Australians hoping to spend Christmas away from home will need to “hurry” to secure their bookings as travel trends change, industry experts have warned.
Last-minute travel is a thing of the past, according to co-founder of Australian Traveller Magazine Quentin Long, who says planning early is the key for a successful trip this Christmas.
“Spontaneous travel where you book it and you travel next month is basically dead in the water for the next two years, I’d say,” Mr Long told Today on Monday morning.
“Don’t expect to be able to book and travel within a month to anywhere you want to go on any kind of discounts or any kind of deals.
“What you’ve got to do is plan, plan, plan and it is those who plan who will get the holiday that they want.”
"...you do have to hurry."Quentin Long, co-founder of Australian Traveller Magazine
Mr Long said the most popular domestic Christmas destinations — and the ones likely to book out the fastest — are:
Gold Coast, Qld
Sunshine Coast, Qld
North Coast, NSW
South Coast, NSW
Margaret River WA
He also suggested some alternative destinations that could be quieter during the festive season, saying there’s “no coincidence” that many are not on the coast.
Snowy Mountains, NSW
Blue Mountains, NSW
Tropical North QLD
Huon Valley, TAS
Geelong, Bellarine Peninsular, Vic
In terms of overseas travel amid varying Covid rules, Mr Long suggested “safe bets” Fiji and Europe, along with cruise lines.
“There is some availability [but] you do have to hurry,” he said.
Delays, cancellations plague Aussie airports
Mr Long’s advice comes as Australian airports continue to struggle to cope with the post-Covid travel boom and staff shortages.
On Monday morning, 21 domestic flights across four airlines were cancelled out of Sydney Airport.
On Sunday, hundreds of passengers were left waiting on Qantas planes across the country after an IT glitch delayed flights.
“Certainly domestically the cancellations are becoming quite common,” Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner told Sky News Australia on Monday.
Mr Turner said a big issue for domestic travel was lack of staff, while internationally it was a lack of capacity.
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