How to find cheap flights in Australia

Finding cheap flights in Australia isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t know where exactly to look or how to utilise some of the best resources to find them! Not to worry, though, as we have accumulated some of the most unique and tried-and-tested tips to ensure you will find the most affordable flight rates in Australia.

1.   Search for Flights & Book Them During Off-Season

If you are in search of cheap domestic flights in Australia, plan to search for flights –  and book them if possible – in Australia’s off-season. Australia’s off-season happens to be during the months of June – August or when it is winter time in Australia. Searching for flights using comparison sites during these months will offer some of the lowest rates as there isn’t as high of a demand, and thus not as competitive rates as in summertime, also known as the peak travel season for Australia. The months of December – February is when school is out for kids in Australia, and therefore when most Australians make and take a vacation, leaving airlines to price their rates more competitively. Booking cheap flights in Australia in the wintertime doesn’t mean you need to travel then, it is simply your best bet for getting the rates you hope for!

2.   Utilise Fare Aggregator Platforms

Fare aggregator platforms like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Momondo will allow you to see an overview of rates for exact dates, and see the most cost-friendly option. They are different from flight booking engines like Travelocity and Expedia in that they scour these engines, and other platforms on the web, to bring you the best possible rates you can find. Sometimes these include extensive layovers, stops in intermediary cities, or a difference in selected flight dates. For example, if you want to travel on the 31st of August, but flight costs are exorbitant on that day, fare aggregator platforms may automatically modify the date to be the 1st or 2nd, in order to bring you the most affordable rate. So, it’s important to double-check the flight information, and the policies, prior to booking your flight.

Additionally, some fare aggregators can initially bring you the cheapest flight, but as you click through, getting ready to book, you may have a sudden price increase. Moreover, some flight aggregator sites may deem a flight as direct, when in reality, the flight may actually land at an airport but doesn’t require you to get off the plane. Some airlines do this for fuel refills. Still, it is important to make a note of it as it is flight time added to your itinerary.

Below you can find some of the top 5 best flight aggregator platforms in regard to their rate results, user experience, quick search time, and showing otherwise “hidden” costs.

A side note: South West Airline prohibits its flight results from being shown on the above-mentioned aggregator platforms, so, it is always best to direct search your dates and times of arrival and departure on the South West Airline website, as they are known for their cheap flights.

4. Clear Your Browser Cookies

You have probably heard it before, but clearing your browser cookies can really help your chances of finding cheaper flights. This is because airlines can utilise your browsing history – when you accept their permission to do so upon selecting ‘I agree’ at the pop-up on the bottom of the page – to change the flight rates you are shown if the said airline partakes in dynamic pricing.

Not to worry, though! You can simply clear your browser cookies by doing the following if you are a Chrome user:

  • Open Chrome
  • At the top right, click the vertical 3 dots
  • Select ‘More Tools’ → ‘Clear Browsing Data’
  • You can then select the preferences you wish to clear data for

If you are a Safari user and want to clear your cookies, proceed by doing the following:

  • Open your Safari application
  • Open Settings → Privacy → ‘Manage Website Data’
  • Select the websites you wish to clear browsing data from

Be sure to only clear the cookies unnecessary cookies, as some cookies enable a better user experience by remembering passwords to sites, for example. So, if you have the time, it is best to manually select the site you wish to clear cookies for (such as the booking site you are using at the moment or intend to use).

If you don’t feel like going to the trouble of clearing cookies automatically or manually, you can avoid doing so by using the incognito mode on your PC. If you are using Chrome, simply click on the 3 buttons at the top of your screen and select ‘new incognito window.’ Happy private browsing!

5. Use a VPN

Similar to clearing your cookies, but with a bit more efficacy, utilising a VPN to find and book cheap flights in Australia can be beneficial. You can purchase a 2-week free trial of many VPNs like Express VPN, Surfshark, Privado, CyberGhost, and Proton, and use it for the time needed.

A VPN works by encrypting your IP address and its activity, so it is hidden from the internet service provider and anyone (or site) monitoring your connection, and location. To get the best use out of a VPN to find cheap flights in Australia, you should connect your VPN location to be inside of Australia, and therefore access flight rates that are only available in that geographical area, which will also be cheaper than from buying from a country outside of Australia.

7. Follow Australian Domestic Airlines on Social Media

If you have social media, utilise it to aid in finding cheap domestic flights in Australia. Domestic airlines Australia often take to social media to announce last-minute deals and promotions they are running. They also provide exclusive discounts that aren’t published on the website because they want to attract people to their social media accounts and increase their following. Below are a few domestic airlines in Australia to follow on social media to have a chance at scouring one of their running promotions when the time comes that you want to book a flight!

  • Virgin Australia
  • Jetstar
  • Qantas
  • Rex

8. Book your Domestic Australian Flights, Airport Parking, & Hotels in Advance for Ultimate Savings

If you want to travel on a budget through and through, and are already looking for cheap domestic flights and airport parking in Australia, say from Melbourne to Sydney, it is reasonable to book Melbourne Airport Parking around the same time you purchase your airline tickets, if not then, at least 3 weeks to a month in advance to get the best rates for airport parking in Melbourne. The same goes for your accommodation. Why? The more advance you book, whether it be for flights, airport parking, or accommodation in Australia, the better rates you will acquire.

As a general rule, you should book your domestic flights in Australia at least 4 weeks to 3 months in advance. Similarly, the best time to book your hotel in Australia is 91 days, or approximately 3 months, in advance, especially in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane where prices tend to skyrocket the closer you get to the reservation date. By booking your reservations online and in advance, you can save up to 45% of the average accommodation costs that you can otherwise spend on your actual vacation!

By now, you have just about everything you need to score the cheapest flights possible whilst travelling in Australia. Of course, there are dozens of additional tips you can follow, and don’t hesitate to try them out (with caution and consideration, of course), but above are some of the best tips you can utilise to save money on transportation costs, so you can spend more time on the things you love doing.

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