Tiana Lee-CollinsWritten by Tiana Lee-Collins
Last updated 20/12/2023

Key takeaways


Unsure where to go for your next holiday? If you’re looking for the best places to travel, we’ve compiled the most popular destinations based on almost half a million travel insurance quotes from our website. According to the data, there are some interesting takeaways on Australia’s preferred destinations and travel cover:

  • Australians love to travel domestically, with Australia being the top place to take out travel insurance for.

  • With over 25,000 quotes, Italy is the most popular continental European destination for Australian travellers, while the UK is the most popular European destination overall.

  • Australians are willing to travel far for a holiday, with the top 10 non-domestic destinations all being long-haul flights.

  • For flights under six hours, New Caledonia is the most popular destination, followed by Fiji, Vanuatu and New Zealand.

  • One in five (12) Australians travelling to New Zealand took out rental vehicle excess cover, and over one in ten (11.3) took out cover for winter sports.

  • One tenth (10.1%) of all travel insurance quotes included cover for cruises.

Top travel destinations: Quick facts

Using the travel insurance quote data from our website, we’ve compiled the top 20 countries that Australians take out travel insurance for.

We’ve also compiled the data on how many customers are interested in taking out cover for snow sports, cruise cover and rental car excess, as well as how many Australians search for policies that cover pre-existing medical conditions between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023. We’ve also considered how travel time and whether having a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) affects Australians’ preferences.

Some key points:

RankCountryTotal no. of travel insurance quotesTravel time from SydneyAdded snow sports coverAdded cruise coverAdded rental car excess coverOnly policies that allow medical assessmentReciprocal Health Care Agreement
2Indonesia46,6486h 10min2369571,8142,609No
3United Kingdom (UK)33,56622h 40min4512,4805,8794,262Yes
4United States of America (USA)26,07213h 35min6552,8724,1583,601No
5Italy25,30522h 05min3012,8173,7702,756Yes
7Thailand18,4879h 20min996491,3751,834No
8Greece15,89321hr 25min822,2982,6921,870No
9Japan14,4619h 35min8676541,0611,560No
10Spain13,28224hr 15min1171,6682,1911,478No
11New Caledonia11,8272h 50min221,942389873No
12Fiji11,5043h 40min631,2457461,151No
13Vanuatu11,2675h 30min291,896434934No
14New Zealand11,3243h1,2851,7332,2761,627Yes
15Singapore10,8898h 15min1291,0331,3251,714No
16Vietnam10,0668h 55min447995881,168No
17Germany10,00822hr 05min2431,0801,6961,201No
18Taiwan9,3539h 30min7297483No
19Netherlands9,28224h 05min1431,1111,4591,019Yes
20Croatia7,59824h 50min631,3471,280782No

Top 3 countries for snow sports

We’ve compiled our travel statistics to find the top three countries that Australians take out cover for skiing and snowboarding for through our website. There was a total of 9,058 quotes where customers added snow sports cover, with the top three countries shown below.

Some key points:

  • Despite Canada not making it into the top 20 destinations for travel quotes, it still made number three on our list for winter sports cover purchases, with quotes for Canada contributing 8.5% of the total number of quotes with snow sports cover.
  • While only the ninth most popular destination, Japan was the second most popular country for taking out winter sports cover.
  • New Zealand took the top spot, with 14.2% of quotes with ski cover being for New Zealand.
  • More than 1 in 10 Australians getting cover for New Zealand took out travel insurance that included cover for a ski trip.
RankCountryTotal quotes with added snow sports cover
1New Zealand1,285

Top 3 countries for cruising

Using our quote data, we’ve compiled the top three destinations for Australians taking out cruise cover with Compare the Market in 2022-23.

Some key points:

RankCountryTotal quotes with added cruise cover

Top 3 countries for taking out rental car excess cover

If you’re planning to hire a rental vehicle while on your trip, having rental excess cover can save you from having to pay your rental company an excess in the event the car is damaged. Below we’ve listed the top countries that travellers were keen to get excess cover for, according to our quote data.

Some key points:

  • 12.6% of all travel insurance quotes completed through Compare the Market in 2022-23 included cover for rental car excess.
  • Australians travelling to the UK were the most likely to add rental car excess cover to their policy, holding 9.5% of the total quotes with added excess cover.
  • The USA was also popular for excess cover quotes, with 4,158 policies where customers added rental car excess – 15.9% of the total policies quoted by Australians for the USA.
RankCountryTotal quotes with added rental car excess cover

Top 3 countries where Australians want policies that allow medical assessment

For some, getting covered for any pre-existing medical conditions is a crucial consideration when taking out a travel insurance policy. According to our data, a total of 54,551 customers who completed quotes asked for policies allowing medical assessment.

