Where to in 2018?
You won't want to miss out on these must-do travel experiences this year...
Flight Centre's Travel ideas: Wow List 2018 magazine is out, and it's full of must-do travel experiences for the year ahead (P.S. you can pick up a copy from Flight Centre Barangaroo).
Featuring highly on the list is the idea of transformational travel, reflecting the shift in travel motives to seek positive impacts on the places we're travelling to. Increased airline capacity and direct routes are expected to help some destinations really shine in the year ahead, while the trend of going off the beaten track and exploring new ground will continue to see tourists take a different path.
Here are some of our favourite experiences for 2018, featuring some of the key destinations from the Wow List, as well as hotspots based on Flight Centre's booking data. Let's go! ✈️
Asian elephants make a splash in a Thailand sanctuary. (Image: Getty)
Twenty-first century travel offers so much more than flights, accommodation and transport - and there's a fundamental shift among us in wanting to have more of a positive impact on places, learn new things and understand the world around us. Flight Centre is committed to responsible travel, conservation of natural resources and sustainability - and thought its WorldWise initiative, partners with likeminded organisations such as Intrepid Travel to conduct business in a manner that benefits the natural environment and local economies.
Start your day in Japan with a traditional breakfast. (Image: Getty)
Adventure, culture, food, fashion...and a bit of Zen on the side. What's not to love? Japan has seen a massive surge in popularity over the last few years, and there's no end in sight. In fact, over the last three years Flight Centre has seen 96 per cent growth in booking volume over the past year and with Japan hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2019, you can expect to see some heavy promotion of all Japan has to offer throughout 2018. There are more direct services on offer than ever before with Qantas, Jetstar and All Nippon Airways (ANA) all offering affordable flights year round.
Mongolia is off the beaten track, but oh-so-rewarding - both visually and culturally (Image: Getty)
Named as 'the one to watch' by Topdeck Travel, the youth travel company has just launched a Trans-Mongolia Railway journey between Moscow and Beijing that brings the benefits of group travel to a new mode of transport and a new destination. A unique and new itinerary will always be a drawcard for those who are looking for their next adventure and Mongolia is now firmly on the bucket list for many Aussie travellers.
The northern lights are just one of many otherworldly features in Iceland (Image: Jacques Van As)
Know someone that's been to Iceland recently? Chances are you're not alone - bookings are up 300 per cent over the last three years. Geographically, Nordic countries are going to be some of the hottest destinations in 2018 with Iceland and the northern lights leading the way.
Untouched beaches and classic Americana are just two of Cuba's drawcards (Image: Getty)
When the US lifted its travel restrictions on Cuba in 2015, it really opened up the region to a burgeoning tourism market. Over the last three years bookings have jumped 176 per cent as Aussies find a certain intrigue in the unique culture, heritage and atmosphere of Cuba.
The To Sua ocean trench is a must-see for a dip in Samoa. (Image: Getty)
With a 245 per cent growth over the last three years, Samoa is rapidly becoming the must-do idyllic escape for travellers who have already experienced Bali and Fiji. The untouched appeal of Samoa really resonates with travellers who are more and more inclined to seek out authentic experiences in a land yet to really undergo the commercialisation of popular tourist hotspots. The typical route to Samoa is via Auckland, but as of November 2017, Virgin Australia now offers direct services to Apia from Brisbane and Sydney.
To plan your next holiday or get some travel inspo, say hello to the team at Flight Centre Barangaroo - located on the corner of Hickson Road and Shipwright Walk.