Australians are gearing up to fly away on holidays this summer, be it domestically or internationally.
For many, it will be the first time catching a plane since the pandemic started.
Yet due to border requirements, limited flight routes and other pandemic travel considerations, there are fewer safe and convenient options to choose from than in previous years.
Flight aggregator Expedia has compiled our most searched-for destinations for the summer period (December to February), revealing exactly where Australians are keen to head using their new-found freedoms.
Asia-Pacific dominated the international rankings, while holiday favourites such as the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were popular domestic choices.
Australia’s top 10 international travel searches
Many of the most popular searches from Australians on Expedia are in the Pacific region.
These destinations are not far away and have been relatively unscathed by the pandemic compared to the rest of the world.
Fiji, which is currently connected to Australia via a single airport, took out first place, while three destinations in New Zealand also made the top 10.
Meanwhile, newly resumed flights to the US mean cities like Los Angeles and New York City are also in high demand, even though they’re heading into winter.
- Los Angeles, US
- Hawaii, US
- London, England
- Phuket, Thailand
- Queenstown, New Zealand
- Auckland, New Zealand
- New York City, US
- Christchurch, New Zealand.
Australia’s top domestic travel searches
Nine of the top 10 most searched-for destinations were domestic, rather than international.
These nine searches consisted of the major state capitals, plus destinations like the Gold Coast, the NSW North Coast (home to Byron Bay) and Cairns.
The routes between these major cities are also among the most heavily discounted at the moment, meaning travellers looking for a bargain might find themselves in a big city on a weekend away.
- Sydney, NSW
- Gold Coast, Qld
- Melbourne, Vic
- North Coast, NSW
- Brisbane, Qld
- Adelaide, SA
- Sunshine Coast, Qld
- Perth, WA
- Cairns, Qld
Trending domestic destinations
Hotel booking website Wotif also compiled a list of the highest-trending domestic destinations when compared to the summer before the pandemic.
Unlike the other rankings that look at airfare interest, this ranking looks at accommodation and thus includes people who might be keen on a road trip or some other alternative to flying.
Although the usual destinations like the Gold Coast and Hunter Valley were among the most searched-for overall, the destinations that experienced the biggest uptick in interest compared to 2019-2020 tended to be smaller towns.
Think Mildura on the Murray River, which saw interest almost treble since the pandemic started, or the Yarra Valley outside of Melbourne, which saw interest go up by roughly 125 per cent.
The remainder of the top 10 was dominated by Queensland and Victoria, with Eden on the NSW South Coast taking out the final spot.
- Mildura, Vic
- Yarra Valley, Vic
- Daintree, Qld
- Wangaratta, Vic
- Palm Cove, Qld
- Whitsundays, Qld
- Hervey Bay, Qld
- Maryborough, Qld
- Frankston, Vic
- Eden, NSW.