Some key points:

While domestic travel insurance can’t cover medical expenses, it may still reimburse you if your trip is disrupted or needs to be cancelled due to a pre-existing condition.

RankCountryTotal quotes for policies that allow medical assessment

Breaking down the top 20 travel destinations

No two countries are the same, so we’ve broken down the top 20 countries by listing the requirements to travel there, as well as breaking down our travel quote data to better understand what Australians consider important when getting coverage for each destination.

1.      Australia

The number one destination is none other than our own country, which holds the promise of an unforgettable holiday without needing to juggle passports or visas.

From natural wonders like Uluru and the Daintree Rainforest to the urban sprawls of Sydney or Perth; there are some great domestic destinations to explore.

Where Australians travel by state

Using our travel data, we’ve determined which states or territories Australians are most likely to take out travel insurance for.

Some key points:

Destination by state or regionTotal Compare the Market quotes for the 2022-2023 period
Australia (unspecified)31,069
Australian Waters (cruising)11,916
New South Wales513
Western Australia423
Northern Territory332
South Australia220


Top cities for travel for Australian travellers

For travellers who specified their destination city when finding a travel insurance quote, the top three cities were:

  1. Cairns
  2. Melbourne
  3. Sydney

2.      Indonesia

Number two on the list of Australia’s favourite travel destinations (according to Compare the Market data) is Indonesia. Bali is the most popular Indonesian destination listed by Australian travellers with 39,073 quotes, making up 83.8% of the total quotes for Indonesia. With this tropical paradise only a few hours away, it’s no wonder holiday seekers are keen to visit.

Other notable destinations travellers were interested in visiting include:

  • Jakarta
  • West Papua
  • Ubud.

Visa/entry requirements: You need a visa to visit Bali for tourism. You can apply for an e-VISA on Arrival (e-VOA) up to 48 hours before you depart Australia, or you can apply for a standard Visa on Arrival (VOA). However, VOAs may not be available at all international airports or seaports.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you’re departing Indonesia. You won’t be granted entry into Indonesia with an emergency passport.

Recommended vaccinations: Polio, measles, pre-exposure rabies (depending on your travel plans).

3.      United Kingdom

The UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Home to rolling hills, epic castles and bustling cultural hubs, the UK has something for everyone. A great destination no matter your preferred travel style, it’s unsurprising the UK had 19 different destinations that Australians were keen to travel to.

Australians were interested in making their own way across the country, with 17.5% of customers for UK travel taking out quotes that added car rental excess cover to their policy. Within the UK, the most popular country for getting travel insurance was England, followed by Scotland, Northern Ireland and finally, Wales.

Visa/entry requirements: Tourists travelling up to six months in the UK typically won’t need a visa. However, visas are required for any volunteering, work (both paid and unpaid) and marriage.

Passport requirements: Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you’re due to depart the UK.

Recommended vaccinations: None.

4.      United States of America

From family holidays to solo backpackers, the USA caters to all types of holidays. No matter how long you visit for, there’s always more to see, so it’s no wonder this country made it into our top five travel destinations.

With the USA having so many great destinations, it must be hard to choose just one. A total of 96.9% of Australians getting a travel insurance quote for the USA sought cover for the entire country. For those travelling to specific locations, the top three states were:

  • New York
  • Alaska
  • California.

Visa/entry requirements: Entry requirements into the USA can be strict. For short trips, visitors may be able to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) and enter under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) from there. If you aren’t eligible or are taking a trip longer than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a visa.

Passport requirements: The USA only requires Australians to have a valid passport for the duration of their stay. However, be aware that any stopover locations while travelling to the USA may have different requirements.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

5.      Italy

Lying along the Mediterranean coastline, Italy is full of ancient architecture, artistic masterpieces and all the delicious carbs you could possibly eat.

Despite being a relatively small country, a total of 25,305 Australians were interested in taking out travel insurance quotes through Compare the Market in the 2022-2023 period, making it the most popular European destination on our list.

Visa/entry requirements: As it’s part of the Schengen Area, you can typically visit Italy without a visa.

Passport requirements: Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from when you plan to depart the country.

Vaccination recommendations: Measles.

6.      France

The second European destination on our list so far, France is a bucket-list destination for many. While Paris is a highlight (and the only French city Australians listed on their travel insurance quotes through our website), it’s far from the only travel-worthy destination in France. Why not visit the wine region of Bordeaux or explore the towering medieval masterpiece of Mont Saint Michel?

Visa/entry requirements: As France is part of the Schengen Area, Australian tourists travelling in this region for less than 90 days usually won’t need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you’re due to depart France.

Vaccination recommendations: Measles.

