It’s winter in Australia, which means shorter hours of sunlight, cold commutes to work, and the arrival of flu season. Pretty miserable right?
But in other parts of the world, there are people basking under the sun’s rays and sipping margaritas without a care in the world. Even the Brits experienced their hottest day of the year recently.
Jealous? Don’t be.
We’ve asked the editor at financial comparison site Mozo.com.au, Rebeccah Elley, to devise a list of her top four destinations for a budget-friendly, sunshine filled vacay, so you too could become one of those care-free holiday goers, enjoying an endless summer.
1. Sri Lanka
Why? Because Condé Nast Traveler said so. The luxury travel magazine put Sri Lanka at number two on its 16 Best Places to Visit in 2016 list, due to it being “affordable, uncrowded, and relatively unexplored.”
Travel money tip: In Australia, we aren’t exactly known to have a huge tipping culture, but in Sri Lanka you’ll be expected to tip. So always carry some small notes on you of around 20 or 50 rupees. And of course, make sure you find a travel debit card that comes with low or no overseas ATM fees.
Why? One of the best ways to determine whether a country is worth visiting, is to see how other travellers have rated it. And when it comes to Cambodia, this Southeast Asian country sure has the thumbs up, rated as number five on TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice top 25 destinations list.
Travel money tip: Even if you get a travel money card with low overseas ATM withdrawal fees, keep in mind that ATM issuers in Cambodia are notorious for charging withdrawal fees of around $5. If you need to get cash out to pay for your tour around the capital Phnom Penh or the temples of Angkor Wat, it’s wiser to withdraw a lump sum, to avoid incurring this fee multiple times for making several small withdrawals.
Why? It’s perfect for those avid travellers wanting to get off the beaten path. This East African country is known for its countless islands with crystal clear waters and sandy white beaches. If you want approval from the experts, then you might be happy to hear that National Geographic rated it as one of the best destinations to visit of 2016.
Travel money tip: If you plan on exchanging some of your Australian cash to Seychelles Rupees when you’re there, make sure you use a licensed operator and avoid exchanging money with anybody that approaches you on the street, as this could be a scam.
Why? We couldn’t do a ‘top destinations for an endless summer’ roundup, without including America on the list. Lonely Planet seems to agree too, placing it at number three on the Best in Travel 2016 awards. Probably the biggest drawcard to visit this year is the much-hyped election, which could see America’s first female President or controversial candidate Donald Trump take the top job.
Travel money tip: When it comes to visiting the USA, one of the most important things to bring with you is adequate travel insurance, as an overnight stay in a hospital can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make sure you look for a policy that comes with unlimited medical and emergency cover, so you aren’t hit with a medical bill that will turn your great escape into a major holiday headache.
Whether you choose a beachside resort or go completely off the beaten track for your winter holiday, one thing’s for sure, after visiting any of the above destinations, you’ll quickly leave your winter blues behind…