Destinations

‘Christmas tax’ causes pinch in Aussies’ wallets

Amy Bryant

Australians could be paying up to 103% more to travel over the Christmas holiday season.

finder.com.au examined the top 10 international destinations  for Australian travellers, as well as a domestic favourite, the Gold Coast, and took into account the cost of travel – including hotels, flights and car rental – for two people over a two-week period, comparing both peak and off-peak periods.

Topping the list for the most expensive travel destination during the peak period – Saturday 24 December to 7 January 2017 – was, surprisingly, the Gold Coast.

Despite being just a short flight from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, travelling to the Gold Coast during the Christmas period could set Aussies back, on average, $8,907.

Meanwhile holidaying there in November 2016 or February 2017, could cost less than half of that – $4,391, on average.

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

The biggest price hike was accommodation on the Gold Coast, up 121% on off-peak prices.

Internationally, Phuket was found to have the largest price gouge, with Australians paying, on average, 72% more to travel there during Christmas. This was followed by Nadi (66%), Bali (63%), and Goa (54%).

Analysis of the top 10 international destinations found it could cost on average 41% more to visit over the Christmas holidays.

Interestingly, one of the destinations in the study, Auckland, came in cheaper during Christmas – costing, on average, 6% less during the peak season.

Cost of travel for 2 people for 14 nights (flights, hotel, rental Car)

Rank Destination Off Peak Cost Christmas Cost Additional Cost Percentage difference
1 Gold Coast, Queensland $4,391 $8,907 $4,517 103%
2 Phuket, Thailand $4,326 $7,453 $3,128 72%
3 Nadi, Fiji $5,464 $9,067 $3,603 66%
4 Bali, Indonesia* $3,068 $4,990 $1,922 63%
5 Goa, India* $5,374 $8,265 $2,890 54%
6 Tokyo, Japan $11,341 $14,843 $3,502 31%
7 Singapore $5,120 $6,504 $1,385 27%
8 Shanghai, China* $4,356 $5,047 $690 16%
9 New York, USA $8,282 $9,467 $1,185 14%
10 London, UK $6,144 $6,882 $738 12%
11 Auckland, New Zealand $5,605 $5,279 -$326 -6%
International Average $5,770 $7,882 $2,112 41%

 

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au, says there are some ways to minimise cost – and it starts with being organised.

“With many Australian families forced to take their annual leave over the Christmas and New Year period, inflated holiday pricing seems to be a cost many have to bare.

“However, keeping costs down starts with doing research – jump online and use comparison websites to compare flights, accommodation and transport. Doing your homework can leave you with more spending money.”

An analysis of airline data found that mid-week flights are generally more affordable than weekends, as are early morning or late night flights.

“The sweet spot for booking flights is around 17 weeks prior to departure for international and long-haul domestic flights, and 5-11 weeks for shorter domestic flights. So plan ahead, and save.”

Prepaid travel money cards and travel insurance can also help to keep costs down once at your destination.

Concept for dreamy girl and traveling
Travel money cards are useful for travellers who want to lock in a favourable exchange rate or are travelling to several destinations.

“These prepaid cards can also help you avoid fees including currency conversion and ATM withdrawal fees, which can sting unsuspecting travellers,”  Hassan said.

Hassan recommends shopping around online to find the best Christmas travel insurance deals and discounts.

“When it comes to travel insurance it’s always best to lock-it in early so you’re covered from the moment you book for any unexpected delays or cancellations,” said Ms Hassan.

“It’s also worth looking into a policy that will cover the value of your Christmas pressies in the case of lost or stolen luggage.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “‘Christmas tax’ causes pinch in Aussies’ wallets”

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Tourism Minister eyes potential post-JobKeeper support package for travel industry

Fingers and toes are being crossed throughout the industry, as Australia’s new Tourism Minister provides some hope of targeted government support.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight evacuated following threatening note

Passengers have been evacuated from a plane at an international airport in the US after flight attendants uncovered a written threat.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

These are the world’s most Instagrammed viewpoints

Personally, our favourite viewpoint is from the pub across the road. All you can really see is a brick wall, but after a few drinks, it can be anywhere in the world.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess Cruises offloads another ship

Captain Stubing and the rest of The Love Boat crew would no doubt be shedding a tear or few over the sale of their beloved vessel.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight attendant TikToker urges passengers not to drink plane water

WARNING: watching this woman’s video might make it impossible to look at coffee served on flights the same way, even when you’re DESPERATE for a caffeine hit.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Western Australia and ACT change up border restrictions

by Huntley Mitchell

There’s been a loosening of restrictions. And by that, we mean those concerning domestic borders – not the undone button on the pants of Travel Weekly’s editor.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

MSC’s flagship returns to the sea after end-of-year pause

The ship reportedly needed about 50 tonnes of coffee to get back to work yesterday morning, after taking a little government-enforced Chrissy break.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Holiday guides swap tours of tropical destinations for ‘Tropical Whopper Tours’ in clever new ad campaign

If you aren’t a fan of the divisive pineapple on burgers, we strongly recommend not reading this piece.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Globus adds new date for Kimberley trip due to popular demand

Did your clients miss out on nabbing a spot on one of Globus’ coveted jaunts around the Kimberley? Well, the brand has just given you another shot at making their day.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Familiar face returns to Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific as GM

Crowne Plaza has opted not to hire a stranger to lead its iconic Terrigal hotel. However, that’s not to say there were a heap of creepy job applicants.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Emirates cans decision to suspend Aussie flights

The UAE’s flag carrier has performed a bizarre backflip, complete with a couple of half-twists and a pike. Meanwhile, the government has introduced stricter rules for returning Aussies.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Norwegian launches agent incentives across all three brands

As the saying goes, all good things come in threes … except if there were four incentives being offered, of course.

Share

CommentComments