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Cheap Christmas holiday travel deals for 2017

Best bargains for a December holiday break plus tips on how to get the best deal.

It’s no secret that Christmas is the hottest time of year for people to travel. It’s also no secret that it’s one of the most expensive times to travel. The cheapest tickets often get snapped up early and sales tend not to include Christmas holiday periods – but don’t be discouraged!

With the kids on holidays and a four-day weekend off from work (23–26 December 2017) you shouldn’t let the last-minute rush stand between you and your holiday. There are still ways to have a cheap Christmas getaway. Scroll down to find out how:

Store Discount Expiration Description Last verified Redeem
Up to 30% off tours worldwide

Deal expires

Valid on select tours departing before 31 January 2018, including tours over Christmas and continuing over New Year's Eve. Destinations include Peru, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico and Cuba.

Last verified

16-day Vietnam and Cambodia tour from $1,199

Deal expires

Valid for travel until 30 September 2018. Also valid for Christmas and New Year. Includes accommodation, flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City, train ticket and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

3-night Vanuatu stay from $1,129 for two

Deal expires

Valid for stay between 1 November 2017 - 31 March 2018. Also valid on Christmas and New Year. Includes accommodation, airport transfers and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

7-night Japan ski resort getaway from $1,099

Deal expires

Valid for stays until 28 February 2018 at Hakuba Alps Hotel. Includes 5-day lift ticket for Hakuba Norikura, ski or board rentals and more. Also valid for Christmas. Conditions apply.

Last verified

$300 off flights with code: Christmas sale

Coupon code expires

Valid on all international return flights over $12,000. Departs from Australia. Voucher code can only be used once. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Show code XM****

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$250 off flights with code: Christmas sale

Coupon code expires

Valid on all international return flights between $10,000 - $11,999. Departs from Australia. Voucher code can only be used once. T&C's apply.

Last verified

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After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$200 off flights with code: Christmas sale

Coupon code expires

Valid on all international return flights between $8,500 - $9,999. Departs from Australia. Voucher code can only be used once. T&C's apply.

Last verified

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After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$150 off flights with code: Christmas sale

Coupon code expires

Valid on all international return flights between $6,500 - $8,499. Departs from Australia. Voucher code can only be used once. T&C's apply.

Last verified

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After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$100 off flights with code: Christmas sale

Coupon code expires

Valid on all international return flights between $4,500 - $6,499. Departs from Australia. Voucher code can only be used once. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Show code XM****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$75 off flights with code: Christmas sale

Coupon code expires

Valid on all international return flights between $3,500 - $4,499. Departs from Australia. Voucher code can only be used once. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Show code XM****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Looking for more travel deals over Christmas? Check out all of ourour promo codes and discounts.


10 tips to get the cheapest Christmas flights and holidays

1. Fly on Christmas Eve, 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. If you’re not that picky, fly ON Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. 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.

plane generic

2. Fly back mid-January

Those people flying out before Christmas Day will most likely be flying back just after New Year’s. So 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, so choose places that don’t really celebrate such as China, Cambodia, Japan and Morocco and 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.

5. 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 over the holiday period - departing Saturday, 23 December and returning 1 January 2018 - would be and here are some sample fares we found:

  • Melbourne from Launceston for $105 return (Jetstar)
  • Sydney from Melbourne for $176 return (Jetstar and Tigerair)
  • Brisbane from Newcastle for $156 return (Jetstar)

Check out what other flights are available here

6. 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 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.

According to DriveNow, hiring a car from Sydney CBD for 23 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 (drive out Saturday morning night, drive back in on New Year’s Day public holiday and only take three days off work) starts at $835.

great_ocean_road_shutterstock_273439982

7. 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 Airbnb 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..

8. Camp it

Bring down the holiday splurge a little more by opting to go camp instead of booking accommodation. Family tents can be found for less than $300 and can be reused on your next trip.

Sites are much cheaper than hotels or airbnb-style accommodation, and are sometimes even free if you're willing to forfeit facilities.

9. Opt for a package

Bundled packages which 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.

Check out the packages sections of sites like Wotif and Expedia to see just how much you can save on your holiday.

10. Fly without extras

If you're not having any luck with the price of your actual flight, consider forgoing extras like 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 four, these extras can easily add up to an extra night's hotel stay. Think of it as bonus vacation.

Note: All prices mentioned below are accurate at the time of writing (September 2017) and are subject to change.

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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