Now, more than ever, Australians are turning to exploring their own country instead of heading overseas to foreign lands. There’s a variety of reasons for this.

The state of the Aussie dollar means international travel isn’t as financially feasible as it was even five years ago – with flights to exotic locations and the subsequent exchange rate meaning even a brief holiday can put you seriously out-of-pocket.

Also, increased interest in newly-reinvented, trendy Australian hotspots that rival vibrant districts of foreign cities has Aussies taking short breaks to check out these locations in their own home country.

We’ve put together a mid-year breakdown of the best domestic travel trends to consider when booking your next getaway.

Melbourne

Melbourne has had a huge buzz, both domestically and internationally for a number of years now due to it repeatedly being awarded ‘The World’s Most Liveable City’.

Not only is it one of the most visited Australian capital city for international tourists hitting our shores, but it’s also become an extremely popular option for visitors from other areas of Australia.

It’s on the pricey side to spend even a weekend in Melbourne, with the city rivalling Sydney for the most expensive spots in our vast country. However, if you love great coffee, shopping, food, and fashion – Melbourne is a must. Take in the street performers along Southbank, head to Brunswick for a dose of Melbourne hipster culture, or set up a picnic on the iconic Yarra River on a sunny day and people-watch. Melbourne has been compared to uber-hip pockets of the New York City boroughs, so check it out!

Canberra

The Australian capital in the ACT was once on the bottom of hotspots to check out domestically. The home of Australian parliament, its small size in comparison to other Aussie capitals meant it was merely a big town to pass through on the way to Melbourne or Sydney.

Now, thanks to the onslaught of hipsters moving to the city, many working in government jobs that require relocation, Canberra has become a hipster paradise. Chock-full of memorable cafes, swanky apartment blocks and lots of open spaces, the city has seen a boom in recent years.
The coolest suburbs to check out? Braddon and Kingston are the places to be.

The Sunshine Coast

This region of the south coast of Queensland is booming – both in summer and winter. The Sunshine Coast’s constantly warm climate makes it the ultimate winter getaway, where you could almost forget the rest of the country is freezing. Domestic travellers who can’t justify a trip to the Greek Islands or the South Pacific but need to get away will get the break they need, as well as a serious dose of vitamin D from the constant sunshine. Noosa and Mooloolaba are always popular for a short getaway that doesn’t break the budget. Queensland’s motto? “Beautiful one day, perfect the next”. It’s reason enough to shirk an overseas trip and head to this pocket of Aussie heaven instead.

Each of these cities also has a number of accessible Thrifty rental car pick-up locations, so check out our rental locator today.

Photography: Thala Beach Lodge, Tourism Australia