Christmas deals: Up to 20% off selected experience
With 2 public holidays to take advantage of, you shouldn't let the last-minute rush stand between you and your holiday.
There are still ways to have a cheap Christmas getaway.
Don't need to travel over Christmas? Save by catching a January travel deal instead.
11 tips to get the cheapest Christmas flights and holidays
1. Fly on Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and/or New Year’s Day
Flights during the week before Christmas Day tend to be the most expensive for the month as everyone who's searching for a Christmas getaway will want to be at their destination on the 25th.
According to 2022 Air New Zealand data, 23 December is one of the busiest days that week to fly.
If you're not that picky, avoid flying a few days before Christmas and fly on Christmas Day instead.
If you're travelling somewhere that's only an hour or two away, you may still be able to get to your celebrations before lunch.
It may not be the best thing celebration-wise but it could save you hundreds.
Just be wary of transport to your hotel when you arrive as some cities shut down or limit public transport on Christmas Day (e.g. London) or charge a public holiday surcharge.
2. Fly back mid-January
Those people flying out before Christmas Day will most likely be flying back just after New Year's.
Try to avoid flights in the week following New Year's Day to cash in on the cheaper fares that follow.
3. Holiday in a country that doesn't celebrate Christmas
Where there will be Christmas celebrations, tourists will flock. Instead, choose places that don't really celebrate such as China, Cambodia, Japan and Morocco. You might find less of a fluctuation in airfares compared to other destinations.
4. Pick destinations that are generally more affordable
Shave costs by choosing destinations that are either closer to home or are more affordable.
While places like Southeast Asia are cheap anytime and will be a bit more expensive during the holidays, prices won't bloat as much as big cities or pricier destinations.
In 2022, KAYAK found some of the most affordable popular destinations for the season were the Gold Coast, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Internationally, the cheapest destinations to visit over Christmas were Bali, Hanoi, Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. This is based on the 50 most searched-for destinations for Christmas travel.
5. Stay in destinations that have price drops over the silly season
We know what you're thinking: nowhere has price drops over Christmas!
Contrary to popular belief, there are some destinations where you can score a bargain over Christmas.
In the past, Expedia found Belfast in Ireland almost 30% cheaper to stay in over the peak season based on the average daily room rate, compared to the average for the year.
This was followed by Toronto and Seattle, which were both 25% cheaper.
For somewhere more local, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are often cheaper alternatives to the eastern states.
Bear in mind that weather conditions may be playing a part in these drops with Belfast, Toronto and Seattle experiencing cold winters and Western Australia and the NT a hot summer.
6. Keep it local
Don't rule out short flights within your own country for a Christmas break.
It's still a break after all and you won’t have to worry about passports, visas and currency exchanges to boot.
We took a look to see how much a return flight was over the holiday period using Skyscanner's fly everywhere tool. We chose flights departing Saturday 24 December 2023 and returning 2 January 2024 and here are some sample fares we found:
- Launceston to Melbourne for $143 return (Jetstar)
- Launceston to Sydney for $435 return (Jetstar)
- Melbourne to Adelaide for $277 return (Jetstar)
- Sydney to Gold Coast return for $281 return (Jetstar)
These prices are accurate as of 06 December 2023.
Check out what other flights are available here
7. Ditch the flight altogether and take a road trip
If you're keeping it local, why not make it a road trip instead? Big families can benefit from this the most as you’ll only have to pay a set price for the car hire instead of purchasing separate seats for each member of the brood on the plane. Or, use your own vehicle.
According to our car hire tool, hiring a car from Sydney CBD for 24 December 2023 to 2 January 2024 (9-day trip) starts at $511, which is less than $57 a day.
These prices are accurate as of 06 December 2023.
Key in your dates below for a quote.
Another alternative is car rental service KINTO which charges a set price per kilometre and time and includes fuel costs. Daily rentals start from $67.50, while weekly rentals start from $49.95 per day for 7 days rental or more.
8. Once you arrive, don't stay in hotels
We don't have to tell you twice that booking through a short-term or vacation rental service like Stayz or Vrbo can save you heaps.
Christmas is no exception.
Prices are set by the renters and accommodation can vary from anything from a room in an apartment to a whole house. If in doubt, you can compare it against current hotel prices via Hotels Finder below.
9. Camp it
Bring down the holiday splurge a little more by opting to go camping instead of booking accommodation. Family tents can cost less than $300 and can be reused on your next trip.
Sites are much cheaper than hotels or Airbnb-style accommodations and are sometimes even free if you're willing to forfeit facilities.
For an idea of where to go, check out our top picks of campervan sites in Australia.
10. Opt for a package
Bundled packages that include flights, accommodation and sometimes activities can be a godsend during the peak period. To be fair, prices per package do go up according to the season but with everything sorted for you, it's a time-saver – especially for the budget-savvy of us who have to research and compare every different option.
11. Fly without extras
If you're not having any luck with the price of your actual flight, consider forgoing extras such as checked baggage (or share luggage to cut costs in half), in-flight meals and drinks.
We find these perks on budget airlines significantly increase the price of your flight – sometimes even doubling it. It may not seem like much, but if you're travelling with a family of 4, these extras can easily add up to an extra night's hotel stay. Think of it as a bonus vacation.
More guides on Finder
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