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How to save hundreds on your next holiday

by Staff

The demand for travel has reached its highest among Aussie jetsetters, but budgets are becoming tighter. This is how you can get a good holiday deal without breaking the bank.

Virgin Australia wants to become the country’s first airline to operate domestic flights allowing pets in the cabin from next year, following regulatory approval. Currently, pets are required to be checked into the cargo area of a plane, unless they are authorised assistance or service dogs.

Despite cost-of-living pressures affecting household budgets, Aussie jetsetters are reluctant to sacrifice holidays with demand for travel the highest it has been since pre-pandemic.

And travel providers will offer everything from room upgrades, free meals, spa treatments and even half-price holidays to nab a portion of that getaway dollar.

“Financial pressures are a real concern for many Aussies, but our data and research shows that Aussies aren’t necessarily giving up on travel, but rather shifting their travel habits to accommodate their budget,” Expedia Group travel expert Sarah King said.

“Value for money and good value deals will be a key priority.”

Rhys Browne and fiance Mykaela Wise enjoy travelling and finding a good packaged deal. Picture: Supplied

Choosing destinations where you can get better bang for your buck will prove popular this year,

Ms King said, with Aussies setting their travel radar to destinations where the Australian dollar is strong, such as Fiji, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Japan.

AIRFARES

Flight Centre reports airfares have already started to drop on popular routes over the last 12 months and predict they will continue to fall throughout 2024 as competition and capacity increases.

“Economy airfares between Sydney and London in January this year were 13 per cent lower than they were in January 2023,” Flight Centre’s James Kavanagh said.

Flight Centre Travel Group’s James Kavanagh. Picture Supplied

Certain international fares have dropped/ Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

“Fares between Melbourne and Tokyo were 21 per cent lower and fares between Brisbane and Auckland 25 per cent lower.

“As airfare prices ease, we expect that long-haul prices will be impacted the most, so we’re anticipating continued customer interest in destinations across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada.”

TripADeal’s head of cruise Adam Bennett said the drop in airfares will also have an impact on cruise packages. “The slight reprieve in air prices means we can pass on better value when selling (cruise) packages,” Mr Bennett said.

PACKAGE HOLIDAYS

Bundling together your airfares, hotels and activities is the best way to get good value for money and demand for package holidays has increased as a result.

“By booking elements of your travel like hotels, flights and car rentals together, travellers unlock new savings – sometimes hundreds of dollars – that wouldn’t be available if booking those elements separately,” Ms King said.

“On Expedia, travellers can save around $214 on average when they book flights and hotels together.”

Ms King said another benefit of booking a package is that free inclusions, like room upgrades, breakfast, spa treatments and airport transfers, are often included.

Sarah King from Expedia Picture:.Supplied

TripADeal’s head of cruise Adam Bennett.Supplied

CRUISING

Demand for cruising has never been higher, Mr Bennett said.

He predicts a huge supply of new ships and an increasing number of ships visiting Australian waters will see that demand met with competitive prices on the high seas.

“Places like the Caribbean will see great value this year as companies are sending new ships there, like Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, to meet high demand,” he said.

“The same goes for Antarctica and the Arctic.

“And we know, where there’s a lot of supply, there are better prices.”

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is billed as the world’s largest cruise ship. Picture: Marco Bello/AFP

Cruise companies are also offering better value for money by bundling together inclusions you once would have paid extra for.

“There’s been a big shift in the last six to 12 months when it comes to cruise inclusions; things like Wi-Fi, beverage packages, specialty dining and gratuities that passengers would once have paid extra for are increasingly being offered as standard inclusions now.”

LOOKING FOR A GREAT DEAL

Like most Aussies, Rhys Browne and Mykaela Wise have had to tighten their belts recently, but they weren’t prepared to sacrifice travel.

So, the young Gold Coast couple booked a package holiday to Europe through TripADeal because it meant most elements of the holiday were included and paid for upfront.

“I think in everything we do, from buying groceries to buying a car, we’re all looking for a great deal,” Mr Browne, a 22-year-old teacher’s aid who proposed to Mykaela on the beach at Mykonos last year, said

Mr Browne and Ms Wise in Venice, Italy. Picture: Supplied

The couple in front of the Trevi Fountain in Italy. Picture: Supplied

“But going for a package, which included everything except some meals, meant we didn’t have to scrap travel because we were able to save by bundling it all together.

“Travel is not something we were prepared to sacrifice.”

ESCAPE DEALS

You’ll find a plethora of packages, accommodation and experiences from trusted suppliers. You can now browse, click and book directly through escape.com.au (or scan via QR code).

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