Home Travel Tips When should you buy your plane ticket to Australia?

When should you buy your plane ticket to Australia?

When should you buy your plane ticket to Australia?

Planning a trip to Australia can be an exciting yet daunting task, with numerous factors to consider. One of the most crucial decisions is determining the best time to purchase your plane ticket. Keep in mind that flight prices vary a lot depending on the period of your departure (it is more expensive during school holidays, for example) and when you make the booking. Buying your ticket at the right moment can save you a significant amount of money and ensure a smooth travel experience. This guide will help you understand when to buy your plane ticket to Australia, considering various factors such as seasonality, price trends, and travel tips.

Flight duration to Australia

Flights from UK to Australia

The duration of your flight from London to Australia varies according to the number of stopovers and the time spent at each stopover. The minimum flight time will be around 22 hours with only one, shorter stop. It can go up to 40 hours if you stop several times or for longer.

There are direct flights between London and Perth with qantas, which could be a good option if you budget is not tight.

Flights from USA to Australia

When Flying from New York, your flight time is around 22 hours, most flights stopping once or twice. Most layovers are within the US, often at airports such as LAX, SFO or SLC. However, some options do also offer the option of stopping over in Auckland, New Zealand. When booking sufficiently in advance, prices begin at around $2,400 (USD).

When flying from Los Angeles, you can actually get a direct flight to Sydney, with a flight time of 15 hours. This option also tends to be cheaper, with prices starting from $1,200 (USD) depending on season and layover.

Flights from Canada to Australia

From Vancouver, you can find direct flights which take 15 hours and start from around $1,600 (USD). You can even find options for around $500 (USD) if you’re really clever with when you travel!

From Montreal, most layovers take you to Edmonton or Vancouver. Flight time is 22 hours and prices start at around $1,600 (USD).

How much do plane tickets to Australia cost?

Depending on when you book your flight to Australia, prices can really vary. Indeed, you can find a single ticket for £360 if you book well in advance, your departure date is not during school holidays or a public holiday, and you book your ticket at the right time. Conversely, your airfare to Australia can cost you £1100 if you travel during the high season (December and January) and book shortly before you leave for Australia. For a return trip from London to Sydney, you should expect to pay around £1200.

If you choose to book two single tickets instead of a return ticket, you should expect to pay a little more (up to 20% more – i.e. around £1440). Obviously, these prices are only indicative as they vary according to many criteria, including the type of airline (low cost or not).

As an indication, here are the proposed fares for a one-way trip from London to Sydney on 23rd August 2024 having made the search on the 21 June 2024 (i.e. 2 months in advance).

To save money on your ticket, you can find cheaper flights with less reputable companies and longer, or even multiple layovers. For example, below you can see how prices can differ even for flights on the same date:

Cheap plane tickets to Australia

There are a few techniques that can help you to get cheaper tickets to Australia.

In general, the best fares are available right after the flight has been published. This means approximately 300 days before the trip. If you go for this option, you will be required to get a changeable return ticket (i.e. an ‘open ticket’) because your return trip will not be available yet. The additional benefit is that choosing an open end ticket gives you more flexibility for your return.

For good prices, it is important to be flexible on your dates and itinerary (a detour can save you a lot of money). Also, prices are generally lower on weekdays than on weekends.

The best time to buy your plane ticket

When to book your plane ticket to Australia

Australia’s climate and tourist seasons can significantly impact airfare prices. Understanding the best and worst times to fly can help you make an informed decision.

Peak season

  • Summer (December to February): This is the peak tourist season in Australia. The weather is warm, and major holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s drive up demand for flights. Expect higher prices and book well in advance if you plan to travel during this period.
  • School Holidays: Australian school holidays (typically in December/January, April, July, and September) also see a spike in travel, leading to increased airfare prices.

Off-Peak season

Winter (June to August): While some parts of Australia remain warm, the southern regions experience cooler weather. This is considered off-peak, and you can often find cheaper flights during these months.

Shoulder Seasons (March to May and September to November): These periods offer a balance between favorable weather and lower tourist numbers, making them ideal for budget travelers. Airfares are generally more reasonable, and attractions are less crowded.

Studies suggest that the optimal time to book international flights is around 6-12 months in advance. For flights to Australia, booking about 8-10 months ahead can help you secure better deals.

While last-minute deals can sometimes offer significant savings, they are risky and less common for long-haul flights like those to Australia. It’s better to book early to ensure availability and reasonable prices.

Days of the week

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are often the cheapest days to fly, as fewer people travel mid-week. Avoid booking flights that depart on weekends, as these tend to be more expensive.

Airfares can fluctuate based on the day you book your ticket. Some studies suggest that booking flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays can yield lower prices, as airlines may release new deals early in the week.

Where to buy your plane ticket

Via a Travel Agency

While local travel agencies often have good flight deals, most people actually book through an agency due to the extra offers and benefits available as well. Not only can you rest assured that the will have plenty of knowledge and information about your destination, they will also be able to offer you many different options on how to get there such as flexibility or accompanying hotel packages. For example, if you wanted to stop over in Thailand or Bali before getting to Australia, these agencies will often be able to arrange this at a much better rate than if you were to book a trip like this yourself. It is definitely worth comparing any quote you find online with a travel agent.

Via a flight comparison website

To compare prices and get a good deal, another option is to use a flight comparison website. These websites scan different flights available from all the airlines to show you the best deals according to your criteria. Be careful though, as not all flight comparison sites are created equal. Indeed, sites such as Expedia belong to travel agencies and may not offer you the best deals.

It is, therefore, more advisable to use sites such as Opodo, Skyscanner and Google Flights.

With Skyscanner, you can also compare fares over a whole month. This makes it easier to find the day in the month that offers the best fares. The same ticket can cost £1000 or £600 depending on the day of the month! However, don’t forget that the cheapest tickets are usually those with the longest flight time or inconvenient layovers and that, with a return ticket, this can be a bit more complex to manage. Either way, it still allows you to aim for certain days which seem to be cheaper (because there are fewer departures).

💡 Tip : Flight comparison websites record your search results. Do your research in ‘private browsing’ or empty your history and remove your cookies before making your booking.

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