If you haven’t already started planning for your vacations this year, there’s still time.
Get planning with this 2018 holiday planner which includes the top emerging destinations  of 2018 and the best ways to maximise your annual leave around the public holiday calendar.
As an added bonus, Booking.com has provided alternative thrifty travel locations for each month of the year, to help Singaporean travellers of all budgets find the best value-for-money destination*.
JANUARY – Sapporo, Japan
Why not kick off of the year with a bit of snow? Many travellers visit Japan for the bustling nightlife of Tokyo or temples of Kyoto, but in 2018 travellers will switch to explore the dynamic city of Sapporo. This city is a great base for exploring the mountains and hot springs of Hokkaido and offers great restaurants, known best for its variety of seafood. Sapporo’s top endorsements by Booking.com travellers include food, seafood and gourmet food, and with four in ten global travellers planning on taking a food and drink trip in 2018, Sapporo is certainly a destination to consider for its thriving food scene alone.
Where to stay: Japanese style inns or ryokans are a great place to stay to truly experience Japanese culture. Booking.com recommends Guest House Yuyu, a homely stay which offers bike hire so you can easily explore the city.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for January:
Beijing, China, was 19% more affordable in Jan than the most expensive month of the year.
Copenhagen, Denmark, was 41% more affordable in Jan than the most expensive month of the year.
FEBRUARY – Manila, Philippines
An emerging destination for Singaporeans in particular, Manila is endorsed by travellers for shopping, food and friendly locals. This heaving metropolis is filled with numerous mega-malls and a flourishing foodie scene to indulge in local staples such as Adobo and Lechon, amid skyscrapers and cultural centres. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities in the oldest and largest Chinatown in the world – Binondo, having been established in 1594.
Where to stay: The Henry Hotel Manila offers respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, situated in a private compound with lush greenery. A free shuttle service is provided to SM Mall of Asia and Glorietta Mall.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for February:
Kyoto, Japan, was 37% more affordable in Feb than the most expensive month of the year
Buenos Aires, Argentina, was 16% more affordable in Feb than the most expensive month of the year.
MARCH – Taitung City, Taiwan
You may not have heard much about Taitung City, the relaxed coastal town of Taiwan, but with its modest charm, cultural diversity and a mix of mountains, hot springs, temples and ocean activities, it’s on the rise for travellers in 2018. Endorsed by Booking.com travellers for nature, relaxation, seaside and clean air it’s definitely one to watch. Head to Green Island for diving, snorkelling and hiking, buy seafood from Fugang Port, relax in Jhihben hot springs and visit Taitung night market to indulge in the local delicacies.
Where to stay: Taitung City is full of cosy homestays where you can get some great tips for exploring from your host who will help plan your trips. HANA Homestay offers a delicious breakfast, modern rooms and bicycles for exploring the area.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for March:
Kuta, Indonesia, was 33% more affordable in Mar than the most expensive month of the year.
Budapest, Hungary, was 33% more affordable in Mar than the most expensive month of the year.
APRIL – George Town, Malaysia
Have a quick weekend jaunt to the colourful and historical capital of Penang – George Town. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status back in 2008, George Town is bursting with beautiful street art telling the story of its history and people, all amid architectural gems and gastronomic delights selling the likes of Char Kway Teow, Assam Laksa and Nasi Kandar. The city is endorsed by travellers for its food, history and culture. For those itching to shop a little, Komtar shopping mall has what you need.
Where to stay: Have a stay in a heritage building right in the UNESCO district with Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion. This courtyard-style mansion features its own bar, concierge service and swimming pool.
Thrifty Travel Destinations Locations for April:
Jakarta, Indonesia, was 9% more affordable in Apr than the most expensive month of the year.
Zurich, Switzerland, was 15% more affordable in Apr than the most expensive month of the year.
MAY – Bucharest, Romania
The elegant city of Bucharest is new to the alternative city break scene and a great option because of its museums, parks, trendy cafés and a mix of art nouveau and modern architecture. In the summer make sure you rent a boat in Cişmigiu Gardens and come winter, tuck yourself away in one of the city’s many cosy coffee shops. The top endorsements for Bucharest by Booking.com travellers are architecture, food, museums and the old town. Research revealed that 41% of travellers are planning to take a city break in 2018, so make sure you add Bucharest to your list.
Where to stay: The city is full of incredible apartments to stay – Diana’s Flat Bucharest has beautiful views of the river and a great location, being walking distance to Old Town, Palace of Parliament and Cismigiu Gardens.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for May:
Bangkok, Thailand, was 13% more affordable in May than the most expensive month of the year.
Melbourne, Australia, was 22% more affordable in May than the most expensive month of the year.
JUNE – Zakopane, Poland
The stunning mountain resort of Zakopane has always been popular for ski holidays but it’s attracting more and more travellers for its summer hiking in Tatra National Park. The trend for wellness getaways isn’t slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take a health and wellbeing trip in 2018 compared to 2017. The new health and wellness trend for 2018 is set to be more about travelling on two feet with 44% of travellers saying they want to go walking in 2018 and 33% hiking. The top endorsements for Zakopane by Booking.com travellers are hiking, nature, mountain walks and scenery.
Where to stay: Villa Nova is alpine luxury at its best, offering mountain views and set in a great location, walking distance to the popular Krupówki pedestrian street with its many restaurants and shops.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for June:
Hong Kong, was 29% more affordable in Jun than the most expensive month of the year.
Chiang Mai, Thailand, was 26% more affordable in Jun than the most expensive month of the year.
