The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, and there’s a wonderful feeling in the air – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. After two years of travel restrictions, many of us have set our sights on a holiday further abroad this year. So, pack your passport and the candy canes – whether you’re seeking adventure, culture, nature, or a bit of everything, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best travel destinations this holiday season.
- Bali, Indonesia
From beach to jungle, Bali truly has something for everyone, with the added advantage of being a stone’s throw from our doorstep. Bali’s rainy season starts in November, but don’t let that stop you from going. Flights are cheaper, tourist attractions are quieter, and you can still enjoy many hours of sunshine, parked up by the pool with a cocktail in hand, or zen-ing out in child’s pose at one of Bali’s famous yoga retreats.
The food, the fashion, the culture… where do we begin? Japan is high on most Aussie and Kiwi to-visit lists and for good reason. Indulge in local cuisine (arguably some of the best food on the planet), take a trip to Mount Fuji, or shop ‘til you drop on Harajuku’s iconic Takeshita Street. Japan has loosened their entry requirements post-pandemic, too – so there’s never been a better time to visit!
Tacos and tequila, anyone? We’d expect you need no further enticing to make a trip to the taco capital of the world – there’s surf, nightlife, culture and, (in case you missed it before), the world’s best tacos. Mexico is perfect for embracing all of the above on a budget, and if you travel in our summer, you’ll enjoy it all with fewer tourists. If you plan your visit for October, don’t miss the day of the dead party in Oaxaca, and for a quieter escape, head slightly north to Sayulita – a little surf town with quaint hotels and a hipster vibe.
- Istanbul, Turkey
A trip to Istanbul should be on everyone’s bucket list. The city is a melting pot of culture, art, vibrant restaurants, history, and bustling markets, all of which can be enjoyed on a small budget. November is the perfect time to visit, too – European travellers have returned home, making it quieter and more affordable, and the sweltering summer weather has passed, which means more mild and enjoyable temperatures.
- New York City, USA
Ahhh, New York, New York. The city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle where dreams are made, and the perfect place to visit at Christmas (we learnt that from Kevin McCallister in Home Alone). With so much to see and do, your biggest problem will be deciding how to spend your time – of course, you’ll enjoy slices of New York’s iconic pizza, stroll Central Park, and ride the subway like a true New Yorker. But don’t forget to catch a Broadway show, visit the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, and see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation, you can’t beat a trip to Mauritius. The island nation is located just off mainland Africa and is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful beaches, and colourful reefs. Spend your holiday snorkelling or scuba diving, sightseeing around the quaint Mauritius villages, or just relaxing by the pool in your resort. Mauritius is known for its luxury, which comes with a high price tag – so it’s one to add to the bucket list for a special occasion.
- Yukon, Canada
If you’re craving wilderness and tranquillity, a trip to Yukon could be just what the doctor ordered. The Canadian territory is known for its dramatic nature, mountainous terrain, and wildlife. Being so sparsely populated, it’s a quiet corner of Canada – so it’s the perfect place to retreat for a wholesome getaway. Plus, it’s one of the best places to catch the northern lights and the best time of year to see them!
Riding solo this holiday? Iceland is repeatedly named one of the best places to travel alone. Sip on a mulled wine in the vibrant capital of Reykjavik, explore the geothermal spas or catch the northern lights. Iceland is also the perfect place to immerse yourself among beautiful nature – take a tour of the ice caves, go horseback riding, or take a trip to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Lonely Planet awarded Oman as one of their top 10 travel destinations for 2022 – and it’s no wonder. Our summer is a great time to visit, too, with mild temperatures and fewer travellers. Take a hike at Jebel Shams, swim in the emerald waters of the Bimmah Sinkhole, or take a camel ride through the desert. A diverse range of accommodations means you can plan your trip to fit your budget – whether you’re after a modest villa or a 5-star luxury resort.
Dreaming of a white Christmas? There might be nothing more festive than London at this time of year – with Christmas lights lighting up Oxford Street and festive displays in every shop window. Take the kids ice-skating at the Natural History Museum, indulge in a hot chocolate at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, or catch a show on the West End. Go for a drink at London’s oldest wine bar or for a Christmas roast at The Mayflower – a charming historic pub in Rotherhithe.
Book your flights and get ready for adventure
We thought the time would never come, but finally, we’re (almost) back to travelling as we knew it, with a few new norms. Before you fly, read up on current travel restrictions and requirements, and glance over our guide on everything you need to know about travelling in 2022. With so many places to visit, the hardest part is choosing where to go – so grab your globe, close your eyes and let fate decide! Wherever you end up this holiday season, you’re bound to have a jolly good time.