The year’s zooming past so fast that we’re already nearing the month of July! While many of you are planning your vacay for the months to come or even the end of the year, we know some of you are already setting your sights on 2020!

Credit: Giphy

Well, we think it’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s trip! Plus, to ensure that you make your travel plans a reality, you’d probably need to set aside some money for it starting now. Here’s a list of destinations for your 2020 vacay that you should already be saving up for!

#HHWT Tip: Most airlines are currently still having flight promos for the end of the year but some airline promos have travel periods extended to early next year (around Feb-May). If you already know where you’re planning to go, we recommend keeping a close lookout on flight promos to score a good deal on your flights! Most airline promos will start as early as 4-6 months ahead of your trip so do take note!

P.S. Planning your year-end trip instead? We’ve got 8 amazingly affordable destinations you’d love!

1. Japan

The Olympics will be held in Tokyo next year, so it’s no wonder that Japan is on many of your travel bucket lists next year! The games will be held from 24 July to 9 August 2020 and prices for flight tickets and accommodations will be competitive.

Not many airlines will let you plan that far ahead but budget carriers like AirAsia and Scoot let you see the dates for more than a year ahead and that includes July-August 2020. What’s even better is that for AirAsia, you can see the daily prices of flights as you’re choosing your dates 😊

Of course, while you soak in the atmosphere of the world’s biggest sporting event, don’t forget to explore the other sights in Tokyo like Tokyo Disneyland/Disneysea, Asakusa, Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Skytree and more! Our 6D5N Muslim-friendly itinerary of Tokyo will be perfect if you’re looking to explore Tokyo and its surrounds. Or better still, why not cover Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto with our 7D6N Muslim-friendly itinerary?

#HHWT Tip: To make sure you snag the right accommodation while in Tokyo, here are 9 affordable hotels in Tokyo near halal food!

Credit: All About Journey Tour on Facebook

Besides Tokyo, if you’ve always wanted to visit Hokkaido, this is the time to start saving up for your trip too! While the island is known for winter and its activities, you can also visit Hokkaido in spring. Witness the glory of seasonal flowers at the colourful Farm Tomita and enjoy the Shibazakura Festival 😍 Our first-timer’s Muslim-friendly guide to Hokkaido will be just what you need!

Psst.. ANA is currently having a flash sale (till 2 July!) for travel period ending 29 February 2020 and the fares to Tokyo are as affordable as RM1438. We also did a simple search for travelling to Hokkaido in spring (early May) and found prices to be around RM1700, which is a great deal if you ask us!

P.S. Want to make use of your long weekends in 2020? Check out our 2020 long weekend guides for Malaysia and Singapore!

2. Turkey

Always wanted to see the splendour of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul? Or has it always been your dream to ride the hot-air balloon in Cappadocia? Then it’s time to make those dreams a reality 😉

Credit: @bymerci on Instagram

Need some ideas on what to do? Our 6D5N Turkey itinerary will let you experience the best of what this enchanting country has to offer! Besides immersing in Islamic culture and history at Hagia Sophia or shopping at the Grand Bazaar, you’ll also get to take that famous hot-air balloon or soak in the limestone baths of Pamukkale. Not forgetting all the scrumptious Turkish food that you’re going to savour!

But even if all you want to do is soak in the beauty of Istanbul, then our first-timer’s guide to the city will guide you on all the things you need to see, do and eat in this magical destination! If you’re already looking to plan your vacay in Turkey for the first half of 2020, the best time to visit is from April to May as that’s when you can enjoy lovely spring weather. But if you want cheaper flight prices, then January will be a better month to visit as it’s not peak season.

Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul can be as cheap as RM2589 with Emirates or around RM2600 with Turkish Airlines, so do keep an eye out for these flight deals!

3. London

Ah.. Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and shopping at Primark 😝 With so many iconic sights and things to do, it’s hard not to have London on your travel bucket list!

And who says you need to break the bank when you explore the city? It can be affordable if you know all the budget hacks to navigate the city. What’s better is that we’ve prepared a budget-friendly itinerary for you (under £30 per day!) so exploring London will feel less daunting!

