Aussies undeterred by rising travel costs, reveals KAYAK trends report

Lifestyle portrait of a young businesswoman sitting with smart phone at the modern train

The season of New Year’s Resolutions is upon us and KAYAK expects travel to be high on Aussies’ to-do lists for 2023.

KAYAK’s latest search insights for travel in 2023 revealed that the travel enthusiasm that’s boomed since borders reopened, shows no signs of slowing down this year. Rising flight prices and cost of living hikes don’t appear to be deterring eager Aussie travellers who are researching for more luxurious, longer trips, while remaining loyal to tried and true destinations.

Based on flight searches, the average price of a return economy domestic flight for 2023 is around $397, about an 18 per cent increase compared to 2019 pricing set against about a 162 per cent increase in searches for domestic flights. Travellers hoping to venture internationally will see an increase of about 42 per cent in the average return economy flight price of around $2024, with searches also up about 85 per cent.

“While much has been made of the rising price of travel this year, we’re pleased to see that Aussies appear to have no intention of foregoing their holidays in the year ahead with domestic and international flight searches up about 92 per cent compared to the same search and travel period in 2019,” commented KAYAK brand director Nicola Carmichael.

“If anything, travellers are prioritising quality travel experiences and carefully investing in the choices that are right for them to ensure they’re making the most of travel opportunities in the current climate.

“KAYAK’s search data predicts that longer trips, luxurious choices and adopting sustainable swaps are trends in 2023.” travel trends for 2023:

2023 is the year to ‘live large’

Despite the average return first-class flight ticket increasing by around $3,500 to about $13,472 for travel in 2023, when compared to 2019, they have also seen about a 35 per cent increase in searches. Searches for domestic and international five-star hotels have increased by around 21 per cent. Aussies are exploring the opportunity to enjoy a luxe holiday despite the average international 5-star hotel price increasing by around $65 per night to $454 and domestically, these high-end hotels almost doubled in price (increasing about 49 per cent) to around $464 a night.

More leave allowances may be maxed out

The average search for a long-haul international trip is now around 23 days (up about 10 per cent on the 2019 average), while those holidaying within the Pacific the average search for travel is averaging 10-day stays (a rise of around 5 per cent since 2019). As well as signalling an appetite for holidaying ‘big’ next year, this trend also aligns with the global movement towards ‘slow travel’. A more sustainable way to travel, this trend sees holidaymakers stay at a destination longer in order to become immersed in the culture and environment.

Often viewed as pricey, popular domestic destinations will actually offer unexpected deals

Flights to many of Australia’s favourite coastal destinations have actually experienced a smaller price hike than other routes, and travellers hunting for a great deal may look closer to home for affordable flights. The domestic return economy routes seeing the smallest price rise – if any – compared to 2019 include Maroochydore (about 1 per cent price decrease since 2019), Ballina – Byron Bay (about 1 per cent increase), Coolangatta (about 5 per cent increase) and Cairns (about 6 per cent increase). Return economy flights to Launceston have also remained flat on 2019 prices.
Conversely, the routes that have experienced the biggest price increase for return economy flights compared to 2019 include Melbourne to Los Angeles (average price $2053, 92 per cent increase), Melbourne to Tokyo (average price $1533, 81 per cent increase ) and Sydney to Tokyo (average price $1706, 70 per cent increase).

For those bucking the trend for luxe holidays and opting to travel on a budget,’s most affordable international return economy routes in 2023 and their change in price compared to 2019 are:

  1. Sydney to Auckland – average price $524 (32 per cent increase)
  2. Perth to Bali – average price $594, (62 per cent increase)
  3. Brisbane to Bali – average price $704, (21 per cent increase)
  4. Sydney to Fiji – average price $830, (43 per cent increase)
  5. Melbourne to Bali – average price $898 (41 per cent increase)

Aussies will be flocking back to Japan and other Asian destinations

Japan’s slow reopening post-COVID hasn’t deterred Australians from planning trips, with Sydney to Tokyo the most searched route for the year ahead. Other popular routes include Bali and London despite prices increasing significantly to these popular destinations. 5 most searched international routes for return economy flights for Australian travellers in 2023 and change in price compared to 2019:

  1. Sydney to Tokyo – average price $1707 (70 per cent increase)
  2. Sydney to London – average price $1952 (43 per cent increase)
  3. Melbourne to Bali – average price $898 (41 per cent increase)
  4. Melbourne to London – average price $1980 (44 per cent increase)
  5. Sydney to Bali – average price $975 (59 per cent increase)

Independent travel is on the rise

With a 10 per cent increase in searches for solo travel, KAYAK data suggests that solo trips are slowly on the rise, perhaps nodding to an increased focus from travellers on doing things ‘their way’ and planning the trips that best serve them.

