Australians are taking more international holidays than ever before. Trend data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that from June 2006 – June 2016, monthly departures from Australia on short-term (for a period of less than one year) travel and breaks more than doubled, from 409,300 departures from Australia by residents in June 2006 to 824,300 movements in June 2016.
This statistic was driven by a consistent increase in travel numbers over the last ten years, with only the later months of 2008, when the true extent of the global financial crisis became clear, showing a decline in traveler numbers. Annual travel numbers have followed a similar trend, with the year 2005-06 showing 4.78 million Australians leaving the country on short term breaks. This grew 102.4% to 9.68 million for the year 2015-16.
What Factors Have Driven This Growth?
Strong growth in international travel out of Australia has been driven by a number of factors over the last decade
A 2015 survey conducted by ETB Travel News also highlighted that Australians spend the fifth highest amount of money on travel in comparison with other nationalities, while as part of the same survey 28% of Australians said they often visited and stayed in more than one destination when travelling overseas.
How is this Impacting on Domestic Tourism?
While the numbers of Australians taking holidays at home is increasing slower than the rate for overseas trips, the money spent on domestic holidays continues to grow, with a record $53.3billion spent according to Tourism Research Australia’s most recent statistics from 2014.
This is thought to be down to Australian domestic travel moving away from “pure holidays.” A greater proportion of Australians are now travelling to spend time with friends and family members rather than heading to a specific destination or taking a road trip.
Where Are Australians Travelling Abroad?
The below table highlights the most popular overseas travel destinations for Australians.
- Traveller numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Flight times taken from Sydney. Shortest possible flight time is listed
- Flight costs taken as cheapest option from Fare Compare, flying from Sydney
- Accommodation costs based on a family of four spending 16 nights in a 3-star hotel, based on average prices stated on Hotels.com. Australian Bureau of Statistics data highlights 16 days as the average length of overseas trip taken by Australians.
- Total Holiday cost is flights and accommodation only and does not include an allowance for sightseeing, food, entertainment, and other travel expenses
- All prices/data taken on 17th November 2016
As we can see from the data we have highlighted, taking a holiday abroad doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Remember that we’ve taken average prices for accommodation above, so even once expenses on top of flights and accommodation are included you could easily have a dream holiday in the United States or United Kingdom for under $10,000 if you’re able to shop around for the very best deals.
How to Get the Best Deals on Your Dream Holiday
We mentioned shopping around for the very best deals, and that is what you ought to do no matter where you’re planning to holiday. How can you bring the price of your holiday down?
Finding the Cheapest Flights
There are two clear opportunities for you to potentially save thousands on your holiday costs, which are your flights and your accommodation.
Going about finding the cheapest flights isn’t an exact science, but these tips will help you out.
Search for Flights in Incognito Mode
We’ll start with one of the lesser cited tips. Every time you search a specific flight route, visit an airline website, or even use a specific flight search engine, your website browser – and the website – remembers you’ve been there thanks to the presence of cookies. If you research the same route across the same dates repeatedly, expect to see the price steadily rise. This happens because the websites remember you, and see that you want to fly a specific route at a specific time. The price increase is designed to scare you into thinking the price is about to go up even more, and get you to book your flights there and then.
Always use incognito or private browsing mode – cookies are deleted each time you close these windows – and open a new window for each subsequent search.
Try this – you’ll be amazed at some of the price differences you’ll see!
Use Flight Search Engines
None of the popular flight search engines are perfect, but they’re definitely worth using as a ticket to cheaper flights.
These sites may even have different deals from different airlines, so ensure you shop around the flight search engines themselves, don’t just choose one and assume it’ll have all the best deals.
Use Wide Ranging Searches to Discover When Flights are Cheapest
Some of the flight search engines enable you to view flight prices across the whole month at once, giving you a clear idea of when the cheapest flights are. This will alter by airline but there will usually be a consistent flight time and day of the week when prices drop. If you are flexible in terms of when you take your holiday you can sometimes view the cheapest month currently in the flight search engine’s database, giving you immediate access to the best flight prices.
While this tactic will save you money, be sure to check the specific airlines and flight times. If you have a young family you might have a less stressful trip if you avoid a relatively long, late or overnight flight, on a budget airline.