Plus, the UEFA Euro 2020 championships will be taking place in 12 cities in Europe from 12 June to 12 July 2020 and London’s Wembley Stadium is one of the locations where you can get a glimpse of this sporting action! And we’ve got just the guide to London stadiums (near halal food!) you’d need for all the football fanatics.

#HHWT Tip: Booking accommodation in London can take up a huge part of your budget and we feel you! That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of 10 affordable accommodations in London under £27 near halal food 😉

Credit: on Flickr

Better still, complete your trip with a visit to the coastal town of Brighton and the city of Manchester with our 6D5N itinerary. Or head north to Scotland to explore the stunning city of Edinburgh 😍 Of course, London also makes the perfect base from where you can travel to other parts of Western Europe. Conquer Europe’s most iconic cities with our 9D8N Muslim-friendly itinerary to London, Paris and Amsterdam!

While the best time to visit London for the nice weather is around March to May, it’s also one of the busiest travel seasons! If you want to spend less on flights, February seems to be a good month. We managed to find a pretty good deal on Turkish Airlines for around RM2345. For the later months in April and May, Thai Airways (RM2600), Royal Brunei (RM2800) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (RM2418) seems to have early bird deals. Emirates’ fare offers are quite affordable too, at around RM2869 but the airline hasn’t released its promos for next year yet!

4. New Zealand

With 2 islands worth of surreal landscapes, beautiful Maori culture, thrilling activities and more, New Zealand is a place that you need to visit at least once in your life!

Embark on a journey to Middle Earth at Hobbiton, the set of the Lord of the Rings movies, or be mesmerised by the sheer beauty of Mt Cook and the sparkling blue Lake Tekapo. For the adrenaline junkies, New Zealand’s where you can fulfill your goals of bungee-jumping and skydiving too 😉

If you’re a nature lover, then South Island is a must-visit! Don’t miss out the wonders of Lake Tekapo and Hooker Valley or head over to the picturesque Queenstown for the bungee of your life. Our 8D7N New Zealand South island itinerary is just what you need and don’t miss out on all the scrumptious halal food that will excite your taste buds 🤗

#HHWT Tip: Is it your first time to New Zealand? Then you’d need these 9 essential tips for first-timers!

New Zealand’s magnificent scenery can be admired during any season but if you want a mild and comfortable temperature, we’d recommend visiting in summer (Dec-Feb) so you can try out the various thrilling activities too. If you don’t mind taking a budget flight for your 10h trip to New Zealand, you can snag a deal as low as RM3200 if you fly with AirAsia or Jetstar during the peak travel season. Full-service flights like Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines can sometimes be as cheap as around RM3000-3100 during a sale, so do keep a lookout for their promos!

5. Mecca and Medina

Performing the Umrah and visiting Mecca and Medina seems to be overwhelming high on the travel list of many of our readers. While fulfilling the Islamic pillar of Hajj might take more years to prepare for, performing the Umrah seems more doable if you’re planning a year in advance.

6 months seem like the bare minimum to start saving up and decide which travel agency or which package you’d want to sign up for. But of course, booking way in advance is always better for Umrah. Do note that most Umrah packages with a travel agency for around 12D11N will cost you RM5000-7000/SGD3000+ depending on the type of comfort you choose for your accommodation. The packages are usually inclusive of travel visa, flights, accommodation, transport, itinerary, and Umrah course but do set aside money for your own expenses too. If you have the expertise or know tips to perform Umrah without a travel agent, then you can definitely plan a cheaper trip.

Other than budget, you’d also have to think about when you’d want to visit the holy cities. Many travel agencies have opened slots for Ramadan 2020 and some even as far as for the end of the year. The peak travel season for Umrah is during Ramadan and December while the quieter (and cheaper) season is perhaps in October. Do note that if you’re planning to do your Umrah in June, the weather can get really hot, so it’s not an ideal time to go.

#HHWT Tip: Planning an Umrah with kids in tow? We’ve got 20 tips you’d definitely need to experience Umrah with kids!

6. Paris

For all the romantics out there, the city of love will always be a place that’s close to their hearts. Stroll along the River Seine, marvel at the Eiffel Tower, see the Louvre and more – Paris’ landmarks are a sight to behold 😍

Make sure you arm yourself with a good camera so that you’ll be able to capture picture-perfect memories at these 11 gorgeous spots in Paris! And who says you need to fork out a lot when in Paris? Discover this charming city on a budget with plenty of free things to do such as free walking tours and catching free movies.

