Man Looking At Kuala Lumpur Cityscape

Naturally, Bali made the cut, but so did Kuala Lumpur, Broome and New Delhi.

Booking website Skyscanner has crunched the numbers on where its customers are booking their 2021 trips – and the destinations may surprise you.

While the rest of 2020 is very much a domestic affair, the top 10 places Aussies are headed to next year are predominately international.

Top 10 most popular travel destinations for 2021

  1. London
  2. Tokyo
  3. Broome
  4. Kuala Lumpur
  5. Bali
  6. Athens
  7. Gold Coast
  8. Bangkok
  9. Cairns
  10. New Delhi

Top of the list is London. No stranger to Australian visitors, it’s one of our most popular overseas destinations to visit year on year. It’s got history and pubs for Aussies to sink their teeth into. It’s also often used as a gateway into Europe.

On top of its obvious draws, it’s likely soared up to the ranks as expats seek to return home for long-overdue visits caused by COVID-19.

Next up is the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Deemed by Roy Morgan as one of the fastest-growing destinations on Australian’s bucket lists, Australia’s love affair with Japan is quickly growing. In 2021, it’s set to welcome even more visitors as the host of the Tokyo Olympics.

Originally scheduled for 2020, the event was postponed to July to August 2021 amid COVID-19 concerns.

Sneaking into third place is a homegrown surprise: Broome. With Western Australia declaring it has no plans to open its borders before December 2020, it feels as though Australians with a penchant for a great outback adventure could be itching to enter as soon as possible.

Don’t get in too early though. Summers are sweltering, so it’s best to wait until April when temperatures cool to head in.

The best of the rest

Other surprises on the list include Kuala Lumpur in fourth place and New Delhi in tenth place. Brimming with culture and culinary delights, they’re fantastic options for anyone searching for a new favourite destination.

Popular Aussie haunt, Bali came in fifth, followed by other local and international favourites Athens (sixth), the Gold Coast (seventh), Bangkok (eighth) and Cairns (ninth).

Skyscanner’s senior director for APAC Paul Whiteway said: “Our data shows that this new travel landscape is also driving a new mindset among Australian travellers and we have seen a noticeable increase in last-minute bookings, for travel within a week to a month, as well as increased interest around flexible bookings over the last few months.”

Seeking flexibility in your 2021 travels?

In response to COVID-19, many airlines, hotels and experiences are offering flexible bookings. This allows you to make changes to your travel plans without penalty.

For example, Qantas recently extended its flexible bookings across domestic flights booked by 30 September for travel before 30 November 2020.

When international flights resume for 2021, Skyscanner is predicting that low-cost carriers will be at the forefront, offering more flexibility around bookings. We’ll keep you updated as more details come in.

In the meantime, Skyscanner has developed a COVID-19 confidence rating on its site with information on flexible tickets and hygiene practices across each airline.

Visit the Skyscanner website to check it out and start booking your 2021 travels.

Will insurance cover me?

Though limited, these insurers are still offering travel insurance for anyone on the move right now.

However, they likely won’t cover you for any coronavirus claims or if you don’t have official permission to leave the country during our current travel ban. There may also be other exclusions in your PDS. Give it a good read before you commit in case it’s not right for you.

Again, as travel bans ease, more options may be available to you in 2021. Keep on top of the travel insurance news here.