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Best Time To Book Your Christmas Holiday from Australia

  • New research shows that booking your flights 17 to 18 weeks before Christmas offers a huge 30% saving on the cost of average airfares.
  • 84% of those intending to travel this Christmas still haven’t booked their flights

With less than 19 weeks to go until Christmas Day, Skyscanner, the all-in-one travel app, has today revealed the best time to book your Christmas holiday to ensure the best savings possible.

The new data from Skyscanner Australia has found that while almost three-quarters (72%) of Aussies are planning to travel over the coming Christmas holiday, a massive 84% of travellers still haven’t got around to actually booking their ticket.

Is it too late to book cheap flights for December?

Over 41% of intended travellers said that “flights being too expensive at this time of year” was stopping them booking their ticket, but data also points to waiting until the last minute (less than a week) as a big factor in higher priced fares.

Research shows Aussies can still save an average of 24% on airfares by booking 17 to 18 weeks advance of their break, with week commencing 20th of August the golden time to book your festive flights.

With flight prices increasing the closer we get to the holiday season; the new research has also revealed a welcoming list of potential savings based on Aussies most desired holidays. For example, travellers from Melbourne managed to grab flights to Wellington at 8% cheaper than average when they booked 17 weeks in advance. Sydneysiders who booked their flight to Manila 13 weeks ahead of time managed to save up to 10% compared to average.

So when exactly is the Best Time To Book Christmas flights in 2018?

By analysis historic booking data and booking behaviour, Skyscanner pulled together a list of best time to book your festive flights and the estimated savings available when booked in advance. 

When is the best time to fly during December?

Looking into the outbound and inbound trends for this December, Skyscanner found that the majority of Australians planning to fly out on the 21st December and return on 5th January – in line with most business and school closure dates.

Best day to depart in December – It was found that flying out of Australia on 21st December 2018 is one of the priciest times of this year, with fares on that day up 12% on the average price for the month! However, a tip to save on flights is to consider pushing your departure day back very slightly to the 23rd December, where airfares are estimated to be 3% cheaper as opposed to leaving two days prior.

If spending your Christmas day round a tree isn’t quite your thing, consider flying out on Christmas Day itself where prices were found to be around 9% cheaper than flights departing on 21st December.

To save the most for a Christmas holiday, planning is everything. The festive period is naturally a busy time as Aussies prepare to visit family, head on holiday or – for the unlucky – continue to work, but travellers can bag a good deal if the plan smartly. While it’s not surprising that fares are a little higher during the festive season, we’d encourage Aussie travellers to consider travelling outside these key dates, and if possible avoid peak times.

Michael Grierson, Travel Expert at Skyscanner Australia

Where are Aussies travelling to in December?

The Aussie love affair with Bali appears to be alive and well over the festive season, as the Indonesian island remains the most booked travel spot. International destinations Auckland and London are also popular, however noteworthy is that domestic travel is a big focus for many Aussies as all major cities make the top 20 list.

Top 20 December Holiday Destinations
Read more about the popular holiday destinations on offer for Christmas

Why are Aussies travelling?

Skyscanner’s research found that the majority (56%) of Aussies travelling over Christmas will actually be using the time to take a holiday, with only 37% heading home for visitation. Unfortunately, a further 1% will be travelling for work this year.

The Christmas period is already expensive without having to worry about actually getting away, but it’s not too late to score some serious savings. Our research has pointed to some excellent opportunities to save some cash and we’re hopeful that Aussies will be able to keep a few extra dollars in their pocket by booking at the right time.

Michael Grierson continued

How to save more on Christmas and December flights in 2018

  1. Travellers are encouraged to book airfares 17 to 18 weeks before Christmas as average flight costs hit their lowest during this period.
  2. If possible, try to avoid departing on December 21st 2018 as fares are on average 12% higher on this day.
  3. Do not leave it to the last minute (within 1 week of intended departure) to book flights as you’re likely to be paying a hefty premium
  4. Consider other Australian cities to depart from – domestic travel offers some strong savings in the lead up to Christmas and fares outside of the closest airport to home may well be cheaper.
  5. If your plans aren’t tied in, look at other destinations outside of the most popular routes. Less congested flights will normally provide cheaper fares.
  6. Download the Skyscanner app and set price alerts for your wish-list destinations. The app will constantly search for the best prices, and prompt you to book when airfares hits a low point.
  7. Not sure where to go? Search everywhere to find inspiration.

Planning for a December getaway? Search for flight deals below 👇 

*Skyscanner conducted an online study involving 2,000 participants between 30/7/2018 and 10/8/2018 to find out more about their travel plans this December.