If you’ve always longed to explore the far-flung shores of Australia but don’t fancy the eye-watering plane fares, there are ways to find cheaper flights.
When you’re travelling with your family, the in-air costs can really add up, so if you are planning a timeshare trip ‘Down Under’ soon, take a note of these key tips and pointers.
Here’s a handy guide on how to get a cut-price ticket to the golden shores of Australia.
1) When to Fly
The lowest season to fly to Oz tends to be from mid April until late June as it’s late autumn/early winter. At any time of year, midweek departures are less in demand and therefore less expensive. School holidays push up prices, and the run-up to Christmas is also expensive, although flying over Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve can mean better deals.
2) Best times to book?
Try to book as far in advance as you can. However, remember that flight sales are a regular event – sign up to airlines’ own email distribution lists to keep an eye out for deals, especiallly if your departure date is in theory flexible. Early January is a particularly good time for sales and bargain hunting.
3) Which is the best port of entry?
Fares to different Australian airports don’t vary much, and you’ll find the widest choice of airlines by flying into Sydney. However, if you’re planning to travel around, then talk it through with an agent first – Adelaide may be a good alternative, with slightly lower fares and good connections if you are planning to drive the Great Ocean Road.
4) Which are the best internal air passes?
If want to fly a lot when you get there, consider an air pass to save on the cost of local flights. Flying from London with Qantas you can get a Walkabout Pass which allows you to book cheap fares for flights within Australia. Virgin Australia also has an air pass, which is bookable if you fly in on a ticket based on Virgin Atlantic, Delta, Etihad, New Zealand or Singapore Airlines flights.
5) What is the best way to book?
Try an airline comparison site or an agent who specialises in flights and connections to Sydney and other main Australian destinations can also be a good way to check out your lowest price options.
6) Which are the cheapest airlines?
The cheapest tickets tend to be those on airlines offering slightly more offbeat routes: for example, China Eastern (via Shanghai), Asiana Airlines (via Seoul), Korean (via Seoul) and Royal Brunei (via Brunei). While they may take a little longer than the fastest routes, they offer some interesting stopovers.
7) What about youth and student fares (for example, for your children)?
If you are a student or under 26, STA Travel offers specially discounted tickets.