Thinking of getting away this Christmas? Perhaps you want to go and visit your family… Or spend some time away from them? Maybe you just want to create some different holiday memories this year. Whatever the reason, if you’re thinking about travelling during the silly season, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider.
It’s called the holiday season for a reason… Because EVERYONE is on holidays. Travelling when demand is at its highest point is not going to be cheap. Choosing your dates carefully can have a big impact on flight and accommodation prices. Try to avoid the peak travel dates: Christmas Eve, Boxing day and New Year’s Eve. Book in advance for dates outside this window and snap up a cheap fare when you see it. Flights and accommodation are only going to get more expensive as they get booked out. The best time to travel is the two weeks prior to Christmas when business is wrapping up for the year and people haven’t started their holidays yet. If you can travel during this two weeks of low demand, you might be able to score a great deal!
Travelling internationally? Not all countries celebrate Christmas as Australians do and therefore may have greater availability and cheaper rates. Be sure to do your research to avoid areas where travel may be congested. Make sure you take the weather into consideration and allow extra time to make connecting flights. Check to see if any of the airports are prone to getting snowed in. Your dream of a white Christmas might not be so wonderful if you’re looking at a white tarmac and grounded planes!
Hoping to spend your summer relaxing at the beach and drinking copious amount of beer, wine and cocktails? You’re not alone! Peace and serenity is hard to come by at this time of year. As soon as the holidays arrive every man and his dog will descend on popular tourist destinations around Australia with kids and brand new gifts in tow. If you’re looking for relaxation and rejuvenation, Christmas may not be the best time to travel. Beaches, resorts and cruise ships will be overrun with Australians and tourists. Likewise, caravan parks will be inundated with families and kids tearing down the road on their brand new bikes, scooters and skateboards.
Once again, avoid peak travel dates like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day and travel early or late in the day to avoid road congestion. Ensure you allow extra travel time and include rest breaks so you stay refreshed and safe. If you’re travelling with kids ensure there’s plenty to keep them occupied unless you want to hear “are we there yet” every five minutes from the back seat. A tablet or portable DVD player with headphones is a parent’s best friend on a long drive!
If you’re travelling by air with gifts, don’t wrap them. Customs may decide to unwrap your beautifully presented gifts and you’ll be stuck doing it all over again. If you have gifts for your travel companions, plan ahead how you’re going to hide them. Having a big reveal spoiled by poor planning won’t put you in anyone’s good books. If you’re not particularly stealthy, perhaps it’s a gift card kind of Christmas this year!
Christmas is a time for giving. If your tolerance is tested during the holiday season, spare a thought for the airline and accommodation staff who are spending their Christmas looking after you. Be prepared for security lines to take longer, airports to be more crowded, and everything to be that little bit more expensive. Arrive with extra time and be generous and polite. You'll have a much more enjoyable holiday if you do.