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Top travel spots Australians are booking right now

The New Zealand town of Queenstown (left) is proving to be popular among Australians that are craving an overseas trip. (Images: Getty)

Australians are starting to book their first trips in the post-coronavirus world, as new analysis showed the most popular destinations among itchy travellers.

Bookings for domestic flights were up 123.9 per cent in May, according to Skyscanner, and even international flight reservations were up 3.2 per cent.

"Travellers are coming to terms with what could be a new normal and searching for destinations closer to home," Skyscanner Asia-Pacific senior director Paul Whiteway told Yahoo Finance.

"We are also seeing certain destinations feature more prominently in some countries where governments have made announcements on several proposed travel arrangements, from travel bubbles to ‘fast lanes’ for essential business travel."

With Australia and New Zealand indicating an interest in creating a travel bubble between the two nations, Kiwi cities dominated the top five fastest rising international destinations in May:

  • Queenstown: bookings up 167.9%

  • Christchurch: 82.9% 

  • Belgrade: 66.5% 

  • Auckland: 45.0% 

  • Wellington: 42.9% 

"There are a number of reasons why people are considering booking a trip at the moment – it is a great thing to look forward to and focus on planning, they are missing a loved one and want to schedule seeing them, or they believe it will be a cheaper deal than booking later in the year," said Whiteway.

Australians craving travel further afield seem to be targeting the final quarter of this year, with London the most popular spot and Dublin coming in fourth:

Most popular searches for travel in Sept to Dec 2020

  1. London

  2. Auckland

  3. Queenstown

  4. Dublin

  5. Tokyo

  6. Bangkok

  7. Bali

  8. New Delhi

  9. Christchurch

  10. Seoul

Flight prices in the post-coronavirus world

Unfortunately no one has a crystal ball to predict air prices as they recover from an unprecedented disruption to the industry, according to Whiteway.

"In the short term, discounting of air fares will be common as travel providers focus on preserving cash flow and stimulating demand," he said.

"Longer term, we expect the focus to shift towards more value based pricing where power will come from flexibility, safety and trust."

He told Yahoo Finance that individual travellers needed to do their own risk assessment and assess how comfortable they were to travel after a pandemic.

"It is a personal choice of whether now feels like the right time to start thinking about a trip. Whilst we cannot mindfully encourage anyone to explore the world right now, we would recommend that travellers check for flexible booking policies."

In the wider Asia-Pacific, a Skyscanner survey showed 67 per cent of travellers thought it was not safe to travel internationally within the next three months, even though 51 per cent thought domestic trips were fine.

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