As the dust begins to settle on 2019, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the new decade than planning a holiday (or three) for 2020. The question is, though, where should you travel?
The world is becoming increasingly more accessible, encouraging tourists to travel further and wider than ever before. This has made choosing a holiday destination even harder. Do you stick with your classic holiday getaway to Fiji, or instead explore somewhere new and exciting?
If somewhere new is on your agenda and you’re after a little bit of inspiration, look no further! We asked some of our Travel Money experts for their recommendations on where to travel in 2020. They help tourists every day with their travel money needs (not to mention the fact that they travel pretty regularly themselves), so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about travel hotspots around the world.
Hottest Destinations of 2020
Destination: New Zealand
Travel Money Expert: Cai, Belconnen store
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Keen on an overseas holiday but don’t want to stray too far from home? Just a hop, skip and a jump across the ditch lands you in the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand!
The South Island boasts world-class scenery, ready to take your breath away and fill your camera roll with memories that will last a lifetime. Head over in summer for lush greenery and incredibly hikes, or plough over in winter to enjoy the fresh snow.
Keen on an island escape? No stress, the North Island's Bay of Islands is ready to become your summer paradise. Just don’t forget to pay a visit to Wellington, the gorgeous waterfront city packed with culture and delicious food.
Travel money tip: The NZD is very similar to the Aussie dollar, just remember their two-dollar coin is the large one! If you forget to grab some cash before you leave, Travel Money NZ is there and ready to load you up.
Destination: George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Travel Money Expert: Geoff, Manners Street TMNZ store
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
George Town is the capital of Penang State. The city is unique, in that the architecture, colours and culture are frozen in time, while indulgences of the modern word build to create an eclectic and addictive atmosphere.
Boasting a UNESCO World Heritage Site, gorgeous Old Town, Penang National Park and an insane amount of incredibly cheap and delicious food, it’s a surprise that George Town is only gaining popularity now. The city caters to all travellers, just be sure to pack some loose-fitting clothing to cope with the heat and leave some wiggle room for all of the food you will no doubt consume.
Travel Money Tip: Plates of food average around $2, and the rest of the city is super cheap so this holiday won’t have to break the bank. Some locals refer to Ringgit as dollars as well, so don’t get confused and think they are talking about a different currency!
Destination: The Maldives
Travel Money Expert: Scotty, General Manager of Travel Money Group
Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa, though the USD is widely accepted
Made up of over 1000 tiny islands, the Maldives is as picture-perfect as postcards portray them to be. A holiday to the Maldives is the epitome of a ‘treat yo’ self’ attitude, and what better way to celebrate a new decade than by laying poolside, cocktail in hand in your own private bungalow.
While the Maldives is a tad on the expensive side, rest assured that it can be done on somewhat of a budget. Keep an eye out for flight deals and look for accommodation in the bigger cities like Male.
Travel Money Tip: A lot of the resorts are all-inclusive, so you can essentially go cash-free while on holiday. Load up your Travel Money Oz Currency Pass with USD to pay any outstanding balances at the end of your trip, and have some cash on hand if you wish to tip.
Travel Money Expert: Michelle, Waverly Gardens store
Currency: Croatian Kuna
Many Aussies visit Croatia only seeing Dubrovnik, which is where Game of Thrones was filmed. However, limiting your Croatian holiday to Dubrovnik means missing out on breathtaking locations like Split, Hvar and the Plitvice Lakes National Park. If you’ve never heard of the National Park, Google it right now, stare in awe and then resume reading this article.
Croatia offers a perfect blend of European wonders - incredible food, sunkissed swimming, lush landscapes and friendly locals. If you’re planning a 2020 European escape, be sure to dedicate a week or two to Croatia.
Travel Money Tip: Despite being in Europe, most vendors will only take Croatian Kuna. Don’t try to pay with the euro as locals do not appreciate it, almost taking it as an insult. Vendors preferred cash payments; however, some restaurants and bigger shops will accept card.
Travel Money Expert: Jayme, Canberra Centre store
Currency: Cuban Peso and Cuban Convertible Currency
With colourful sights and colourful people, Cuba is a go-to spot in 2020 as tourists become enchanted in a country lost in time. Fill your time exploring the vibrant streets on foot, cruise around in vintage cars or sit back and relax while listening to some Jazz.