Popular destinations for these travellers include Bali and Bangkok, as well as further-flung cities such as Tokyo, London and Los Angeles.

Road trips will be more sustainable than ever before

Turning the idea of sustainable travel as unachievable or expensive on its head, KAYAK’s data shows that the average price of hiring these EV and hybrid vehicles in Australia sits at $100 per day, compared to the average car rental price of $105.

This sits alongside a strong increase in searches for electric and hybrid cars compared to 2021.

Featured Image: (iStock/RossHelen)

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • Products

Luxury fashion house Missoni adds amenity kit to Delta One experience

Italian luxury fashion house Missoni will soon be part of the Delta One experience with a new customer amenity kit. Missoni – a brand well known for its creative use of colors and patterns – will elevate Delta One with the new amenity kit and top-of-the-line details woven into key touchpoints throughout the Delta One […]

  • Cruise

Viking Cruises special 8-day cruise rate

Viking cruises is providing a special offer on its 8-day Rhine Getaway itinerary for November 2024 departures with a strictly limited basis. The cruise takes guests out to discover the charm of old-world Europe as they sail through Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The itinerary includes visits the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns […]

  • Cruise

Variety Cruises launches “Sell Three, Sail Free in Tahiti” promotion for travel advisors

The family-run, small-ship cruising company, Variety Cruises, has introduced an incentive for travel advisors booking holidays on the company’s Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises. To win a free cruise for two people, the promotion requires advisors to sell three cabins on Variety itineraries in Tahiti booked by 15 September, 2024 and through to 30 April, […]

  • Cruise

Viking is gold sponsor of 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival, presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema

Viking has announced it will be a gold sponsor of the 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema. The festival, now in its 10th year, showcases the best Nordic contemporary cinema from international film festivals including Göteborg, Cannes and Berlin. The sponsorship provides Viking with the opportunity to connect […]

  • Hotels

The Dorchester rooms and suites

The Dorchester has unveiled additional rooms and suites with a new butler program to enhance guest experience, marking another milestone in its renovation. The portfolio of the world’s foremost luxury hotels and residences, Dorchester Collection, has refurbished room interiors to continue its commitment to reinvent tradition. The Dorchester’s interiors, re-envisioned by interior design firm Pierre-Yves […]

  • Events

Bastille Festival 2024

Residents and travellers can immerse themselves in the vibrant spirit of France as Bastille Festival Sydney returns with a jam-packed program to ignite the Paris Olympic spirit. The annual four-day celebration brings the spirit of France to the heart of Sydney in honour of French Bastille Day. It commemorates two significant events in French history: […]

  • Aviation

Air Astana donates upcycled aircraft furniture to Almaty Airport

The Air Astana ‘Upcycling for the Future’ project involves the creative recycling of used aircraft parts, with furniture having been previously exhibited at various locations across Almaty since 2022.   The aim of the Air Astana project is to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact. Air Astana Group is the largest airline group in Central […]

  • Conferences
  • Travel Agents

New Zealand’s biggest business event marks Matariki

Matariki, the Māori New Year has been celebrated at a spectacular event for MEETINGS 2024 buyers at Rotorua Airport last night (Wednesday, 19 June). RotoruaNZ Business Events and Coast Group presented a special dinner with supporting partners Rotorua Airport, Terrace Catering, Event Impressions and The Production Agency. The evening featured a stunning 12-minute light and […]

  • Tour Operators

Albatross Tours’ feeling Festive as it guarantees remaining places for Christmas 2024 tours

European tour specialists, Albatross Tours, has guaranteed every tour for Christmas 2024 is a goer. “The Albatross festive program has established itself as a real favourite for Australian travellers. We have a fabulous choice of Christmas market locations – Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Ljubljana are just a few,” managing director Shelley Poten said. The all-inclusive […]