If you think Paris isn’t Muslim-friendly, think again! These 10 halal eateries will prove otherwise and introduce you to the world of halal food in Paris 🤤

The best time to visit Paris is from April to June and October to November but we found that the cheapest time is February – where you can snag a flight deal for as cheap as RM1824 on KLM/Air France! Emirates also has deals from RM2429 but you’d have to wait till they start flight promos for 2020! Flight prices during peak travel seasons can be around RM2600+.

#HHWT Tip: Plan your Western Europe trip with our 9D8N Muslim-friendly guide to Paris, London and Amsterdam!

7. Amsterdam

Charming canals, windmills, and amazing museums – there’s nowhere quite like Amsterdam! Plus, with the start of the direct train from London to Amsterdam last year, it has become easier to plan your Western Europe trip without the hassle of multiple flights.

P.S. If you’d like to do Paris and Amsterdam instead, check out our 9D8N Muslim-friendly itinerary!

Take a trip to the nearby town of Zaanse Schans to see the windmills or visit the iconic clogs museum. But besides sightseeing, Amsterdam is also known for its Muslim-friendly street food that you can find in Albert Cuyp Market. Get your fill of stroopwafels (Dutch pancake), Dutch fries and poffertjes (Dutch pancakes). What’s more, the city can be done on a budget too with our one-stop guide!

Just like Paris, the best month to visit Amsterdam is from April to May and September to November. Just imagine spotting the gorgeous tulips in Keukenhof in spring! But flight prices for these months can be a tad expensive from around RM2700. If you’d like to pay less and don’t mind the cold, we recommend taking Turkish Airlines as prices are just around RM2349. However, do keep a lookout on airline promos from KLM/Air France and Emirates to score the cheapest deals!

8. Greece

Greece is one of those places you’d dream of going with your significant other or even with closest friends. The images of the whitewashed houses of Santorini overlooking the sea as well as the magnificent ruins of Athens come to mind when you mention Greece.

The best time to visit Greece is from May to October when the weather is lovely – it might be a tad sunny but the good thing is, you don’t have to wear thick clothing or layer up 😉 What’s great about Greece is that it isn’t as expensive to travel to as compared to other European countries and if you keep a lookout for airline promos, you can really get a great deal! Check this out – we did a random search and Scoot is currently having cheap fares for May 2020 from just RM1613 from Kuala Lumpur to Athens 😱 So for those of you who’ve decided on Greece for your vacay in 2020, we strongly recommend that you book your flight tickets now!

Want the best of Greece? Our 6D5N Muslim-friendly itinerary of Athens and Santorini will ensure that you cover the best attractions in these 2 amazing destinations. For those of you who are eyeing Greece for your honeymoon, make sure you book a stay at one of these 8 gorgeous Muslim-friendly accommodations in one of the Greek islands!

9. Spain

A country steeped in Islamic history, Spain is a must-visit for any Muslim traveller. And if you’ve been wanting to discover Islamic architecture at these places, why not plan that dream trip for 2020?

Witness the grandeur of the Alhambra and the Alcazar Palace while reminiscing about one of Islam’s greatest kingdoms with our 8D7N Southern Spain itinerary! Don’t miss out on doing your prayers at the Granada Mosque or savour Muslim-friendly Spanish tapas while on your trip.

Of course, no visit to Spain is complete without immersing yourself in Spanish culture too – like watching the flamenco dance or learning how to cook Muslim-friendly Spanish cuisine like paella.

P.S. Did you know that part of Portugal is home to places rich in Islamic history too? Conquer both Spain and Portugal with this 9D8N Muslim-friendly itinerary!

Most of the flight prices in the first half of the year from Kuala Lumpur to Madrid or Barcelona are around RM2500 to RM3000. The cheapest deals as of now are in January 2020 with Turkish Airlines, from RM2572. If you’re planning to visit Spain in spring (Mar-May), then May is a better month as British Airways is currently having a flash sale (book by 12 July) 😱 We found a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Madrid for around RM2733 and to Barcelona for around RM2900. Do keep a close eye on KLM/Airfrance and Turkish Airlines as they usually have flight promos from time to time too.