Cuba offers you the chance to unplug from life at home. The dodgy wifi paired with more than enough activities to keep you busy will allow you to unwind from the stresses of everyday life.
Travel Money Tip: Cuba has a closed currency, so you can’t purchase it outside the country. You are best taking euro or Canadian dollars to exchange when you arrive, just avoid taking USD at all costs.
Travel Money Experts: Jayme, Canberra Centre store and Johanna, Broadway store
Currency: Japanese yen
Hosting the Summer Olympics in 2020, the already popular Japan is set to explode with tourism. Not only is it super cheap and easy to get to Japan from Australia, but the culture and country will welcome you with open arms and plenty of delicious food.
There is so much to explore in Japan, from the vibrant nightlife and buzzing energy of Tokyo to the grounding energy in Hiroshima’s peace park and museum and the incredible street food of Osaka. If you’re after a more cultural experience, be sure to visit Kyoto where you can glimpse geisha houses, attend Samurai shows, hang out with monkeys and even climb a mountain.
Travel Money Tip: Japan is a very safe destination, so you don’t need to be as worried about petty theft or pickpockets. Cash is generally preferred; however, you can load up your Travel Money Oz Currency Pass with Japanese yen and access ATMs at the 7/11s which are almost on every street corner in major cities.
Destination: Moalboal, The Philippines
Travel Money Expert: Abbie, TMOz Travel Writer
Currency: Philippino Peso
Thanks to social media, the Philippines has exploded in popularity over the past few years as tourists flock in search of crystal clear waters and secluded island escapes. As destinations like Coron and El Nido become more and more popular, equally beautiful cities and towns are often overlooked. Enter: Moalboal.
A two-hour drive from Cebu city lands you in a cute beachside town, still relatively untouched by mainstream tourists. Here you will find curious backpackers spending their days learning to dive, snorkelling at the sardine run (which is only 10 metres offshore), canyoneering and sipping on mango smoothies. The locals are friendly, the snorkelling is incredible, and the food and drinks are super cheap. If you’re after an affordable destination to unwind and unplug from home, Moalboal is the place to go.
Travel Money Tip: Cash is king. While there are a few ATMs, they will often run out of money and only spit out larger denominations which are often hard to charge in local stores and restaurants. Aim to get smaller peso notes before you leave Australia and split larger bills at more established restaurants or your hotel.
Destination: Rajasthan, India
Travel Money Expert: Mithila, Broadway Store
Currency: Indian Rupee
Rajasthan is a state in Northern India, well known for its castles, palaces and beautiful Indian culture. Jaipur is a popular city to visit, with plenty to do and see, Dubbed the ‘pink city’ after the pink stones used in much of the architecture. As you spend your days wandering and soaking in the abundant energy, be sure to fuel up with deliciously cheap Indian cuisine.
Jaipur is a delight, igniting the senses and transporting you to a world very different from that of home.
Travel Money Tip: INR is a restricted currency, so take a Currency Pass loaded with AUD and take cash out at an ATM. Use the ATMs connected to banks as they are safer and generally have lower fees.
Destination: Southern France
Travel Money Expert: Liv, Chartwell TMNZ store
Did you know there is more to France than Paris and croissants? Shocking, we know. The picturesque countryside of Southern France offers travellers as little or as much adventure as they want. Explore castles, take a dip in the turquoise waters and stroll through lavender fields in between gorging on mouth-watering French cuisine and wine.
If you want to sip cocktails while watching yachts come into port on your own private balcony, Southern France has your name written all over it.
Travel Money Tip: You’ll easily be able to use your Travel Money Oz Currency Pass loaded with euros, just have some cash on hand as most places will charge you to use the toilets.
Travel Money Expert: Clinton, Head of Marketing
Currency: Polish zloty
This Eastern European gem has so much to offer. Krakow is a bustling city, with unforgettable energy that pulses through your veins and stays with you long after you leave. The country is shrouded in harsh history; however the locals have moved forward embracing tourists and transforming the country into a haven.
Arriving in Poland is like being given a warm hug. Delicious pierogies will fill your belly and fuel your adventures through historical remains, scenic mountain villages and buzzing cities. Often overlooked, Poland is a must for anyone visiting Europe and deserves at least two weeks, if not more, to make the most of everything the country has to offer.
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