Top seven international travel destinations this summer

Top seven international travel destinations this summer

Summer holidays are around the corner and you may be doing ‘last-minute’ planning for an international trip. Whether your ideal summer destination involves lazing about on a stunning beach and sipping cocktails, while enjoying the magnificent views of the Indian ocean, or you want a skiing adventure in the high country of Hokkaido, we’ve got ideas to inspire you. Find out our top seven international travel destinations for a memorable and exciting summer holiday.

Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido skiing

If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, then Hokkaido is the perfect getaway. As Japan’s most northern island, it’s known for skiing, hot springs, volcanoes and unspoilt natural beauty. Winter is a time when cold Siberian storm fronts dump a huge amount of powder snow on Hokkaido, making it one of the world’s best destinations for skiing and snowboarding. Some of the most popular ski resorts include Furano, Niseko and Rusutsu.

Currency you’ll need: Japanese yen (JPY)

Things to do:

  • Snowboarding and skiing.
  • Night skiing in Niseko.
  • See the Snow Monkeys at Shibu Onsen.
  • Relax in a hot spring onsen.

Money Tip:

Despite the popularity of debit and credit cards, Japan is still a cash society. Take plenty of cash on your trip. There are many places that don’t accept credit card and ATMs may be few and far between.


Maldives holiday

What could be more glamorous than staying at a world-class luxury resort in the Maldives? This island paradise is home to over 1000 coral islands and is known for its picturesque beaches, lagoons and reefs. With sunny, all year round tropical weather, there’s no bad time to visit the Maldives. Known for its clean air, blue ocean and white beaches, it has been ranked as one of the best diving spots in the world. Stay in a local guest house or chill out at an upmarket resort, the Maldives is one of the most beautiful island paradises in the world.

Currency you’ll need: Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR)

Things to do:

  • Scuba diving and snorkelling.
  • Buy traditional handicrafts.
  • Yoga and Pilates.
  • Dolphin spotting.
  • Surfing.

Money tips: Tipping is expected in the Maldives. You will need plenty of USD for tipping as other currencies are too expensive for staff to exchange.

New York

New York Holiday

The city that never sleeps is a Winter Wonderland at Christmas. December in the Big Apple is an awe-inspiring experience with stunning shop displays, the towering Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree and ice-skating at Central Park. The streets are covered in blankets of snow and beautiful Christmas lights decorate the streets.

Currency you’ll need: US Dollars (USD)

Things to do:

  • Ice skating in Central Park.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
  • Window shopping on Fifth Avenue.
  • New York Botanical Gardens holiday train show.

Money tip: If you withdraw money from an ATM, it’s difficult to know what the exchange rate will be and you may get double charged with fees from the local bank and your own bank. Exchange your money before you leave for your holiday. You’ll need plenty of dollar bills for tipping. From restaurants to taxis, hairdressers, hotels and bars, it’s expected that you tip between 15-30%.

Vietnam Islands

Vietnam Island holiday

For something a little different these summer holidays, try Vietnam’s Phu Quoc or Con Dao Islands. The Con Dao Islands are known for striking natural beauty, lovely beaches, scenic bays and coral reefs. Phu Quoc, located between Vietnam’s mainland and Cambodia, is becoming ‘the’ island to visit in Southeast Asia. Known for white sand beaches and its palm-lined southwest coast, over half of the island is part of Phu Quoc National Park and has mountains, dense tropical jungle, hiking trails and interesting wildlife. Duong Dong is the largest town, with markets selling handicrafts, delicious food and local produce.

Currency you’ll need: Vietnamese dong (VND)

Things to do:

  • Diving and snorkelling.
  • Swimming and sunbathing.
  • Water sports including jet skiing, kite surfing and wakeboarding.
  • Hike the Ganh Dau Trail.

Money tip: Be prepared with cash! Although there are ATMs on Con Dao, there are no currency exchange facilities and VietinBank does not change foreign currency.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Holiday

With over six hundred years of architecture, few European cities are as historic, or untouched by war, as Prague. Christmas is a beautiful time to see this medieval and enchanting city. Snow covered Christmas trees adorn the town squares, with colourful lights and stages with whimsical shows of hand-made puppets. The Christmas markets have an array of traditional Czech food, wooden toys, exquisite glasswork and delicious, hand-made confectionary.

Things to do:

  • Explore the Christmas markets.
  • Attend classical concerts, ballet or opera performances.
  • Visit Prague Castle.
  • Watch a traditional puppet show.

strong>Currency you’ll need: Czech Crown (CZK)
Money tip: The official currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech crown, but you can pay using Euro in some larger store chains. The Euro is not widely accepted.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna holiday

Christmas in Vienna is a magical experience. The streets light up with ornate Christmas lights and giant chandeliers lead to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The Christmas markets in Vienna are regarded as the best in Europe and feature traditional handcrafted gifts. Attend a classical Christmas concert or sip hot chocolate, with whipped cream, at Demel’s coffee house. Cafes are the soul of this romantic and spellbinding city.

Currency you’ll need: Euro

Things to do:

Money tip: It’s best to exchange money before you arrive. A long wait at an exchange booth is the last thing you’ll want after an international flight.

Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa holiday

Okinawa is a subtropical island with a year-round temperature above 20°C. With beautiful weather, the island has crystal clear waters and white sands. The seas surrounding Okinawa are among the world’s most beautiful with incredible coral reefs and an array of marine wildlife.

Things to do:

  • Swim with manta rays and turtles.
  • Explore the Iriomote jungle.
  • Snorkelling and scuba diving.

Money tips:
The Japanese yen is the currency used in Okinawa. Many shops and restaurants in central Okinawa, located near US bases, accept US dollars. Paying in US dollars is not recommended as the exchange rate is usually poor. Most retail stores, restaurants and bars do not accept US currency. Outside of central Okinawa, cash is the only option for payment and credit cards are not widely accepted. Carry yen at all times during your holiday on Okinawa.

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