Aussie travellers warned to book their Christmas holidays NOW

Australians hoping to spend Christmas away from home will need to “hurry” to secure their bookings as travel trends change, industry experts have warned.

Last-minute travel is a thing of the past, according to co-founder of Australian Traveller Magazine Quentin Long, who says planning early is the key for a successful trip this Christmas.

“Spontaneous travel where you book it and you travel next month is basically dead in the water for the next two years, I’d say,” Mr Long told Today on Monday morning.

Co-founder of Australian Traveller Magazine Quentin Long speaks on the Today show.

Quentin Long warns those who haven’t booked their Christmas trips to do it now. Source: Today

“Don’t expect to be able to book and travel within a month to anywhere you want to go on any kind of discounts or any kind of deals.

“What you’ve got to do is plan, plan, plan and it is those who plan who will get the holiday that they want.”

“…you do have to hurry.”Quentin Long, co-founder of Australian Traveller Magazine

Mr Long said the most popular domestic Christmas destinations — and the ones likely to book out the fastest — are:

  • Gold Coast, Qld

  • Sunshine Coast, Qld

  • North Coast, NSW

  • South Coast, NSW

  • Margaret River WA

He also suggested some alternative destinations that could be quieter during the festive season, saying there’s “no coincidence” that many are not on the coast.

They include:

In terms of overseas travel amid varying Covid rules, Mr Long suggested “safe bets” Fiji and Europe, along with cruise lines.

“There is some availability [but] you do have to hurry,” he said.

Delays, cancellations plague Aussie airports

Mr Long’s advice comes as Australian airports continue to struggle to cope with the post-Covid travel boom and staff shortages.

On Monday morning, 21 domestic flights across four airlines were cancelled out of Sydney Airport.

Commuters wait to check their baggage at Sydney's T2 Domestic Airport Terminal in Sydney on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

Australian airports have been scenes of chaos in recent months, plagued by cancellations, delays and lengthy queues. Source: AAP/File

On Sunday, hundreds of passengers were left waiting on Qantas planes across the country after an IT glitch delayed flights.

“Certainly domestically the cancellations are becoming quite common,” Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner told Sky News Australia on Monday.

Mr Turner said a big issue for domestic travel was lack of staff, while internationally it was a lack of capacity.

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