How to book Christmas flights to Asia without breaking the bank.
Whether you plan to meet your loved ones or spend a few days holidaying in Asia, Christmas provides the much-needed break from routine.
As you are not the only person flying to Asia during the Christmas holidays, prices can rise to as much as twice the regular fares during the Christmas week.
Read this guide to find out how you can travel to Asia during Christmas without paying peak prices.
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When’s the best time to book Christmas flights to Asia?
The best time to book a Christmas flight depends on the destination you are flying to and from, but the general interval for getting a good deal is three to six months prior to the trip.
If you are travelling to Bali from Sydney, you’ll score the biggest savings (up to 6%) when you book a Christmas flight in June. If you fly from Melbourne, discounts are as high as 8%.
For a flight to Singapore, reservations in June and July get you up to 10% discounts from both Sydney and Melbourne.
According to Skyscanner Best Time to Book tool, the situation is more complicated with Christmas flights to Seoul, South Korea. If you book your flight from Sydney in September, you save up to 12%. If you book too early, you might miss out on savings with flights purchased in July only saving you up to 6%.
There is a steep increase in prices in the third and fourth weeks of December. If you are on a long trip and have the flexibility, try booking flights to Asia on or before the second week of December and return on or after New Year’s Day.
Tips and tricks to getting cheap Christmas flights to Asia
Follow these steps to increase your chances of getting an affordable deal:
- Choose one-stop flights: If you are willing to sacrifice half a day on a stopover for a much cheaper flight, you might consider choosing one-stop flights over direct ones. For example, at the time of writing, the cheapest direct flight to Beijing one week before Christmas and coming back after New Year's is $1,497. On the other hand, if you choose to book a Hainan Airlines flight stopping in Changsha, you can get a ticket for just $814.
- Prefer lower cost airlines: You can cut your flight expenses in half if you combine the one-stop journeys with lower cost airlines. Jetstar, Scoot, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Vietnam Airlines, Capital Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are cheaper alternatives to Qantas, Virgin Australia and Etihad.
- Pick the secondary airport: Perhaps you've never considered it, but sometimes flying from a secondary airport is the key to finding a low-cost flight. Dare to get on a plane at that small airport you never thought of. For example, the cheapest direct flight from Sydney to Tokyo from 18 December to 2 January costs $1,730 to Narita Airport (77km from Tokyo) on ANA. On the other hand, the cheapest direct flight to Tokyo’s primary airport, Haneda, is priced at $1,744 for the same day.