By Kristie Meier
Last updated on: August 14, 2019 at 10:58 am
After weeks of trawling the internet for inspiration, you finally decide on your next holiday destination.
Excitement building, you open your laptop and start searching. What should I do? Where should I stay? What – most importantly – should I eat?
Before you start planning your daily activities, one big question looms.
How will you get there without breaking the bank?
The first thing to think about is what time of year you want to travel. Find out when your preferred destination’s low season is, then assess the weather.
Flying in low season is generally cheaper, but you’ll need to weigh this up against the elements. There’s no point shaving a few hundred dollars off your airfares if you’ll be stuck in blizzards or sweltering without air con.
Also, keep in mind that airlines don’t necessarily raise their prices at peak times. Of course, flights will be busier and you’ll be less likely to find fare sales, but if you book far enough in advance, you’re unlikely to see much of a price difference.
Next, figure out which day you want to fly on. Domestically, travel is cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you’re travelling internationally, watch out as some airlines have a surcharge on Fridays and Saturdays.
Lots of airlines have early bird sales, which are released in August or September for travel the following year.
That said, you can usually only book your flights 10 months in advance from your return date.
Many domestic airlines have happy hour fare sales, so keep an eye out for these. Virgin Australia’s is on Thursday afternoons and Jetstar’s is on Friday afternoons.
When picking an airline, try to steer clear of budget companies. Though their fares may seem appealing at first, by the time you add on baggage, seat allocation costs and meal prices, the savings are minimal.
While booking everything online may seem tempting, there are lots of benefits to booking through an RAA travel expert.
RAA doesn’t charge any booking fees or credit card fees, and members get 10% off travel insurance.
Booking your flights, accommodation, tours and transfers together can also result in significant savings.
And if anything goes wrong while you’re away, your travel expert is there to help.