book early

When is the best time to book international flights for a family holiday?

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When it comes time to plan an international family holiday, one of the most important questions after “where to go?” is “when to book?” With increased competition and low-cost carriers, airfares are getting cheaper and cheaper; however, when you’re booking flights for the entire tribe, it’s still important to snag the best deal possible. So when is the best time to book flights for an international family holiday? The short answer is sooner rather than later! While last minute deals could be tempting, tickets fluctuate in price so frequently that it’s a bit of a gamble – plus, school holidays sell out very quickly.

If you want to keep your eye out for your next holiday, we’ve put together a list of the most popular destinations from Australia, the best times to book, and airlines that offer deals frequently.

Best time to book flights to Bali

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Bali is Australia’s favourite holiday destination, and as a result, you can usually snatch up a great deal on flights to Denpasar. However, because the route is so popular, you’re best to book flights to Bali at least five months in advance for peak periods, as seats fill up quickly.

Full service airlines like Garuda have made a comeback in recent years, offering reasonable fares year-round as well as great baggage allowance and meals. However, the firm favourite is Jetstar – especially given the short flight time. To get the best deal, sign up to Jetstar’s email newsletters and book on a Friday, as their ‘Friday Fare Frenzy’ often includes great offers.

Best time to book flights to Phuket

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Phuket is quickly becoming one of the hottest holiday destinations in Asia, and this demand is driving down prices as there are multiple flights departing daily. But, like Bali, you have to get in quick for a good deal, as often seats on sale are snatched up quickly leaving only the more expensive allocations – especially for travel in December and January.

If you’re looking for a full service airline, book with Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines, which have great deals in the off-season and are great with families.

Best time to book flights to the Maldives

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There aren’t any direct flights available from Australia to the Maldives as of yet, however the connections are relatively easy and the total flight takes around 14 hours at its shortest. When booking the Maldives, often you’re best looking for flights with Singapore Airlines, Etihad or Cathay Pacific, as they can arrange connecting flights directly to Male.

Cathay Pacific have early bird airfares in August for flights heading to the Maldives in peak season (January to April). Similarly, Singapore Airlines and Etihad open early bird sales in September of every year – a great opportunity to grab a good deal on your flight.

Best time to book flights to Europe

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If you’re travelling within school holidays to Europe, it’s recommended that you you’re your flights well in advance as prices can soar as your departure looms closer. Generally, flights can be booked just under one year prior to departure, and the sooner the better to Europe.

The best deals for Europe in summer often pop up from September through to November, for travel the following year. If you’re looking to hit the slopes for a European ski holiday, book a flight just before July for the best prices for the upcoming ski season.

Best time to book flights to the USA

The early bird catches the worm when flying to the US! According to research by Skyscanner.com.au, the best time to book your US adventure is 28 weeks in advance, which could save you almost $500 per ticket.

Qantas and Virgin are firm favourites for direct flights to the East Coast, offering reputable service for a good price.

Additional tips to help you book your family’s flights

We know it can be pretty overwhelming when looking for the best deal on flights, especially with the whole family in tow. Use these clever tips to make your life a little easier…

  • ✔️ Hopper’s Airfare Predictions App uses historical data to tell you when the best time is to book your flight. It’ll also notify you when your desired route is about to go up in price.

  • ✔️ Sites such as Skycanner, Kayak and Webjet allow you to compare flight costs and times to help you make the right call. They’re also great if you want to book multi-city trips or to combine airlines.

  • ✔️ Subscribe to the email list of all the major airlines if you’re gearing up for a holiday. They’ll send their best flights to you first – especially if you’re in their frequent flyer program!

  • ✔️ Search for the best deals on different IP addresses. Cookies stored in your computer allow airlines can track which routes you’re interested in and hike up the prices accordingly!

  • ✔️ Book package deals with hotels and accommodation to get a discounted airfare.

Ready to jet off on holiday? Discover Club Med’s family holiday packages in the video below or by clicking here.

12 Travel Tips For Your Next Holiday

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While we all know there’s nothing better than being on holiday, but sometimes, getting ready to head overseas can be a little stressful! We’ve put together a list of our most important tips to get ahead on your next holiday…

1. Book your flights – early!

You’ll get the best price on your flights if you book them in advance, with savings that can often add up very quickly. Usually, you can book your trip up to 10 months out from departure – plus, if you book with accommodation you often get the best rate on flights available.

If you have your eye on flights and want to know when to buy, Hopper is the perfect tool! Plug in your travel dates and destinations, and the app will notify you whether you should buy now or wait.

