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Christmas travel 50% less than last year

Posted: 30 October 2020 10:05 am

Christmas travel and peak prices are practically synonymous. Well, not this year.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, the cost to get away this silly season has taken a massive tumble.

And while Aussies can't travel overseas yet, most domestic borders will be open in time for Christmas making it a most wonderful time of the year for anyone who's been itching to get out.

According to Skyscanner, the savings on domestic flights are as high as 51% on flights taking off on 19 December and returning 31 December.

This is compared to the average cost of this journey for the same period over the last two years.

Of the most popular domestic destinations searched for by Skyscanner users, the Sydney to Brisbane route shows the biggest discounts. Where flights previously averaged $389 return, they're now down 51% to $192 return.

Other routes that have been slashed to put on your travel wishlist are:

  • Sydney to Gold Coast, down 44% with a price tag of $163 return
  • Melbourne to Adelaide, down 25% with average fares of $243 return
  • Sydney to Perth, down 6% with flights currently at $563 return

"Historically Christmas travel bookings – and flights in particular – have been notoriously expensive and inflexible," said Paul Whiteway senior director for APAC at Skyscanner.

"However, the events of the past few months have forced airlines and hotels to take a more flexible approach, coupling amendable bookings with attractive prices".

Excited to travel again? Start searching for your Christmas bargain now

Flexible flights

To add more merriment to your Christmas getaway, all Aussie airlines have thrown flight flexibility in for free. Call it an early Christmas present.

Qantas is waiving the date change fee once on domestic flights until 31 January 2021.

Virgin Australia has one-upped this, offering unlimited changes on domestic flights for travel until 31 January 2021.

And while low-cost airline Jetstar is also offering one free date change, it's only on flights booked by 15 November for travel by 15 December 2020.

This doesn't help holidaymakers trying to get away for the season. But, the airline has extended its policy numerous times already so fingers crossed it will do so again.

Hotel savings

Gone also are the days when booking Christmas travel well in advance could save you a bundle. Due to the pandemic, this year it's all about last minute bookings for massive savings.

And this particularly rings true for hotel stays.

Booking site Expedia has crunched the numbers and found that, based on data from last summer, travellers can save up to 20% on December 2020 - February 2021 accommodation by booking 2-3 weeks in advance.

If you're headed to the New South Wales North or South Coasts, booking within this window can nab you that maximum saving of 20%.

Holidaymakers seeking that Queensland sunshine should start making plans quick sticks as the sweet spot for saving up to 30% on Whitsundays stays is four weeks in advance.

You'll have a little more time though if the Gold Coast is your game with savings of up to 15% on bookings made 2-3 weeks prior to your stay.

It's never too late to snap up a deal

Now that borders are opening up travel deals are on the rise. You can catch the latest on our Travel Deals page. Or, if you're not in any hurry, keep an eye out for Black Friday bargains on 27 November.

Skyscanner prices are correct as of 26 October 2020.

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