Aviation

Cheapflights reveals the best times and places to fly

Cheapflights has revealed valuable insights into how we book flights, and how it should be tailored based on timing and destination.

For the second year, the booking engine has released its Compass report which analyses 13.5 million searches.

Australians are spending eight years per month to search for flights. That’s one way to quantify wanderlust, and it’s grown 42 per cent over two years.

There’s good news for Asia Pacific travellers, with flights in the region 12 per cent cheaper year on year.

In no surprise, Indonesia remains number one in popularity and competitive pricing. Here’s looking at you, Bali.

As for long haul, London’s long legacy continues as Australians favourite destination. In fact, the number of searches for London equate to more than searches to LA and New York City combined.

Pricing is always the clincher here, and Cheapflights has some advice for avoiding a last minute rush.

“Travelling on a Tuesday is up to eight per cent cheaper than departing on a Friday – and gone are the days of cheap last-minute deals, as booking less than a week in advance could cost you up to 13 per cent more for a domestic flight, eight per cent to cross the ditch, and 17 per cent more on international airfares,” Cheapflights ANZ sales director Nathan Graham said.

Generally speaking, three months in advance is the sweet spot for finding the best price.

“Our research also revealed some amazing opportunities for savvy locals to save while exploring both easy-to- reach and culturally rich destinations.

“For example, flying to Ho Chi Minh City instead of Hanoi in Vietnam can save $132 on average, and skipping French Polynesia ($2,316) to head to New Caledonia could mean an extra $1,500 in spending money – that’s a lot of baguettes.

“With flights around 12 per cent cheaper on average this year, we estimate that Aussies could save up to a quarter of a billion dollars on their travels in 2017 if they search smartly,” Graham said.

 Other insights from the report:

  • London keeps calling and with direct flights available from Perth early next year, it could be the new Dubai, as Aussies combine a Perth stop-over with a European holiday.
  • Vancouver put Canada on the map, coming in at number five on the most popular long haul destination list (after London, Los Angeles, New York and Paris), possibly fueled by the positive media coverage around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Berlin retains its European hipster haven crown, being the seventh most searched for long haul destination. Unfortunately, it was also the continent’s most expensive place to fly to in Europe, along with Barcelona ($1,529 and $1,536 respectively).
  • Aussies are driving a December and January peak for long haul travel, with secondary spikes in June and July as locals head to the Northern Hemisphere to escape winter.Searching closer to home, the report also revealed:
  • Crossing the Tasman remains one of the most travelled routes with the major cities being both popular and affordable – average return airfares costing less than $430.
  • Melbourne is the most popular domestic destination, ahead of Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, confirming that Aussies love good food, coffee and culture.
  • Melbourne and Sydney are also the most affordable cities (both under $260), but swapping Brisbane for the Gold Coast could save $44 per person.

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