7.      Thailand

The second Southeast Asian country in the top 10, Thailand is a fantastic tropical destination for any travellers wanting beauty, beaches and bustling city centres. Why not visit Thailand and get a massage at a spa, go cave canoeing at Phang Nga Bay or visit one of the many Buddhist temples found around this gorgeous country?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over three quarters (78.6%) of Australians have one or more pre-existing health conditions,1 yet only 9.9% of Australians using our website searched specifically for policies that allow medical assessment for pre-existing conditions. This is despite the fact Thailand had the highest number of consular cases for illness and hospitalisation in 2021-22.2

Visa/entry requirements: Australian tourists may travel visa free for 30 days when arriving via an international airport, or 15 days if they’re entering via a land border. If you’re travelling for a longer period of time, or not travelling as a tourist, you will need to apply for a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Thailand.

Vaccination recommendations: Japanese encephalitis.

8.      Greece

Coming in at number seven, Greece is a Mediterranean marvel. Whether it’s the iconic, white-washed houses, delicious cuisine or ancient history and culture – this country doesn’t disappoint.

Greece is a great destination to explore via car or cruise; 14.6% of Greece travel quotes had cover for cruises added to the policy and 16.9% included rental car excess cover.

Visa/entry requirements: As Greece is part of the Schengen Area, Australian tourists travelling in Schengen zone countries for less than 90 days usually won’t need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Greece.

Vaccination recommendations: Measles.

9.      Japan

Japan is the next on our list as a great place to visit for your next holiday. With cherry blossoms in spring, street festivals in summer, colourful foliage in autumn and soothing onsens in winter, it’s a great place to travel year-round.

While the majority (96.9%) of travel insurance quotes for Japan are for coverage for the whole country, of those travelling to specific destinations, the top three cities were:

Visa/entry requirements: As part of the visa exemption scheme, Australians can visit Japan for up to 90 days for both tourism and business travel without a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you depart Japan.

Vaccination recommendations: Japanese encephalitis, measles, rubella.

10.      Spain

Rounding out the top 10 with a total of 13,283 quotes is yet another fantastic European getaway – Spain. Whether you want to relax by the seaside, try out new cuisines or practice your Flamenco dancing, this country has it all. While getting coverage for the whole country was preferred by 97.7% of Australians taking out insurance for Spain through Compare the Market, some travellers also got quotes specifically for Barcelona and Madrid.

Visa/entry requirements: As Spain is part of the Schengen Area, Australian tourists travelling less than 90 days usually won’t need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Spain.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

11.      New Caledonia

Less than three hours away, New Caledonia is as close as it is beautiful. Soak up the sun, relax in your overwater bungalow and practice your French with the locals at this island getaway.

A popular destination for Pacific cruises, it’s no surprise that 16.4% of Australians taking out travel insurance for New Caledonia also added cruise cover to their Compare the Market quote.

Visa/entry requirements: Australian tourists can visit New Caledonia for up to three months without a visa. However, you’ll need a return or onward ticket and adequate medical travel insurance.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you depart New Caledonia.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

12.      Fiji

Another tropical paradise nestled only a few hours away in the Pacific Ocean, Fiji is another great location for swimming, sailing and sightseeing. Island hopping is the best way to experience everything this country has to offer, so don’t stop at just the mainland!

Similar to New Caledonia, 10.8% of travel insurance policies for Fiji included cruise cover.

Visa/entry requirements: You don’t need to apply for a tourist visa for Fiji for short-term stays. Instead, you’ll be issued one upon arriving in Fiji as long as you have a return or onward ticket and proof of booked accommodation.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Fiji.

Vaccination recommendations: Measles and meningococcal disease.

13.      Vanuatu

Vanuatu is the perfect spot to go snorkelling, immerse yourself in the culture, climb a volcano or sit back with a cocktail, and coming in at number 13 on our list, it’s clear Australians agree. Out of 11,267 quotes for Vanuatu on our website, 16.9% of Australians took out cruise cover.

Visa/entry requirements: You can apply for a tourism visa when you arrive if you’re staying for 120 days or less. You’ll need a letter of support from family or friends if you plan to stay in private accommodation, or a booking with an accredited tourist facility.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your arrival in Vanuatu.

Vaccination recommendations: Rubella, mumps, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, chicken pox.

14.      New Zealand

As one of our closest neighbours, it’s no surprise New Zealand makes it onto the list of Australians’ top travel destinations according to Compare the Market quote data. But there’s more reasons to visit this country than just proximity; if you’re looking for adventure of any kind, be sure to add New Zealand to your bucket-list.

Despite being number 14 on our list, New Zealand is the top country for Australians wanting protection when they go skiing or snowboarding. With 1,285 quotes adding sports snow sports cover, that’s 11.3% of the total travel insurance policies for New Zealand. In addition, this adventure-filled destination also has the highest rates of adding rental car excess to a travel insurance, at 20.1% of quotes completed through Compare the Market.