10. The Balkans

For a truly off-the-beaten-path experience, The Balkans is definitely full of hidden gems from natural landscapes to charming rustic architecture. The peninsula consists of countries such as Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and more.

Although most of the places are not Islamic countries, you’ll find that the place is rich in Islamic history, which can be seen from its religious diversity 😍 Visit the iconic Mostar Bridge, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that will surely leave you in awe, the Pliva Waterfall or admire the coastal town of Dubrovnik in Croatia. You’ll also find magical sites like Lake Bled, Ohrid and Blagaj Tekke. Our 2-week Balkans itinerary would be perfect for you!

Credits: @stuartgrant365 on Instagram

What’s great is that travelling in the Balkans is not as expensive as other parts of Europe but what makes it expensive is getting to the Balkans in the first place. With limited airlines serving the routes between Kuala Lumpur/Singapore to destinations in the Balkans, you’d have to plan your trip early and save up. To get to the Balkans, we’d suggest flying to the main cities of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Zagreb, Croatia where flight prices would be from around RM2600 with Turkish Airlines. Do keep a lookout for Turkish Airlines’ flight promos!

11. Switzerland

Constantly known as one of the most expensive places to visit in the world, Switzerland’s breathtaking mountains are truly worth saving up for.

Head to the top of Europe at Jungfraujoch, walk the suspension bridge at Mt Titlis or visit Matterhorn, the “Toblerone” mountain. One of the experiences that you definitely can’t miss is taking the Glacier Express where you’ll get an all-encompassing view of the Swiss Alps 😍 Switzerland’s old towns and villages are not to be missed either! Check out our 7D6N Muslim-friendly Switzerland itinerary to plan your Swiss itinerary. 

Credit: Noel Reynolds on Flickr

You’d definitely need to set aside at least around RM2000 or more for transport and around RM2000 more for accommodation, so time to start saving now if you plan to visit Switzerland next year. While spending in Switzerland can take a toll on your finances, travelling there is actually comparable or even cheaper than travelling to other parts of Europe. The peak travel period is in summer around June to August but flight prices might already start to pick up in April. Prices are currently hovering around RM2600 on Malaysia Airlines, Swiss Air and Singapore Airlines so do look out for deals on these airlines in the coming months. It can get even cheaper if you don’t mind the cold of winter in January. We found a deal with KLM for just RM1889 in January!

12. United States

Times Square in New York, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Hollywood, the theme parks of Orlando and more – the US is just so huge that you could keep making repeat trips to different parts of the country! But perhaps one thing that puts travellers off from planning a trip to the US is the cost it takes to travel there as well as the long flight hours.

That’s why it’s essential to start saving up for your trip now! While Singaporeans are eligible for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), Malaysians and Indonesians have to pay around USD160 (RM661/IDR2.3m) for a tourist visa. As for flights, the cheapest ones are usually around RM3000-3500 from Kuala Lumpur to major cities like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles on most months. We did a search and found out that if you’re planning for the first half of the year, you can get flights from around RM2400-2700 in January and February! Skyscanner’s “cheapest month” feature also revealed that October-November 2019 has the cheapest flight prices (around RM2900 for United Airlines) so you might want to keep an eye out for the same time period in 2020. Do also keep a lookout for flight promos from Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, ANA and Korean Air in the coming months too.

Start off your first US vacay by exploring one of the iconic cities in pop culture – New York City! This vibrant metropolis has so many exciting things to do and attractions and our 6D5N Muslim-friendly New York City itinerary will help you out. Feeling like hitting the west coast instead? Then there’s no better place to start than in Los Angeles. Home to Hollywood celebrities, Santa Monica and basically everything you’ve seen in movies, check out our first-timer’s Muslim-friendly guide to Los Angeles!

That’s it! 12 destinations you need to start saving up for if you’re planning to make that dream trip in 2020 🤗 We hope we’ve provided you with some good tips for snagging the best airline deals and for those of you who are still unsure of where to go, may this guide help you feed your wanderlust! SHARE this with your travel buddies and start setting aside money for your 2020 vacay!

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