Mexico Tulum beach


What's trending in travel in 2015

Published January 12th, 2015

While London, LA and NYC were tops for Student Flights travellers in 2014 and the adventurous ventured to Vietnam, India, Nepal and Peru, those with wanderlust in their souls and itchy soles will already be dreaming about their next overseas trip, especially if you are already back at work or study #procrastiplanning. If your New Year’s resolution was to travel more and experience the world, here’s where you should set your sights in 2015. We look into our crystal ball to tip what’s trending in travel in 2015 and the next big things, destination-wise.


A turtle in the Galapagos Islands.

1. Galápagos Islands

Once considered a bucket list trip, G Adventures’ Natalie Whiston says more student travellers are taking the opportunity to visit this once-in-a-lifetime destination and ecological wonderland that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. G Adventures offers island-hopping and camping tours of the Galápagos archipelago.


2. Colombia

Another South American destination that’s rising in popularity, the one-time no-go zone that was famous for crime, coffee and cocaine is still showcasing its adventurous side, minus the juntas and guerrillas. Head to Colombia’s Amazon, the Caribbean and Pacific coast beaches and the cities and towns that know how to party.


A beach near Stone Town in Zanzibar.

3. Zanzibar

An island located off the coast of Tanzania, Student Flights saw an 120 percent increase in bookings to the African paradise in 2014. With beautiful beaches (and impossible blue ocean), open-air markets in the hip capital of Stone Town and full moon parties in chilled-out Kendwa, stake out your hammock in Zanzibar.


Godafoss Falls in northern Iceland.

4. Iceland

According to Intrepid Travel,  Game of Thrones is doing for Iceland what it did for the Croatian coastline with aficionados flocking here en masse to see the imposing Ice Wall and where the North of the Wall scenes were set. Throneheads can explore some of the otherworldly locations around Iceland as seen in seasons three and four.


5. Barbados

Famous for introducing Rihanna to the world, the Barbadian bombshell hails from the balmy Caribbean island that saw bookings soar 700 percent in the past 12 months. Barbados is all about rum shacks and bumming around on beaches, diving and watersports, wild surf and even wilder nightlife. Not unlike Ms Robyn Fenty herself.


New Mexico Highway 40 into Albuquerque.

6. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Another fan fave, the demise of Breaking Bad didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the TV show’s location of Albuquerque in the US southwest. Bookings jumped 900 percent in 2014 and Breaking Baddicts can still get their fix touring the many film locations across the city such as the houses of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman and the A1 Carwash.


7. Tulum, Mexico

A fave fashion blogger backdrop, who hasn’t lusted after the pristine scenes of Tulum on the Yucatán Peninsula after spending some quality stalking time on Instagram? The Mexican hotspot is equal parts mystic Mayan ruins and boho beach bliss on the sunkissed Caribbean with almost 400,000 #tulum mentions – that’s some serious social media cred.


Budapest lights up at night.

8. Budapest, Hungary

The emerging hipster cities of Eastern Europe don’t come any cooler than Hungary’s capital. Hosting the massive annual Sziget Festival on its own island in the northern hemisphere summer, bookings to Budapest boomed by 180 percent last year. Drawcards like ruin pubs and thermal spas make this a quirky stop on the big Euro trip.


9. Bodrum, Turkey

A port city near the notoriously party-hearty Greek Islands, Bodrum saw bookings soar by 200 percent in 2014 as Aussies cashed in on a popular Euro getaway hotspot. The Aegean is a stunning blue backdrop to the marina, castle and whitewashed buildings with Bodrum boasting a pumping scene at all hours of the day and night.


The Beirut cityscape at night.

10. Beirut, Lebanon

Once known as the ‘Paris of the Middle East’, the Lebanese capital still has cosmopolitan appeal with plenty of glitz and glamour that belies the country’s precarious political and social situation. Bookings to Beirut jumped 254 percent last year with travellers keen to sample the heady mix of old and new and East meets West.


Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.