For many Australians, news that state borders are steadily opening feels like Christmas came early.
While new flight routes and relaxed travel rules is excellent news for families who long to be reunited over the festive season, it’s not great news for our bank balances.
When it comes to booking your next flight or hotel, you might be surprised to hear that the day you make the booking can have a significant influence on the price you end up paying.
It goes without saying that after a tough 2020, we all need to think about keeping costs to a minimum, so when should you think about booking your travel to get the cheapest price possible?
What is the cheapest day to book a flight?
The latest 2021 Trends Report by Expedia reveals that travellers who book their domestic flight tickets on a Sunday can wind up paying a whopping 25 per cent less than travellers who book the same trip on a Friday.
Meanwhile, Australians could save themselves 15 per cent of their international airfare also by booking on a Sunday rather than a Friday.
How far in advance should I book?
According to Skyscanner, booking long-haul flights 22 weeks in advance is the optimum time to lock in a deal, although this will differ according to the destination.
For example, travellers flying from Sydney to Hong Kong should think about booking 23 weeks in advance for savings of up to 12 per cent, while a getaway to Auckland can be booked 12 weeks in advance for savings of 5 per cent.
And for domestic flights?
Skyscanner’s data reveal that, on average, flights to domestic destinations are best booked 21 weeks in advance to secure the best prices.
For example, 13 per cent can be saved on flights from Sydney to Perth if booked 23 weeks ahead of travelling.
In comparison, waiting until a week before travelling will tend to result in travellers paying a huge chunk of extra cash on flights to domestic destinations – in some cases up to 30 per cent more!
When is the cheapest day to travel?
For domestic flights, travellers can save up to 20 per cent on their tickets by departing on a Thursday, compared to departing on a Sunday.
For international flights, the money-conscious traveller will want to start their trip on a Tuesday or Thursday where they can pay up to 20 per less compared to if they departed on a Sunday.
What is the cheapest day to stay in a hotel?
Most Aussies tend to book their travel over a weekend.
But did you know that by staying in a hotel on a Monday, travellers instantly save up to 15 per cent compared to the most expensive day of the week (Saturday).
For international accommodation, the cheapest days to stay in a hotel are from Sunday to Tuesday.
3 tips to get the most out of your trip
Booking flights and accommodation, and even travelling itself, can be stressful at a time when Covid-19 restrictions have seen both domestic and international borders close and plans cancelled at a moments notice.
But Expedia details three key tips for travellers looking to get the most out of their trip in 2021.
Be flexible: In 2021, flexibility will continue to be top of mind for travellers, with Expedia data showing Aussies booked refundable rates 10 per cent more often this year compared to in 2019.
Thankfully, flexibility is now more accessible and more affordable. Expedia lodging data shows average daily rates for refundable bookings were 20 per cent cheaper in 2020 compared to 2019.
Focus on health and safety: In the next 12 months, concerns about staying safe from coronavirus while travelling will continue to affect every aspect of trip planning.
Expedia suggests travellers focus on booking accommodation which has clearly defined plans for health and cleanliness to put your mind at ease.
Stay up to date: Before booking or travelling, it’s important to always check the latest travel and health advice both locally and at your destination.
For example, Australian travellers need to ensure their holiday destination is accepting travellers and whether there are and quarantine guidelines required as part of the trip.