Some of the flight search engines enable you to sign up to a price tracker, so you can get alerts when prices drop.
Go Budget, but Think Beyond Price
There is no question you can save a significant sum of money when you choose to fly with budget airlines. We recommend you give these due consideration, but remember to check:
For long flights that involve an overnight stay or a long wait at an airport, look to make this part of your holiday! Instead of looking for flights direct A to B, research whether it might be cheaper to fly to one destination first, followed by a second flight later, and book them separately.
If you’re smart and are able to work out the cheapest flights you could easily incorporate a couple of days in Shanghai, for example, before flying onto the United States or the United Kingdom. China is the next most popular international destination for Australians after Thailand, too, so there are plenty of you already heading there as a destination in its own right.
Where there’s a cheap flight option on a Tuesday to one destination that can act as a stopover, and a cheap flight onto your desired destination on Friday, take advantage and enjoy a break within your break!
Remember you will need to factor in the cost of accommodation, food, and sightseeing if you consider doing a stopover, as ultimately these might end up costing more than booking the direct flight would. Even if this option does come out as more expensive, if when you’ve completed your holiday budget you have some money left over it could still be a great experience.
Finding the Best Accommodation Deals
For those travelling without children, it is becoming an increasingly common tactic to go on holiday and only book flights, picking up cheap accommodation from deals websites when they have arrived.
This isn’t for everyone, but it can add an extra sense of adventure to your trip!
If you want to ensure you know where you’re staying before travel – and are booking well in advance – then you still have plenty of options for finding accommodation at a great price. The most popular deals websites commonly feature deals starting at 25% off as well as featuring ‘flash sales’ and other events, while they also hold data on the average price of hotels based on a number of criteria, so even if you don’t use our prices in the table as a guide, you can still find your own great deal.
Tourist review websites also feature deals, some of them exclusive, giving you big savings on your holiday accommodation.
When booking your accommodation look for deals where dinner and breakfast are included in the cost. If you don’t need to budget for buying food or eating out three times every day this will massively reduce how much spending money you’ll need.
What About Package Deals?
Booking a package holiday can be great for convenience, but it is usually cheaper to book flights and accommodation separately. By all means shop around with a travel agent, though if possible go armed with the best price you’ve already found for flights and accommodation so you’re in position to drive a hard bargain!
Building Your Holiday Budget
It’s time to build your holiday budget! To give you an idea of how to put this together, we’ve provided another table below based on the average costs of common items in Bangkok, Thailand. Again this is based on a family of four. If you’re not planning on going to Thailand, there are various ‘holiday budget calculators’ available online that can help you plan for a budget for your specific destination (costs from NOV/2016).
Flight cost based on flying from Sydney to Bangkok. Costs taken from Fare Compare on 17th November 2016.
Produce something similar for the trip you’re looking to take. Where will you go? We’ve shown you how you can enjoy a family holiday of a lifetime to Thailand and have come in well under the $10,000 mark! If you’re working with that as a starting budget you can enjoy the saving, or redistribute what you’re spending and where you’re spending it to make your holiday even better, whether you opt for upgraded flights or accommodation or decide to eat out more often.
How Will You Pay for Your Holiday?
Your dream holiday is well within reach; all you need to do is work out what you need to do to cover the cost.
While you could use your savings or play around with your household budget to allow you to save enough money over the next year, if you’re in full time employment and have a good credit score, why wait? At NOW FINANCE we believe life is for living, not waiting. Why not take out a NOW FINANCE personal loan to cover the cost of your holiday, enjoy the trip of a lifetime with your loved ones and repay your loan over a time period convenient to you?
At NOW FINANCE we want to help you get those things you want, now. You work hard, your family deserves a trip, so why wait?
If you want to take an extended trip or do anything differently outside of our guide budget table, at NOW FINANCE our average holiday loan is $11,437 and you can borrow up to [loan_max_un], so wherever you want to go, even if you want to holiday at home, we can help.
Why Wait for Your Dream Holiday?
You can enjoy a dream holiday for $10,000, or even less depending on your success when shopping around!
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.