South American marvels, Europe on a budget: Top travel tips for 2024

Prague, the Pacific and Peru – the places at the top of our 2024 travel list.

Prague, the Pacific and Peru – the places at the top of our 2024 travel list. Photos: Getty/TND

Australians’ thirst for international travel shows no sign of easing, and there are plenty of options to consider for those who are dreaming of visiting distant lands.

Skyscanner data has revealed that economic turbulence has done little to dampen Aussies’ plans to keep travelling – with 75 per cent of us planning at least as many holidays in 2024 as they had in 2023.

“The cost of living, though, remains top of mind, and our money-saving tools continue to rise in popularity,” Skyscanner travel expert Jarrod Kris said.

“Our ‘Everywhere’ search, showing prices from the lowest to highest from airports to global destinations, is the top search destination for travellers globally this year.

““Skyscanner’s 2024 Travel Trends report reveals that more than ever, cultural exploration will be a priority for travellers in 2024.

“We’re seeing a broad spectrum of cultural curiosity in travel, from gig trippers, jetting off to see their favourite artists to budget bougie foodies seeking the best food experience (at the best price).”

Skyscanner said the cost of flights and accommodation were the biggest factors determining where Australians took off on holiday.

With that in mind, here are The New Daily‘s top four destinations for 2024 – and a bonus fifth that might be overlooked.

Vietnam is a beautiful country, especially if you get out to the countryside. Photo: Getty

1. Vietnam

Vietnam has long been a favourite for budget holidays and package tours. But the country offers much more than that, particularly for those who are into history.

In the capital Hanoi, you can wander through the Old Quarter’s narrow streets, and visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and One Pillar Pagoda.

After that, try the street food that has been embraced around the world, with dishes such as pho and banh mi.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in the country, you can visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, and the Ben Thanh Market or explore the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda.

2. South America

Countries such as Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil may not be front of mind for many when brainstorming an overseas holiday.

But these culturally rich countries, and their neighbours, offer something that is difficult to find anywhere else.

There is a wide range of historical sites to visit, including Machu Picchu.

But if this marvel is top of your list, you will need to plan ahead and apply for a visitor’s pass – the Peruvian government limits crowd numbers to protect the ancient city.

From January 1, that’s usually 4500 visitors a day, although Peru’s Ministry of Culture has said it will sometimes allow up to 5600 to help the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.

Other wonders across the vast continent include the Iguazu Falls on the Argentina-Brazil border, Bolivia’s astonishing Uyuni Salt Flat and the Amazon Rainforest.

Also in South America, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is having a moment.

Airbnb named it one of its top trending destinations for 2024 – with searches on the platform for Rio accommodation surging 136 per cent for February’s Carnival weekend.

Cities such as Prague are often more affordable than many western European tourist favourites. Photo: Getty

3. Eastern Europe

Travelling around much of Europe can get very expensive, very quickly.

But even this costly continent had some more budget-friendly locations that still offer rich history and culture – if you can snag a great deal on a flight.

A stay in Prague, in the Czech Republic, will be far cheaper than visiting Germany, France or Spain. The city is chockablock with history, including the largest castle in the world, Prague Castle, the Astronomical Clock with hourly shows and the Old Town Square.

Other locations such as Budapest in Hungary, Krakow in Poland and Dubrovnik in Croatia offer centuries of history, with city walls and towns that are sometimes thousands of years old.

The city of Lautoka on the Fijian island of Viti Levu. Photo: Getty

4. The Pacific

If a great deal helps decide your destination, then the Pacific should be at the top of your list.

Airlines offer great deals on travel to the Pacific Islands – sometimes for a fraction of the cost of other overseas trips.

The best part? There are so many culturally and socially different countries, states and micro-nations to visit that you’ll never get bored.

From the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Fiji to Tonga and the Easter Islands, you’ll find famous beaches, landmarks and man-made wonders.

Other activities such as staying beachside in overwater bungalows in French Polynesia, diving or snorkelling in Fiji or hiking the volcanic landscapes of Hawaii will make it a holiday to remember.

Lake Batur Bali

Bali is full of natural beauty, like Lake Batur, Kintamani. Photo: Getty

5. Old favourites

Australians have a reputation for visiting a few favourite spots, with good reason.

In 2024, Bali, Thailand and our close neighbour New Zealand remain attractive options that won’t break the bank like a trip to Europe.

Booking agency Expedia, Stayz and Wotif said popular and affordable destinations such as these remain favourites with Australians planning a trip.

“Internationally, we’re seeing strong demand on Expedia for destinations like Tokyo, Bali and Singapore, as well as further afield destinations like New York and London,” Expedia Brands managing director Daniel Finch said as 2023 wound down.

“The data shows that Aussies are prioritising flight accessibility and affordable accommodation over the summer break.”

According to Expedia data, Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is its second-most affordable summer destination with an average daily accommodation rate of $162.

Christchurch came in sixth ($212) and Denpasar (Bali) was seventh ($215).

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