22 May 19
Aussies are spoiled for weather: we have
reliable, warm summers, and gorgeous temperate shoulder seasons. Winter however,
is chilly, and if you’re like us, and hate popping your sandals and shorts away
for a season of socks, scarves and winter jackets, then you are not alone
(literally – we’ve looked at the numbers!).
A staggering 80% of us book to warmer
destinations in winter: to exciting cities in Asia like Tokyo and Singapore,
North American bucket list hits like Los Angeles and Polynesian Hawaii, and
historical European powerhouses like Athens and Italy. As flights prices become
more affordable, escaping the winter is very much ‘in’.
So where should I book a winter holiday to this year?
Year on year we’re seeing an uptick in Aussies looking to spend their winters somewhere sunny, and so we decided to compile a list of the best places you can book a winter escape. Whilst Bali (oh Bali, you beaut) and London consistently make our lists – including this one – there are some exciting new destinations that are emerging as the new heavy hitters of the hallowed winter holiday.
Not only that, most destinations have never been more affordable when we looked at prices over the years. To help our cost-conscious travellers plan their winter escape, we crunched the data to reveal which warm weather spots have never been more affordable! Where there is huge savings to be had, we’ve made sure to point it out below – just look out for the Wallet-Warming Destination alert.
Bali calls to Australians like the sirens to Odysseus, and is consistently a top destination for winter holidays. This is partially thanks to its 30°C yearly averages, and its affordability – Bali is roughly 70% cheaper than Oz. Added to that, Bali boasts beaches, jungles, water parks, temples, restaurants, and bars, plenty to do for couples, families and solo travellers alike.
winter holiday for: people on a budget
London, United Kingdom
Wallet-Warming Destination: Airfare prices are cooperating with traveller intentions, with prices reducing by 22% across a four year period.
London during June to August is in its summer months, with daily highs of around 20-22°C. These temperate days are perfect for all the sightseeing you can do in this city. From wandering down the Thames for the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, Big Ben and the Tower of London, to strolling through the grounds of Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, and Hyde Park.
Families, can go to the Natural History Museum,
or the Harry Potter Studio Tour, couples can dine from the top of the Shard, or
explore the rooftop bars, and solo travellers can shop down Regent’s Street,
and discover the foodie scene of Brick Lane.
Best winter holiday for: sightseeing
Wallet-Warming Destination: Flight prices have dropped 24% since 2015 making the Greek capital an affordable winter-break this year.
Greece is so beautiful during June to August that other Europeans experiencing summer still choose to holiday here. Expect daily averages between 23-32°C, and dry weather. Athens is the jewel in the country’s crown, with ancient historical marvels that are a wonder to behold, such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon Temple, and the Agora marketplace.
Athens is also a brilliant hub for
exploring the hundreds of Greek islands, such as Santorini, Mykonos, and Zante.
Where you can enjoy the seaside resorts, sunsets, and fascinating mythologies.
winter holiday for: island hopping
Wallet-Warming Destination: Airfares are 10% more affordable than they have been in 4 years.
One to watch! The rising popularity of Tokyo is no surprise, summers are warm and see average highs of 26-31°C, and the attractions in the city are more than we can number here. Kids will adore Tokyo Disney, the Ghibli Museum, the monkeys of Jigokudani Yaenkoen park. Adults on the other hand can enjoy the nightlife of Shinjuku, the shops of Ginza, and the incredible food found in sushi bars, and hole-in-the-wall ramen joints.
Day trips also abound, with easy access to the
slopes of Mount Fuji, the Great Buddha of Kamukura, and the temple town of
winter holiday for: culture
One to watch! Bangkok is often seen as a stopover to the islands, coastline, or the northern reaches of Thailand, but this capital is filled with attractions and things to do. Visit the Grand Palace, the riverside Wat Arun, and the National Museum to see Bangkok’s historical side, and then throw yourself into its contemporary heart by enjoying the gleaming malls and sky high bars of the city, or the buzzing atmosphere of Khaosan Road.
Plus, if you like the warmth, you’re in
luck, as you can expect the days to sit at 25-33°C, more than enough to
banish those winter blues.
winter holiday for: a city break
One to watch! Escaping winter to the paradisiacal stretches of Phuket will mean lazing on white-sand beaches, drinking fresh coconut water, and snorkelling in crystalline waters. Phuket is also affordable, and well set up for all manner holidayers. Budget backpackers will find beach bars and cheap bungalows by the sea, families will be able to make use of the water parks and kids clubs, and couples can find gorgeous hideaways fit for honeymooning.
winter holiday for: beaches
Los Angeles, USA
The City of Angels became the home of Hollywood partially because of its near-perfect weather, and if you book a winter holiday to LA you can expect days to sit between 18-29°C. Perfect for spending time on the golden shores of Malibu, in the palm lined avenues of Beverly Hills, or the star lined walk of Hollywood Boulevard.