2. Best time to go on holiday

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Really, it depends what you’re looking for:

  • ✔️ For those looking to escape the crowds, avoid school holiday periods, especially the Christmas break! Airports and popular destinations can get extremely busy, and prices often skyrocket during this period.

  • ✔️ To ski, head to the Northern Hemisphere in January to March for the best snow, or April for some incredible spring skiing.

  • ✔️ If you’d prefer to avoid the wet season in tropical Asia, travel to Thailand between December and April, and to Malaysia and Indonesia between May and October.

  • ✔️ Check the national holidays of the country you’re visiting before you book to make sure everything will be open. Keep an eye out for Chinese New Year, Bastille Day, Easter and other similar holidays.

 3. Planning your trip

  • ✔️ Be sure to visit TripAdvisor before choosing your accommodation or tours, to read peer reviews or have your questions answered.

  • ✔️ Google Trips is an app that will keep track of your bookings as you make them. No need to trawl through your emails! Too easy.

  • ✔️ Have a look online for any 360 videos to get the full holiday experience, or use Google Street View to get a virtual tour of the destination.

4. Check your passport!

Probably the most important point on this list! It is absolutely essential that you make sure you have at least six months on your passport before leaving the country, otherwise your dream holiday may become just that – a dream. Acquiring a passport last minute is a stressful process, and can’t always promise results, so check your validity well before you jet off!

While we’re on this topic, make sure to look up visa requirements for the country you’re heading to. Australians can travel visa-free to plenty of countries, but it’s always better to triple check.

5. Where to exchange your money

  • 💰 Exchange some money before you go. While the rates may not be as promising, the language barrier overseas may make it difficult to exchange currency.

  • 💰 Check with your bank if you can get a travel card, or go to the local post office and grab one. It’s much easier than paying by credit card, plus you don’t pay currency conversion fees.

  • 💰 Don’t exchange money at the airport, and especially not after you clear security. Kiosks at international airports have notoriously poor exchange rates.

  • 💰 Be sure to notify your bank that you’re overseas, to avoid having issues with your card. Banks like ING allow you to notify them of travel in their online banking app.

6. How to pack

Forget folding! To save as much space as possible, roll all of your clothing inside your suitcase. Also, keep your luggage as light as possible to make sure your transit is as easy as possible- if in doubt, leave it out!.

7. Learn some basic phrases

Consider learning some basic language skills of the country you’re visiting as a courtesy to those you’re speaking to. Learn phrases such as “excuse me,” “may I please have…” and “no, thank you.” If you have any serious allergies, learn to articulate these too!

Apps like Duolingo are great to give you a rundown of the basics, and Google Translate will always come in handy while overseas.

8. Ditch the camera

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Let’s be honest: in today’s world, your smartphone is more than adequate to chronicle your travels. While your DSLR can take some incredible shots, you’ll also have to lug it around, including extra batteries for when it inevitably runs out of charge. If you want to travel light, invest in some add-ons for your smartphone to boost the quality of your images.

9. Pack some earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones!

Whether you’re staying in a lavish resort or a hostel in the big smoke, you’ll want to bring some earplugs to safeguard your shut-eye. They’re invaluable on flights - especially if you’ve got the screaming child seated behind you! For frequent travellers, consider investing in a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones – Bose’s Quietcomfort series is a favourite amongst travellers.

10. Check if you need vaccinations before you go!

Check what vaccinations you need on Travel Doctor after you book your holiday. Some vaccines can take up to eight weeks to come into full effect, so get organised early. Plus, in many resorts like Club Med Bali, children require vaccination certificates for the Kids Clubs, so make sure you bring those along.

11. Travel insurance is essential

Travel insurance is an absolute must-have when travelling abroad, especially with children or on a ski holiday. Insurance can cover medical emergencies, travel costs incurred from some cancellations and will compensate you if your belongings go missing. Be sure to document your claim fully to make sure you get compensated.

Again, some holiday packages (including Club Med) offer travel insurance in the package – make sure to check before spending extra!

12. Travelling with kids?

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Travelling with young children is a different game all together. Consider these tips before you jet off:

  • ✔️ Pre-order children’s meals on-board your flight.

  • ✔️ The air pressure changes inside a plane’s cabin is more intense for young children. Make sure you bring something for the little ones to suck on to alleviate the pain.

  • ✔️ Travel somewhere with a Kids Club. Not only will they have a ball, but you’ll get a break!

Discover more about Club Med all inclusive holidays by clicking here.