How to Score a Great Deal on Flights to Australia

If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Australia but don’t think that you can afford it, think again. Airfare tends to be the costliest aspect of such a trip, but there are plenty of ways to find affordable flights to the Land Down Under—especially for those who are willing to put a little time and effort into the endeavor.

A few small steps can make a huge difference when it comes to the cost of flights to Australia. From going through a travel agent to being flexible about routes, there are lots of ways to save. Read on to pick up useful tips for saving money on flights to Australia.

1. Start Early

The earlier that you book your flight to Australia, the more affordable the fare is apt to be. In fact, if you will be traveling to Oz during peak tourist season—roughly October through February—you should plan to start looking for tickets at least one year in advance. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule; airlines often offer sales on airfare to Australia throughout the year, but such offers are especially abundant in January. Either way, though, start scoping out tickets at least one year ahead of time for optimal results.

2. Sign up for Sales

Unless you plan to manually visit every major airline’s website regularly to check for sales, you should do yourself a favor and sign up for sale alerts instead. Most major airlines allow you to sign up for alerts for special offers on specific types of airfare, so you could, for instance, sign up to be alerted whenever fare prices drop for a specific route. Online comparison sites also offer newsletters that can alert you to great deals on plane tickets to Australia. If you are worried about spam, create a throwaway email address and use that to sign up for email newsletters and alerts.

3. Book Through an Agent

Like most people, you probably take care of making travel arrangements yourself whenever you travel for fun. The Internet, of course, has made this very easy to do. However, booking a flight directly through an airline is usually more expensive than booking through an agent. One issue is that there are so many potential routes and fare options for flights to Australia that sorting through them is pretty much impossible. Travel agents know the best combinations, so they can often save you money. Major airlines often use agents to sell tickets below standard fare rates, and you miss out on that by booking yourself. Finally, you may be able to secure an IT fare—inclusive tour fare—by combining things like hotels, rental cars, and stopovers.

4. Be Flexible

Chances are that you already have a pretty clear picture of how your trip to Australia will unfold. Like many, you probably plan to fly to Sydney, for example. However, being open to other potential ports of entry is a good way to land some truly amazing deals on flights to Oz. While flying into Sydney offers the most variety in terms of airlines and flights, flights into Adelaide tend to be more affordable. Darwin has become more popular for international visitors to Australia too, and flights there usually include stopovers in places like Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia. Another option to look into is “open jaw” tickets, which involve flying to one airport and out of a different one.

5. Explore Lots of Airlines

It’s easy to assume that Qantas Airways corners the market when it comes to cheap flights to Australia, but many smaller carriers offer surprisingly affordable options from time to time too. In particular, airlines that offer less-than-traditional routes often offer more competitive rates for these kinds of flights. Examples of this include China Eastern Airlines’ routes through Shanghai and Asiana Airlines’ routes through Seoul. The main problem is that such flights are usually only available through travel agents; you are unlikely to find them when trying to book directly yourself. Again, this is another reason why it is generally best to turn to a travel agent when trying to book cheap tickets to Australia.

6. Use Comparison Sites

A great way to quickly get a feel for the average amount that your flight to Australia will cost is by comparing various options on popular travel comparison websites. Sites like Kayak and Travelocity make it easy to compare flights to specific destinations at specific times of the year. Many also allow you to enter flexible dates, which lets you pinpoint the most affordable times to fly out and to return.

One tip to keep in mind when using such comparison sites is to use your web browser’s “incognito” mode while doing so. This anonymizes you, which ensures that you aren’t being shown different fares based on your browsing history and any data that has been collected about you.

Flying to Australia isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean that you should break the bank just to get there. Plan to spend a decent amount but give yourself plenty of time so that you can perform your own research into the matter. Be open to working with a travel agent, and be flexible about things like dates, airlines, and ports of entry. In the end, the extra work that you put in will pay off in the form of more affordable tickets.

12