It's hard to define what makes a destination cool. Sometimes, the second everyone becomes aware that a place is trendy, it ceases to be so. Let's face it, even David Bowie and Iggy Pop's 1970s Berlin apartment would have lost its edge if it had been full of selfie stick-wielding tourists. Yet in other instances - think Shoreditch in London or Williamsburg in New York - a location seems to grow in coolness precisely because everyone already thinks it's a trendy place to be.
What's the reason for this hipster paradox? We just don't know. But fortunately, we do know a thing or two about trendy holiday destinations. If you're looking to soak up some sun or revel in some culture in a destination that'll win you plenty of kudos, read on for the Flexicover team's guide to the hippest places to summer holiday in this year.
According to extensive Instagram-based research from millennial-focused travel media platform Earth, the Mexican resort of Tulum is the number one destination among this demographic right now. They're being attracted by the potent combination of gorgeous white sand beaches, budget-friendly prices and chic accommodation - think tranquil yoga retreats, boutique laps of luxury and rustic seafront bungalows. Away from the beach the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum Archaeological Site and the numerous nearby cenotes - spectacular subterranean natural pools found across the Yucatán Peninsula - mean there's plenty for travellers to enjoy while they're in town.
Australia might have the answer to the next hipster hotspot. Melbourne's graffitied laneways and myriad independent coffee shops are already verging on mainstream, but venture over to Western Australia and you'll find a legitimately trendy neighbourhood that's managed to largely escape the media glare. Northbridge is a suburb of Perth, one of the world's most isolated cities, yet it has a multicultural ambience thanks to its history as a haven for post-World War II migrants. The nightlife scene is thriving with hot new bars opening all the time, joining established hangouts like the Prohibition-inspired Ezra Pound and the eclectic Mechanics Institute. Spend the days browsing the many boutiques and exploring the latest exhibitions at Perth Cultural Centre.
Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, sets its own hip agenda. The city has long had a cosmopolitan feel owing in part to its position on the legendary Silk Road trade route. It's also a hub of creativity centred on the Eastern Suburb Memory arts and music complex. The former industrial zone (hipsterdom always seems to be attracted to former industrial zones) is home to China's best and most adventurous tattoo artists and, unusually for China, Chengdu also boasts a thriving LGBT community, adding to the city's liberal feel.
If there's one thing that we're positive will always be cool, it's cats. They might be aloof but we can't get enough of them - they're basically the animal equivalent of Benedict Cumberbatch. And Kotor, a UNESCO-listed ancient city on Montenegro's glorious Adriatic coast, can lay claim to being the world capital of cats. Founded by the Romans in 168 BC it served as a trading port for centuries. Many of the visiting ship's cats ended up being left behind in Kotor, where they survived and thrived, leaving the town with a booming and diverse feline population. Find out all about its furry heritage at the tiny but fascinating Kotor Cats Museum.
Crazy Rich Asians was one of the surprise cinematic hits of 2018. It largely takes place in Singapore, and has helped to reignite interest in the city-state. It was once known as little more than a convenient place for a long haul stopover but is fast becoming a must-visit destination in its own right. From its bustling street food markets to its sprawling shopping malls Singapore today exudes a breathless energy that belies its reputation as a boring version of Hong Kong. Head to the narrow Haji Lane in the daytime and you'll find a street of quirky cafes and cute boutiques; return after nightfall to see it transformed with dozens of trendy bars and live music venues.
Wherever you plan on heading to this summer it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.