How to Save Money on Flights: Cheap Flights to Australia

By Josh •  Updated: 09/25/21 •  8 min read

When planning for a trip to Australia, you will want to find the cheapest flights possible. This can be difficult because there are so many different flight options and carriers to choose from. There are also seasonal factors that play into your decision of when to fly – do you want it cheap or convenient?

The off-season season, which runs from May 1 through the first week in June, and again from about the third week in July through the third week of September, is when you can find the best airfare to Australia. This is because of Australian cold weather due to being situated in the Southern Hemisphere.

While these are colder months overall it is a big discount to travel to Australia. When planning for a trip to Australia, if you are looking to find the cheapest flights possible this will be when you want to travel.

Travel During Off-Peak Seasons

The peak season is referred to as the high season, which runs from January through December. August is the cheapest month to travel to Australia. So planning to travel for the lowest ticket price you would target August.

Australia has different travel seasons like most tourist destinations.

Qantas, which is Australia’s biggest airline by fleet size and the overall number of international flights, offers fares based on three seasons: high, low, and shoulder.

Airlines watch people and their travel to help set air prices. There are three seasons that airlines use to set ticket prices: low, shoulder, and high seasons.

Because the airlines pay attention to demand fluctuations in pricing strategies, there are several low and shoulder seasons throughout the year.

For example, in the winter months of Australia, which are typically a low season there, a more expensive shoulder season that coincides with school holidays in the United States is frequently seen.

So when are these different seasons?

The peak season, according to Qantas, is the second week of December through the first week of January, when airfare is generally the most expensive because of high holiday-oriented traffic and not the best time to fly cheaply.

In the Southern Hemisphere, this is Australia’s summer. Keep in mind that because Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are the polar opposites of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather may be extremely hot and dry at certain times of the year, making Australia’s beaches a highly popular getaway.

In September you find one of the best times to beat the crowds with an average 4% drop in price while being good weather. For someone looking for a cheap flight to Australia, September is one of the best times.

Overall December is the most popular time to fly with an average 9% increase in price. Making this the most expensive time to fly.

The high season in Australia is typically December, which means that flights are at their peak prices during this month.

Different Days, Different Prices, Different Dollars

Now while there are seasons to flying there is also benefits to the day of the week you choose to fly on. This may seem weird but there are days of the week when people will fly more or less. This is because different days actually attract different types of travelers.

What days are the cheapest to book flights in Australia?

If you can fly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and not on the weekends, then you might be able to save money. Choosing weekdays can give you that price break you are looking for on a budget flight and provide the cheapest ticket to popular destinations.

On qantas.com, if we traveled on Saturdays instead of Wednesdays, the fares will be more expensive in each season with many fares being $100+ higher.

A one-stop direct flight may cost $500 to $1,000 less than a nonstop flight, the drawback is that it takes on average three to four more hours of travel time to get to your destination.

Check Different Airports

Australia has many international airports with many nearby airports to exactly where you want to travel. They connect the different parts of the country with the rest of the world. Don’t think you need to fly into any one specific airport and you may find bargains.

Perth Airport (PER) and Port Hedland International Airport (PHE) serve as entry points to Western Australia’s vast plains, granting access to the very isolated region.

Darwin International Airport (DRW) opens the region of the Northern Territory.

What is the cheapest city in Australia to fly into?

The cheapest airport in Australia to fly into is Sydney. When comparing the average economy airfares for a roundtrip ticket from different airports in Australia, Sydney was found to be the cheapest overall but always hunt for the deal!

More people live in the southern half of the continent, which is dominated by cities such as Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne in the east which all feature major airports and good flight prices.

From Los Angeles (LAX), Virgin Australia flies nonstop to Sydney Airport (SYD) and Melbourne Airport (MEL). Jetstar provides flights from Honolulu to Sydney and Brisbane, so knowing your origination point and being flexible can help you find deals also.

Brisbane Airport (BNE) and its major city at the most southern point are located in the eastern state of Queensland, which has the greatest continuous coastal land.

Brisbane Airport is a good place to start exploring the North of Australia. You can go to places along the coast of the Coral Sea along with the best beaches like the Gold Coast which also offers some of the finest sand.

A Package Deal

You can sometimes save money if you buy a “package” for your vacation. This will include the cost of the travel and where you stay

A search on expedia.com, for example, shows a flight-plus-budget hotel deal for around $1500, traveling between August 18 and September 1 which aligns with some of the low-season fares.

This decision alone, which costs just about $500 more than for the lowest-fare flight alone, allows you to have a hotel when you arrive at no more additional cost.

Book at the Best Time

As a rule, buy as far ahead as you can. Travel companies and agents send out emails that have specials on flights. You can sign up for them too.

In early January, it is a generally good time for sales and for bargain hunting. Sometimes deals pop up out of the blue.

Find Good Internal Air Passes

If you plan to fly a lot on domestic flights when you get there, then it may be worth buying an air pass. This could affect the international airline that you choose.

You may get a Qantas Explorer Pass if you fly with Qantas, which allows you to book cheap fares for flights within Australia and helps you tie up some internal destinations that are typically costly to reach, places like Uluru, for example.

Air passes are also available, including one from Australia’s national airline, Virgin Australia.

There are other choices, although the most important thing is to inquire about them before purchasing your international trips rather than after. There are many airlines in Australia, including Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, and Tigerair. These airlines compete against each other with big deals at times.

4 Tips on How to Get to Australia for Cheap

There are many ways to travel for less cost, let’s dive into the four most common and typically the best options to achieve this.

Do your homework

The airfare to reach Australia is one of the most costly aspects of any visit. When looking for discounts, be sure to check a number of flight search sites for comparison shopping and sign up for fare alerts from multiple sites to help find when the prices drop.

There are so many mobile apps that can send alerts as well as websites, find one which works for you or maybe a couple!

Time your visit

The cost of airfare is highest between December and February, which is summer in Australia and the most popular time to visit cities like Sydney and Melbourne. During the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) or winter off-season, you’ll probably discover reduced rates.

Consider a flight package

Qantas offers flights to Australia and other places in Australia. The prices depend on what season it is and how far you want to fly within the country.

Flight packages include flights to other cities to continue your ability to explore and spend time.

Book With a Travel Agent

While travel agents sometimes get a bad rap they are able to build amazing packages and get you out to see more of the country with less out of pocket with outstanding flight deals, and amazing packages with tours, and much more.

Especially for a country the size of Australia, it’s important to have a travel agent that knows the country and can get you where you want to be at a price you’re willing to pay. 

You will find many have been to the cities and places, like Bondi beach, so that they can help sell you on making the purchase through them, while this may sound bad it is much better to have the first-hand experience when setting you up.

Booking with a travel agent allows you to plan your trip without breaking the bank, most can help you with the ideal route for your vacation and get you aligned to your travel dates with the least lost time due to travel.

Josh

Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!