Film buffs of course will revel in all the
things you can do here, from studio and set tours, visiting Disneyland and
Universal Studios, to keeping an eye out for the latest celebrity popping for a
coffee in Santa Monica.
winter holiday for: movie lovers
Dive into a world of dining, shopping, and
ethereal spaces like the city gardens by booking a winter holiday to Singapore.
Always tropical, Singapore hovers between 26 and 31°C.
Travellers can spend their day in the
Gardens by the Bay, in the infinity pool at the top of Marina Bay Sands, or
take the kids to Universal Studios or the incredible night safaris at Singapore
Zoo. A win for any winter-shy traveller.
winter holiday for: luxury
Wallet-Warming Destination: Flying to the crown jewel of Italy is 17% cheaper this year compared to prices four years ago.
Tour the ancient streets of Rome for your winter escape, as the Eternal City is where you can enter the historical Colosseum, marvel at Trajan’s Column, sit by the Trevi Fountain, and be awed by the Pantheon. Plus, you can do all this under a blue sky and in temperatures of 19-32°C.
For history buffs it’s hard to beat Rome,
not least because after a long day of touring you’ll find gelato stands on
every corner – the perfect way to cool down.
Best winter holiday for: history
Wallet-Warming Destination: 16% drop in flight costs compared to 2015!
The magnificent streets of Paris are probably at their most beautiful from the months of June to August, as summer is well and truly in bloom. At daily temperatures in the 16-25°C range, you can wander along the Seine, see the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Élysées, and the Louvre under the sun.
This is an ideal winter escape for couples
looking for a little romance, but it’s not just for those who are paired up.
Families, friends, kids (and big kids!) will adore Disneyland Paris, and trips
out to wonders like the Palace of Versailles.
winter holiday for: romance
Wallet-Warming Destination: Airfares at a four year low, decreasing by 16%.
Are you a surfer? There is no better place in
the world to hit the waves than the destination where this sport was invented.
However, don’t despair if you’re aren’t a surfer, as you can still take
advantage of the 25°C + days and relax on
Waikiki’s beaches, hike in the national parks of Kauai, and the big island, and
swim with wild dolphins off the coast of Oahu.
You can also get to know more about the wonderful indigenous culture of Hawaii and see a real Luau, or explore the history of the islands at the Polynesian Cultural Centre.
winter holiday for: surfing
Wallet-Warming Destination: Airfares have decreased by 28% since 2015.
One to watch! The archipelago that makes up the Philippines has some of the most pristine landscapes in the world. Think white sand beaches, turquoise shores, and colourful reefs.
What makes this destination even more
appealing (aside from its 26-31°C daily
temperatures) is that average prices on holidays to the Philippines drop by 10%
during the months of June to August – perfect for beaching on a budget.
winter holiday for: snorkelling
Wallet-Warming Destinations: It could very well be the luck of the Irish making flights to Dublin 18% more affordable than 4 years ago.
Dublin never gets that hot, as even in summer the temperatures stick at around 19-20°C, but that makes it a pleasant place to spend a season if you aren’t keen on a winter escape that makes you feel like melting. The gentle rolling landscape of Ireland turns emerald green in summer, and this is a great time of year to hire a car and see the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway and the Wicklow Mountains.
In the city itself, you can enjoy its well-deserved
artistic reputation, and visit the Dublin Writer’s Museum, or see the Book of
Kells at Trinity College. Or go for tour Dublin Castle, duck into Kilmarton
Gaol, and throw back a pint at Guinness Storehouse.
winter holiday for: literary buffs
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
For excitement and some much needed heat in the winter months, Ho Chi Minh City is ideal. The city itself is known for its food and its nightlife, but there are a ton of wonderful attractions here, such as the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, the Independence Palace, and the Ben Thanh Market.
The weather in this city averages 27°C throughout the year, and if you find yourself getting a little hot
under the collar, you can easily make your way to the seaside resorts of the south
in Phu Quoc, or the north in Nha Trang.
winter holiday for: nightlife
Wallet-Warming Destination: Airfares have decreased 25% over a 4 year period.
One to watch! Amsterdam has rocketed up the list of favoured destinations for Aussie travellers, climbing up some 4 positions to hit our winter list. It’s easy to see why too, as Amsterdam is one of the loveliest cities in Europe.
Tour the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, and Dam Square, then hop on a boat tour and enjoy a cocktail on the canals. Summer days in this city are enjoyable, and usually sit at a comfortable 22°C.
Best winter holiday for: museums