With so many of Australians bursting to travel, it’s no wonder airports are swamped and accomodation venues are booked out months in advance.
However there are still many Australians with their feet firmly on the ground because they are simply unable to find flights or accomodation. Thwarted by time-consuming crowds or jacked-up costs, these would-be travellers are missing out on their holiday dreams.
But there are ways around the frustration. So dust off your suitcase and follow these tips for a smooth holiday from take off to touch down.
You may have some dates in mind, but it helps to be flexible. By expanding your travel window you’ll have more choice when it comes to flights and acommodation bookings, especially when trying to match up the two.
If you can, avoid the hoardes. This means look for dates outside of school holidays (be mindful not all states have the same school holiday dates) and be open to mid-week bookings.
A clever way to find more openings and lower costs is to try smaller airports and holiday destinations not far from where you plan to travel, said Lisa Perkovic from Expedia.
“Consider things like alternative airports, so if you have your heart set on Bryon, maybe look at flying into the Gold Coast and hiring a car,” she said.
“Think outside the box and let the deals guide you. You might want to look at satellite cities, for example Brunswick Heads instead of Byron.”
Do your homework
Pre-travel research is critical. Find out everything – from how early you should get to the airport to the local weather forecast.
The more answers you collect equals the less nasty surprises you’ll face, said Perkovic.
“You might get to a destination and it’s astronomically expensive to hire a car or there’s no accommodation, so look at each stage of your journey as you lock it in,” she said.
“Also if you’re going somewhere like Fiji, make sure you check the prices of the food on the island because you want to make sure you’ll have a good time and you’re not paying $80 for a burger.”
Be early, be prepared
Book with as much advance timing as you can. You’ll thank yourself for getting in early, especially at peak times such as Christmas and Easter.
Securing an early booking also means you can take your pick of choice flights and accomodation categories. This means flying without the hassle of multiple stopovers and hotel rooms with a view.
With airport crews under strain, it pays to put a buffer into your timing. Arrive earlier than recommended so you have time to grab a calming coffee or bite to eat.
Some travellers are also opting to put tracking devices in their luggage in case it doesn’t turn up at their destination. The device will alert you to where your luggage is located so you can avoid any wild goose chases.
Travel insurance, particularly for overseas travellers, has never been more important in this post-pandemic time. Some destinations actually require compulsory insurance cover.
Before you sign up, ensure you check the details of your insurance coverage – especially how it applies to COVID-19 and potential travel disruptions.