JULY – Nashville, USA
Nashville may be famous for its legendary country music scene, but it’s also great for family activities and outdoor pursuits. Music fans will want to browse the museums dedicated to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and catch some live music in bars across the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods. Nature lovers will want to explore the city’s many parks, easily accessible by foot or bike. In 2018, 17% of travellers are planning to take a music concert or festival trip, and 36% of travellers will be inspired to visit a destination having seeing it on TV. Nashville is on the rise following the success of the drama series named after it. The top endorsements for Nashville by Booking.com travellers are live music, country music, entertainment and nightlife.
Where to stay: Stay at the SoBro Guest House if you want to check out the music scene by foot – the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is only 350 yards away. While Both Bridgestone Arena and Ryman Auditorium are less than 11 minutes’ walk away.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for July:
Seoul, South Korea, was 22% more affordable in Jul than the most expensive month of the year.
Abu Dhabi, UAE, was 46% more affordable in Jul than the most expensive month of the year.
AUGUST – Bogotá, Colombia
Beautiful Bogotá is on the rise for 2018, being the hectic heart of Colombia and a great base for exploring the wider country. Travellers will appreciate the new restaurant openings and boutique hotels set amongst 300-year-old houses, street art murals and museums. It’s essential to try some authentic Colombian coffee from one of the many cafes dotted around the city. Booking.com travellers endorsed it for museums, culture, food and friendly people. This month you have the choice of heading in early to experience Carnival of Bogotá, which takes place August 5th & 6th or take advantage of two public holidays. Of course, you can always do both for an ultra-long holiday!
Where to stay: The stylish Serie 1948 is a homely Bed & Breakfast located in a quiet neighbourhood near to bars and restaurants. It offers guests bike hire, a sun terrace, garden and locally sourced coffee and food.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for August:
Mumbai, India, was 20% more affordable in Aug than the most expensive month of the year.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was 40% more affordable in Aug than the most expensive month of the year.
SEPTEMBER – Lima, Peru
Travellers will need high energy levels to take on Lima – from paragliding to partying, and sunbathing to surfing, where do you start? The city is becoming more popular for travellers in 2018 and is a great place to spend a few days exploring thanks to the delicious food, rich history and museums. As well as culture and history, Lima is endorsed for food and gourmet food by Booking.com travellers, who love the fact Lima is known as the gastronomic capital of Latin America – so make sure you try some local delicacies by taking one of the tasty food tours.
Where to stay: Right next to the beach, The Lot Boutique Hotel is more of a home than a hotel, and offers guests a relaxing stay with a delicious daily breakfast. Guests can spend their morning surfing or sunbathing before exploring the sights of the city.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for September:
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, was 33% more affordable in Sept than the most expensive month of the year.
Mexico City, Mexico, was 46% more affordable in Sept than the most expensive month of the year.
OCTOBER – Portland, USA
The fact that the city’s unofficial slogan is “keep Portland weird” should get you suitably intrigued, but if that doesn’t do it Oregon’s largest city offers a buzzing nightlife, fantastic food (you’ll find food trucks on every corner), culture and the great outdoors. Best explored by bike, take a trip to one of the city’s many infamous breweries, and nature lovers will love Forest Park and ‘City of Roses’ at the International Rose Test Garden. Booking.com travellers’ top endorsements for Portland are beer, food, restaurants and shopping.
Where to stay: The 9th Avenue Apartment by Stay Alfred offers guests modern and stylish apartments with great views in downtown Portland, near to Portland Art Museum and Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for October:
Patong Beach, Thailand, was 42% more affordable in Oct than the most expensive month of the year.
Auckland, New Zealand, 16% more affordable in Oct than the most expensive month of the year.
NOVEMBER – Brisbane, Australia
When you think of Australia, it’s usually the popular cities of Sydney and Melbourne that come to mind, but on your next trip down under, why not try the metropolitan city of Brisbane, an up and coming destination for 2018. Travellers will love its restaurant and bar scene, vineyards – and the fact it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches. With half of travellers planning to take a beach trip in 2018, Brisbane is a great option. Go surfing at Ocean Beach, soak up the sun at Sylvan Beach, spot dolphins at Red Beach or hang out at the beach style lagoons such as Streets Beach and Settlement Cove. As well as beach life, Brisbane is great for shopping, restaurants, relaxation and entertainment, according to endorsements from Booking.com travellers.
Where to stay: Soda Apartments is luxury accommodation on South Bank just eight minutes’ walk to the beach and offers an outdoor rooftop pool, which gives incredible 360 views of the city.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for November:
Seminyak, Indonesia, was 21% more affordable in Nov than the most expensive month of the year.
Auckland, New Zealand, 16% more affordable in Nov than the most expensive month of the year.
DECEMBER – Hannover, Germany
The charming city of Hannover is on the up for its choice of museums, cultural sites and green spaces such as the Herrenhäuser Gärten, Lake Maschsee and Europe‘s largest urban forest, the Eilenriede. It’s a great city break for culture vultures, so with 31% of travellers planning to take a culture and arts based trip in 2018, Hannover is one to visit. Booking.com travellers endorsed Hannover for shopping, city trip, old town and city walks.
Where to stay: After you’ve had your culture fix for the day, relax in the spa at Kastens Hotel Luisenhof, which also offers fine cuisine, fitness facilities and conveniently located walking distance to the Hanover State Opera House and a short drive from the Sprengel Museum.
Thrifty Travel Destinations for December:
Patong Beach, Thailand, was 42% more affordable in Dec than the most expensive month of the year.
Auckland, New Zealand, 16% more affordable in Dec than the most expensive month of the year.
 The data analysts at Booking.com looked at destinations that had the highest increase in YoY bookings from September 2016 – September 2017.
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