Tips for getting the best deal on your warm getaway this winter

A recent Wotif survey showed around a third of participants chase the summer sun, as opposed to just one in ten who head to colder destinations.
A recent Wotif survey showed around a third of participants chase the summer sun, as opposed to just one in ten who head to colder destinations.

This article is sponsored by ijurni

As we bunker down for the chilly middle months of the year, it’s natural that our minds will wander to a sunny getaway to thaw us out. 

With Australian budget carriers like Jetstar taking us to international destinations like Thailand, Bali and Hawaii for fairly reasonable prices, it’s easier than ever to excuse yourself from the winter chill.

Once a savvy traveller would wait until the penultimate moment to book flights, nabbing cheap prices set by airlines looking to fill seats. Now, says Anthony Hill, founder of ijurni, those who fly at short notice pay a premium price.

“When it comes to booking flights, a generally fail-safe rule for most destinations is: the earlier the better,” he says.

“These days, airlines earn far more revenue per seat from late-booking passengers.”

In 2016, Skyscanner analysed 250 million flight prices over three years and found travellers can save an average of $51 on their flight to Thailand if they book 20 weeks out, while Bali-bound tourists will save $42 if they book 12 weeks out. 

Price alerts are an invaluable tool if you know your maximum spend. The tool is offered on websites and travel apps alike, including Skyscanner, Jetstar and Hopper.

Hopper lets users ‘set-and-forget’ their destination and preferred dates of travel. The app constantly scans the market ready to alert the user when prices dip.

“These days, airlines earn far more revenue per seat from late-booking passengers.”

Anthony Hill

When it comes to booking your accommodation, Anthony recommends travellers embrace boutique hotels as ‘often these hidden gems can offer the best value for money and experience’. 

“People are researching and planning their own holidays these days which is great for forging your own travel path,” he says.

“But travellers need to beware: looks are deceiving and a bargain isn’t always the best. There’s still an important place in the market for the knowledgeable, experienced travel consultant.

“The ijurni philosophy is simply that: boutique accommodation where you get smaller, more personalised properties which means more accountability for the staff and a more immersive experience for the traveller.” 

When it comes to what day of the week to fly, it pays to be flexible. Last year Kayak analysed over one billion searches to determine the best way to nab a cheap flight. Thailand and Bali both showed a trend towards a Monday/Tuesday departure and a mid-week return, while Honolulu showed Tuesday to Thursday was the cheapest in and outbound dates. 

And remember that trips that fall in school holidays are more expensive, says Anthony. So when it comes to your getaway, consider leaving the kids at grandma’s.

This article is sponsored by ijurni