Visa/entry requirements: Australian citizens can travel visa free as long as they don’t have a criminal record and haven’t been deported from any country. Australian permanent residents, however, will need a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), which can be applied for online.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart New Zealand.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

15.      Singapore

If you thought Singapore’s airport was great, just wait until you see the rest of the country. Don’t let its small size fool you; Singapore is packed with experiences just waiting to be had, like attending a cooking class, visiting Gardens by the Bay and taking a night safari at Singapore Zoo.

There were 10,889 Australians who took out quotes for Singapore, with 15.7% searching for policies covering pre-existing conditions.

Visa/entry requirements: Short-term visitors who are Australian residents may not need a visa for tourist trips. For work or business, you’ll typically need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Singapore.

Vaccination recommendations: Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever (if needed).

16.      Vietnam

Enjoy tranquillity by taking a boat ride or going hiking in Ba Be National Park, or join the hustle and bustle at the Hanoi markets. With friendly locals and a wonderful culture, Vietnam is definitely worth the nine-hour flight. According to our quote data, 99.7% of Australians are interested in getting coverage for Vietnam as a whole, with only 0.3% looking solely for coverage for the country’s capital, Hanoi.

Visa/entry requirements: You can apply for an e-visa online if you’re travelling for less than 30 days. For longer stays, you’ll need to visit the Vietnam embassy or consulate and apply for a visa. If your parent or spouse is Vietnamese, you may be able to apply for a visa exemption.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Vietnam.

Vaccination recommendations: Diphtheria, Japanese encephalitis.

17.      Germany

Coming in at number 17 is Germany and if you like to sightsee, this destination might be for you. If you’re heading to Germany, consider visiting Neuschwanstein castle, taking a scenic tour of the Black Forest or time your trip to attend Oktoberfest.

Visa/entry requirements: As Germany is part of the Schengen Area, Australian tourists travelling less than 90 days usually won’t need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Germany.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

18.      Taiwan

Less than a 10-hour flight away, Taiwan is a great destination for your next adventure. Here you can browse any number of night markets in Taipei, visit historical temples or take hiking tours across the mountains.

Taiwan had the lowest rates of add-ons across all of the top 20 countries, with only 74 quotes being interested in hire car excess cover, 29 for cruise cover and 7 for snow sports cover.

Visa/entry requirements: Australians can be exempt from a visa if they’re travelling less than 90 days for tourism and have a valid passport, as well as a pre-purchased return or onward ticket.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Taiwan.

Vaccination recommendations: Japanese encephalitis.

19.      The Netherlands

If you like cruising down canals, immersing yourself in history and art or trying your hand at indoor skiing, this is the place for you. The Netherlands might be the furthest destination to travel to, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

Amsterdam is a favourite to visit, with one in ten (11.4%) of travel quotes for the Netherlands looking for cover specific to this city.

Visa/entry requirements: As the Netherlands is part of the Schengen Area, Australian tourists travelling for less than 90 days in this area usually won’t need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart the Netherlands.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

20.      Croatia

If you think Croatia looks like something out a movie – you’d be right! From Game of Thrones to Star Wars, many films and shows have taken advantage of gorgeous locations across Croatia. If that’s not enough, the picturesque cities and crystal-clear coves might be enough to entice you to visit.

A popular cruise destination, 17.7% of policies for Croatia included cover for cruises. In contrast, only 0.8% added snow sports cover.

Visa/entry requirements: As Croatia is part of the Schengen Area, Australian tourists spending less than 90 days in the Schengen region usually won’t need a visa.

Passport requirements: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you depart Croatia.

Vaccination recommendations: None.

Methodology and Sources


This dataset ranks the top 20 countries to travel to, based on data from 491,043 completed travel insurance quotes through Compare the Market. Results that included entire continents were excluded to compile only the top individual country destinations.

A limitation of the data was customers who visited multiple countries and took out ski cover or rental vehicle excess cover for a specific location rather than their whole trip, as these couldn’t be separated from other destinations. As a result, data on travel insurance policies for some countries might include cover that was purchased for a different destination.

Data was extracted for the date range 01/06/2022 to 30/05/2023.

For the top 20 countries, we gathered relevant travel and tourism information for each. Flight travel time was based on a one-way flight for one adult in economy class on 01/08/23 from Sydney to the top destination found in the dropdown menu for each country.

Data is accurate and current as of 12/06/23.


1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. Health conditions prevalence. Published March 2022. Accessed July 2023.

2 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Consular State of Play 2021-22. Accessed July 2023.

3 Skyscanner. Flights. Accessed June 2023.

4 Smartraveller. Reciprocal health care agreements. Last updated Nov 2019. Accessed June 2023.

5 Smartraveller. Destinations. Updated 2023. Accessed June 2023.

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