Istanbul voted world's best destination: Trip Advisor

Istanbul has taken out the top honours in this year's Travelers' Choice Awards by leading travel website Trip Advisor. The awards rank the world's top 25 destinations based on users' reviews and ratings over 12 months.

Istanbul's wonderful culture, amazingly beautiful architecture and great shopping have appealed to the people Trip Advisor's spokesperson James Kay told CNN.

Turkey is expected to be a popular travel choice for Australian travellers in the lead up to the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli taking place on Anzac Day 2015. While the official ballot has been drawn, there are a number of private tours as well as cruises for people to head to Turkey commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.

The only Australian city to make the Top Destinations list was Sydney, scraping in at number 22, behind Budapest. According to the world's travellers, the top five destinations are Instanbul, Rome, London, Beijing and Prague.

The high Australian dollar is making international travel an affordable option for many Australians and if you are planning on an overseas get away, it is a good idea to prepay as much of your holiday as possible now, while the dollar is high. The same goes with your travel money. Depending on how long your trip is there can be a big difference in fees that banks charge for using your money overseas. To find out how much your bank will charge you, check out Mozo's debit card fee finder tool.

Other tips to avoid jet set regret include:
  1. Don't pay in Australian dollars. Many overseas retailers, hotels etc will now offer you the option to pay in your local currency when you pay by credit card. As a rule of thumb say no, choose to pay in the local currency as the rates they generally offer you will be worse than what your bank will charge you.
  2. Don't buy your insurance from an airline or travel agent. One word here, commission. Airlines and travel agents often charge you more than if you went direct with the insurer. Compare quotes on Mozo.
  3. Coupon up. There is a coupon or discount code for just about everything these days so before you book anything (flights, hotels, theme parks) check for vouchers and deals.
  4. Local sim card: The costs of global roaming can quickly turn a well-planned dream holiday into a budget-breaking nightmare. Play it safe and get a local sim card, you can usually find these at phone retailers in the arrival halls of most major airports.