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3 cheapest places to fly now Australia’s international borders are open

Posted: 1 November 2021 7:00 am
News
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The borders are open, but where can you actually go?

Today's a big day for travellers. Australia's borders are officially open to returning travellers and Aussies no longer need an exemption to leave the country.

Qantas is returning to the international skies with flights to London and Los Angeles resuming from today.

The catch? Only states and territories where 80% of the population is fully vaccinated are scrapping quarantine requirements. At the moment that's New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.

This means while no one needs an exemption to leave the majority of departing flights are concentrated in those locations for the moment.

What is Qantas' reopening plan and where is it flying?

If you're ready to bravely join your fellow travellers on a mass exodus, we've crunched the numbers and found the cheapest destinations (open to Australians) that you can book flights to right now.

NOTE: Price estimations retrieved 1 November from Skyscanner's flight search engine. Prices may vary, compare to save before you book.

View of Singapore skyline from Gardens by the Bay.

1. Singapore

If you're looking for a holiday with endless things to do you can't look past the tropical island-nation of Singapore. From its iconic Merlion statue to the spectacular Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore city is an architectural feast to the eyes of new travellers.

It's the perfect destination for a change of scene but rarely a change of pace, it's a city that's always on the cutting edge and its hawker food markets are a foodie's dream.

What does travelling to Singapore look like?

From 8 November, quarantine-free travel from Australia to Singapore is a go. Apply for your Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTL) from today. There is a catch, at the moment only Singapore Airlines and Scoot are operating VTL flights. The good news is Scoot has Singapore flights on sale.

Prices:

Find cheap flights to Singapore from your city

Bangkok at sunset

2. Bangkok, Thailand

From the bustling city malls to pristine white beaches, there is plenty of fun to be had in this stunning country and its capital city Bangkok.

Dine in the floating markets, cruise the Chao Phraya River or see the city from a tuk tuk. You won't want to come home.

What does travelling to Bangkok look like?

From 1 November, quarantine-free travel to all of Thailand from Australia is allowed for fully-vaccinated travellers.

Prices:

Fly Sydney to Bangkok from $508 one way with Thai Airways.

We weren't able to find cheap flights without a long connection time from Melbourne to Bangkok but Thai Airways has announced it will ramp up availability of flights from 17 November, so things may change soon.

Find cheap flights to Thailand from your city

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3. London, United Kingdom

A truly global city that rivals New York with its turbulent energy, London is the place to be for anglophiles, history buffs and of course fans of the Royal Family.

The list of things to do in London is nearly endless but you can of course venture out to the countryside for a change of pace.

What does travelling to London look like?

After scrapping its traffic light system the UK has removed the last of the red countries from today. Travel to the United Kingdom from Australia quarantine-free so long as you're fully vaccinated. Rules do vary between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island.

Prices:

Find cheap flights to the UK from your city

How do you make sure you're covered if things go wrong?

Before you book make sure to check the COVID-19 refund/credit rules on the site you're booking with and try to book directly with the airline where possible.

Finder travel insurance expert James Martin commented:

"Travel insurance policies won't cover you for the most common reasons your trip could be affected by COVID-19. Unfortunately, that means you won't be able to claim if you need to miss or cut short your holiday due to snap border closures or lockdowns.

"However, it can cover you for medical expenses if you actually get COVID while you're abroad. The right policy can also insure you for lost or stolen luggage, medical repatriation to Australia as well as trip cancellations unrelated to COVID.

"To know what you'll be insured for, make sure you read the PDS for your policy before signing up."

Check what your airline's flexibility policy is, some airlines will provide a refund if your booking is affected by border closures.

If your travel date is approaching and the borders look likely to remain closed don't cancel your flight, this may count as a change of mind and you may not be able to get a refund or credit for flights that are subsequently cancelled due to restrictions.

How do I get COVID-19 travel insurance?

What else do I need to know about international travel?

We've put together a comprehensive international travel guide with all the pre-depature rules, how to get your international vaccine passport and more to help make your experience getting back overseas easier.

Not keen on international travel?

If you're not too keen on international travel just yet there are still plenty of discount fares on sale regularly for travel in Australia. The government-supported Half-Price Flights sales from Jetstar, Qantas, Rex and Virgin Australia are still available and can be booked with Flight Centre.

Don't miss out on flight deals when the international borders open! Check out our full list of all the latest flight sales.

We updated this story on 1 November 2021 with the 3 cheapest destinations currently open to Australians.

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