Travel is much more than just a means of getting from one place to another. It’s an experience which opens our eyes and minds to the beauty and diversity of the world around us.
With the arrival of a new year comes the perfect time to start mapping out your holiday plans.
Will it be a laid-back beach escape in the Maldives? A South Pacific getaway? Or maybe a round the world epic taking in the wilds of South Africa and the grand capitals of Europe?
TripADeal founder Richard Johnston says ‘authentic experiences’ is the big theme for 2020 – taking visitors beyond the tourist facade to showcase what really makes a destination tick.
“One of my favourite things about travel is the people you meet – the locals who live and breathe a destination,” Johnston says. “We’ve noticed a trend in our travellers wanting to dive deeper into the history and culture of each destination, so we’re working to make that possible.”
Culinary tours and cooking classes, visits to local communities, and guided cycling tours are just a handful of the immersive experiences currently being added to select tour itineraries.
Beyond these cultural experiences, TripADeal is also venturing further afield to create tours to new, exciting and surprising destinations Australians may not have considered previously.
“Travellers are always on the lookout for the next big thing,” Johnston says. “We’re currently loving countries such as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which offer amazing history and scenery, but aren’t yet on the radar for Australian travellers. We want to change that.”
If you’re looking to see the world with 20/20 vision in 2020, here’s where you need to go:
There’s more to Romania than vampires and stuffed cabbage leaves. From the beautiful city of Brasov, fringed by the Carpathian Mountains, to vibrant Bucharest and the colourful streets of Sighisoara, Romania is a destination that will leave you spellbound from start to finish.
Part of the ancient Silk Road trade route which once connected Europe and Asia, Uzbekistan is renowned for its incredible history and Islamic architecture. Ornate Registan Square in Samarkand and the millennia old city of Bukhara are just two of its many highlights.
Bustling Colonial cities, exotic marketplaces, rivers dotted with rowboats and cargo vessels, and thousands of Buddhist stupas scattered across the emerald landscape; Myanmar is even better than everyone says it is. Above all though, it’s the people who will truly capture your heart.
At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has been a cultural melting pot for centuries. And though Istanbul is a household name, there’s so much Australians don’t know about this rich, inspiring and inviting country. From the ancient ruins of Ephesus, Pergaman and Troy to the magical landscape of Cappadocia, every inch is potentially more beautiful than the last.
Hands down one of the best value destinations in South East Asia. The food is sensational, the landscape is inspiring, the people are humble and inviting, and the diverse cities practically beg to be explored. Whether you want a laid-back beach getaway, an urban escape, a mountain retreat or something in between, ‘the land of the ascending dragon’ has got you covered.
From the windswept Scottish Highlands to the cultural powerhouses of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland is a land worth raising a glass of single malt to. It may be small, but it punches above its weight with a heady mix of history, natural beauty, and rich cities with their own distinct cultural flair. Plus, it’s the setting of Outlander. Need we say more?
Just a hop, skip and a short flight from the east coast of Australia, Samoa is a laid-back island paradise where relaxation is not just possible – it’s guaranteed. Add in the welcoming people, the rich island culture, the diverse accommodation options, and the amazing natural wonders such as To-Sua Ocean Trench, and you have everything needed for a relaxing getaway.
If it’s an off-the-beaten-path adventure you seek, Azerbaijan is the only name you need to know. The medieval streets of old Sheki, the dazzling 21st century architecture of Baku, bubbling mud volcanoes of Gobustan National Park… it’s a unique destination worth taking time out for.
All eyes will be on Japan with the 2020 Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo from July to August. Beyond the sporting arena though, visitors will discover a diverse destination brimming with amazing sights, unforgettable experiences, and plenty of surprises along the way. From the neon symphony of Tokyo to the centuries-old traditions of Kyoto and Gokayama, sun-kissed Okinawa to the whisky wonderland of Sapporo, Japan will leave you speechless.
1. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a destination we can’t get enough of – and we think everyone needs to visit. With its balmy tropical climate, stunning beaches, amazing surf, exotic cities, UNESCO listed wonders, incredible wildlife spotting opportunities, and everything in between, it’s perfection.
Ready to pack your bags? Browse our list of deals to these and many more destinations here.
For our New Zealand friends find your next holiday here.