January 23, 2012 16:37 ET Helps You Plan a Great Escape

Leading Airfares Publisher Unveils the Top 25 Cheap and Cheerful Destinations for Aussies Based on Price, Safety, Weather and Ground Costs

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Jan 23, 2012) - With Christmas out of the way and the Aussie Dollar going strong, now's the perfect time to squeeze in one last holiday before schools start; unwind by exploring exotic destinations where your currency goes that much further., the online leader in travel deals publishing, serves up the Cheap and Cheerful Index 2012 comprising the top 25 holiday destinations for the best value, most sunshine and safe travels.

"The Aussie Dollar and economy are doing better than most, so this is a good year to travel. Of course, getting the best value for the least spend remains a key goal for most in 2012, which is why we're helping travellers get away while saving them money at the same time," says Oonagh Shiel, Senior Site Editor for

"In compiling our Cheap and Cheerful list, we found spots across Asia to rank highly for various reasons including currency, ground costs and more direct routes, and the thus deals, between Australia and many popular destinations," adds Shiel.

To compile the Top 25 list, took its 50 most popular destinations from December and calculated their affordability and appeal based on a combination of factors: return flights, weather in January and February, recent currency performance, ground costs and third party rankings on safety for visitors.

The list is a combination of mainly Asian destinations where the sun shines most of the year and ground costs are incredibly low. Undoubtedly, Asia's popularity will continue to grow due to the fact that airlines such as Air Asia X are adding more Australian routes, largely due to the strength of the Dollar. Moreover, Asian destinations are easy to get to due to their close proximity and they're free from the heavy taxes associated with Europe.

There are a few domestic destinations in the mix as well including the Gold Coast, Perth, Tasmania and parts of New Zealand, but the majority of our top five are slightly further afield.

The top five destinations within the Index are:
1) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2) Bali, Indonesia
3) Nadi, Fiji
4) Launceston, Tasmania
5) Auckland, New Zealand

With year-round warm weather, a stable safety record, and incredibly low ground costs, it's no surprise that Ho Chi Minh City tops the list. This bustling city is relatively young compared to the country's capital Hanoi and is more of a cultural break than a beach getaway. However, it won't disappoint as an experience. Visitors should be sure to check out attractions like the War Remnants Museum and dinner cruises on the Saigon River. For those looking to be physically active while away, cycling tours are highly popular here and for the true adventurer, it's even possible to cycle from city to city.

Bali, Indonesia, lands second on the list and is the perennial favourite among Aussies for a cheap holiday. Just a few hours plane ride from Australian cities, Bali's shimmering beaches and glittering nightlife make it a magnet for those who'd like to go and party while its famous spas are popular among the older crowd looking for R&R. The island is busier than ever before with more than half a million Aussies heading there every year.

What with low ground costs and advantageous exchange rate, its popularity as a holiday destination will continue to rise. Visitors to Bali are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding things to do. Apart from stunning beaches, nature, safari and art, this is also a centre of spirituality. Some of the top sightseeing attractions include the Besakih Temple in Mount Agung, a visit to the Kintamani Volcano in Mount Batur or a visit to Depansar to witness the famous Kecak Dance.

At just 3.5 to four hours flight time from Sydney and Brisbane, Fiji is another closely situated holiday paradise that's popular among Aussies, particularly for those headed off on a family break. This is the perfect time to squeeze in one last trip before the kids go back to school. Families can head out to cost effective yet stunning resorts such as the all-inclusive Naviti Resort or the Warwick Resort, both situated along Fiji's famous coral coast.

Given that Tasmania is often described as 'Australia's favourite holiday island,' it's no surprise it falls within the top five destinations in our Index. While both Launceston and Auckland are considered 'domestic' destinations, the variety of their nature, wildlife, beaches and culture make them popular for a real getaway.

To view the full list of 25 destinations within the Cheap and Cheerful Index 2012, visit

To search and compare flight deals to these or any other destination, visit

The Great Escape - Win your dream trip!

Our Cheap and Cheerful list is meant to inspire people to shake off the gloom of the season and make true on their travel aspirations. To go one step further, Cheapflights has also launched The Great Escape giveaway on Facebook. The winner of this sweepstakes competition will receive the Australian Dollar equivalent of £2000 in travel money to plan an escape to a cheap and cheerful destination of their own choosing. Cheapflights is also giving away travel must-have Kindles every week in the run up to the grand prize draw. The contest is open worldwide, so jump and get ready to get away.

About Cheapflights Media

Cheapflights Media is an international media network helping over 11 million visitors a month find top travel deals. Our Cheapflights brand was launched in 1996 and pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users. Today, users compare a wide range of deals from hundreds of partners including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines to find the very best flight deals. With a mission to be the starting point for travel, Cheapflights works to deliver the industry's best airfare bargains, expert tips and inspiration. There are currently Cheapflights sites in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia & New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit Our newest brand, Momondo, is a leading travel search engine for finding comprehensive worldwide pricing and availability on airfares. Winner of several awards, the site is ideal for users on specific travel schedules. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:
    Cheapflights Communications:
    Nadine Hallak
    Tel: +44(0) 20 3219 7553
    email: Email Contact


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