After 18 months of restricted movements, Australian travellers are raring to go. We’re ready to pack (well, first, dust off) our bags and get out and explore, diving head-first into the life-changing experiences you can only have through travel.
And while all that time over the last 18 months in lockdowns, saving on gym memberships and nights out, not to mention not being able to travel overseas, might’ve helped us save substantially, still, when it comes to travel costs, we’d prefer not to completely splash out. In fact, recent research by booking platform Expedia found that 45% of Australian travellers were even willing to be flexible with their travel plans in order to save money on their next trip.
So, how can we go about doing that? Conveniently, just in time for the re-opening of international travel, Expedia partnered with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) to compile a report on the 10 best travel savings hacks. From the best day of the week to book flights, to a nifty trick for booking accommodation, here’s what to know before planning your next holiday.
Book Flights in Advance, But Not Too Far In Advance
The report found that for domestic flights in economy, prices usually start to increase between 35 and 42 days before departure. The sweet spot to book a domestic flight is around three and a half months in advance.
Book Flights on a Sunday
As for which day of the week to book, the report found that for domestic and international flights, it’s best to book on a Sunday, not a Friday. Travellers can save almost 20% by booking on a Sunday instead of a Friday.
Fly on a Friday or Saturday
The ideal day to start a domestic trip is a Friday or Saturday, where travellers can save around 30%, versus travelling on a Monday. For international flights, start the trip on a Friday, not on a Wednesday, to save just over 15%.
Consider the Best Months to Travel
Choosing the right month to travel can also help you save big. For domestic flights, the ideal month to depart is January, where travellers can save up to 10% versus travelling in April. For international flights, October is the ideal month, where travellers can save around 20%, versus travelling in December, which traditionally has the highest average ticket price.
Treat Yourself to Premium Economy
Over the last couple of years, tickets in premium economy have become more affordable and, now, have never been cheaper. In 2019 and 2020, average prices for a premium economy ticket were 321% and 253% more expensive than regular economy tickets, respectively. Whereas, in 2021, premium economy average ticket prices were only 246% more expensive, meaning the price difference has dropped drastically. If you can afford a premium upgrade, do it.
Book Accommodation on a Wednesday or Sunday
For domestic holidays, the lowest average daily rate for accommodation tends to occur on a Wednesday, where travellers could save almost 5% versus booking on the most expensive day, which is a Saturday. For international trips, book on a Sunday, not on a Saturday, to save almost 10%.
Stay on a Monday or Tuesday
The ideal day to begin a domestic stay is a Tuesday, where travellers can save just over 10% versus staying on a Saturday. For international trips, staying on a Monday can save travellers almost 15%, versus staying on a Wednesday.
Consider Down-Star Accommodation
Travellers can stretch their dollars further by choosing a lower star-rated hotel. Travellers can save almost 40% on average, by simply opting for a 4-star property over a 5-star, while down-starring to a 3-star from a 4-star can save travellers around 25%.
Consider a Bundle Package
To unlock even more discounts, consider booking your flights and hotel stays together, rather than separately. The report found that on average, Australians can save up to 10% on Expedia by bundling their flight and hotel together in one transaction, which is money that can go towards other experiences.
Be Loyal to an Airline or Hotel Chain
When it comes to booking travel, it pays to be loyal. Book all flights through the same airline and consider staying at accommodation under the same brand umbrella to earn points or benefits for future travel.