop in a kayak and explore the surrounding bays that are just as much its claim to fame; the Pohatu Penguin Habitat in Flea Bay is home to a little penguin colony that’s too cute to miss.
Hotel recommendation: Akaroa Criterion Motel (4.5 stars)
Headed to Spain for the UEFA Champions League Final? You and the rest of the world will have eyes on Madrid’s Estadio Metropolitano stadium – but once the score is settled, be sure to make a beeline for the coastal province of Cadiz. Six-and-a-half hours south of the country’s capital, the ancient port of Cadiz has long been known as a holiday hotspot, but savvy travellers are starting to head one hour further south to Tarifa. This humble fishing town has a lot to offer, with beaches, mountainous landscapes and a beautiful Old Town to explore. It certainly punches well above its weight when it comes to beachside bars, sports bars and tapas options, too.
Hotel recommendation: Hotel Tarifa Lances (4 stars)
If you’re worried about your pennies, Expedia has also included some tips to help make your next trip a reality.
Always doublecheck apps for mobile-only deals and savings. Bookings on the Expedia mobile app earn double Expedia Rewards points – Expedia’s loyalty program.
Bundle and save
Book your flight and hotel together to unlock potentially hundreds of dollars’ worth of extra savings. Australians can save up to $400* by bundling on Expedia.
Skip the crowds and the premium prices of the most popular times of year by visiting destinations on the cusp of peak season. You’ll often find discounted attractions, dining deals and reduced hotel rates as destinations try to lure in travellers.
Be strategic when booking
Expedia data shows that the day of the week on which you book your next trip makes a difference. Do your holiday planning midweek – but wait until Sunday night to lock in the best airfares.
Do your research
Make sure you’re prepared for the costs on the ground. Look into currency conversions, location of your hotel in relation to key attractions, and local restaurant prices so you don’t get stung once you’re on holiday.