Flights and timing are a big chunk of a travel budget and flight prices will vary drastically depending on where you go, for various reasons, including the current conversion rate or economy, and how popular the destination is.
If flights are expensive or take up a large portion of your budget, there are ways to cut back costs on other bits and pieces and still have an amazing time.
Get There On Budget
Skyscanner has pulled together a list of places to travel from Australia - with the majority of return flights coming - on average - in under $1,000 from the major airports. And if you’re flexible with what airport you fly out from, you may be able to find an even better deal than you would otherwise. Of course, this all depends on when you’re traveling as well. Some of the more unique places recommended are:
- Xi’an, China: If you’re a bit of a military history buff, this may the right city for you, with the Terracotta warriors about an hour outside of the city. There’s also a unique food culture here that’s well worth giving a try - especially if you’re a fan of noodles. China has a few peak times, including Lunar New Year (usually late Jan / early Feb) and summer (June to August).
- Surabaya, Indonesia: Everyone has been to Bali, so why not go somewhere new within Indonesia? As it is the second-largest city in Indonesia, it’s an urban side of the country, with mouth-watering (or eye-watering) spicy food and compelling historic districts. Monsoon season is November to March, so while you may not want to travel during the wet season, it may be worth looking at April or October for travel dates.
- Kochi, India: It always seems to come back to food - and with India, one in particular: curry. This seaport also has an intriguing mix of cultures and architecture: Chinese fishing traditions, synagogues, mosques, Portuguese homes and remnants of the British Raj. Here, peak season is actually winter (October to February), so consider traveling in summer or the rainy season.
Sleep Budget Friendly
Some countries offer better-than-a-backpackers accommodation at a similar cost, so why not level up your holiday? Opportunities to bunk up without breaking the bank include:
- Nepal: Experience the raw beauty of this rugged location for less than it costs to get breakfast in Syndey! Rooms can cost less than $10 / night in some places, with rooms in a 3 star hotel in Kathmandu running about $30/night.
- Turkey: The conversion rate in Turkey at the time of writing is nearly 4 lira to 1 Australian dollar, when historically the conversion rate is closer to 2 to 1. Take advantage of the Australian dollar’s strength and you could be spending just $30 / night to stay at a guesthouse in Istanbul, and just a few dollars for a delicious lunch from a street vendor.
- Cambodia: If you want to stay at a resort style hotel in Cambodia, you can book for anywhere between $20-150/night. While there’s still a higher end to what you could spend a night for accommodation, nice stays start at a relatively budget cost. Plus, Angkor Wat and the surrounds is a spectacular location to explore!
Or Skip the Flights Altogether
If you’d like to stay closer to home - and not necessarily have to worry about the cost of flights, there are so many places to explore in Australia - some of which may be within driving distance for you! Get roadtripping to:
- Bay of Fires: Yes, this is across the Bass Strait to Tasmania…and you can take your car with you. Even then, most of Tasmania is drivable in a day, so you might as well explore the whole state while you’re there. The state has some of the cleanest air on Earth, if you were looking to get a lung full.
- Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park: Not too far out of Sydney, this park feels miles away - and even further if you make your way to Resolute Beach to relax on the white sands.
- Alpine Valleys Wine Region: In high country Victoria, you may not have heard of this wine region. With numerous microclimates, this area produces over 30 grape varieties and has a good handful of cellar doors to sample from.
- Anywhere else you could imagine! From the Blue Mountains to the Flinders Ranges, the Sunshine Coast to Margaret River, you’ll be able to find something that fits what you’re after. Generally in Australia you’re only a few hours drive away from something spectacular - coast or country, whatever you may prefer.
If you’d like to stay closer, look for local chances to stay at a tiny house or go glamping - somewhere that allows you to disconnect and relax for a few nights while still being relatively close by. Or you can go luxe and book a few nights at a boutique hotel and shed your cares with drinks at the poolside.
Whatever choice you end up making, your travels can ease your mind without breaking the bank.