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Avoid the travel cash sting this Christmas

Where to holiday this Christmas and the places to avoid the travel cash sting.
Bianca Hartge-Hazelman
December 7, 2016

Retailers are preparing for Australians to spend more cash this Christmas and it seems so too are popular travel destinations.

Record low interest rates and an Aussie dollar that’s favouring domestic travel is setting the Gold Coast up as a hot spot place to holiday this Christmas.

The travel influx to the Goldie began early November with the annual Schoolies commute. It all comes as the property market from Byron Bay in New South Wales, up to the Gold Coast continues to see price growth in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

But as more people travel to the Gold Coast, the cost is expected to soar.

Financial product comparison website finder.com.au recently examined the top 10 international destinations for Australian travellers, as well as a domestic favourite, and found the Gold Coast came in the most expensive place to visit during December 24 to January 4, 2017.

The cheapest destination, outside staying at home, was New Zealand’s Auckland as travellers take advantage of the proximity and exchange rate.

Over this period, finder.com.au discovered that despite being just a short flight from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, travelling to the Gold Coast during the Christmas period could set Aussies back, on average, $8,907.

Meanwhile holidaying there in November 2016 or February 2017, could cost less than half of that – $4,391, on average.

The biggest price hike was in accommodation on the Gold Coast, up 121 per cent on off-peak prices. This is likely to reflect a mix of supply and demand dynamics as much as sunshine and improvements on the shopping and entertainment front in 2016.

Offshore, Thailand’s Phuket was found to be the most expensive with Australians paying  72 per cent more on average during Christmas.

This was followed by Fiji’s tourist hub of Nadi and Indonesia’s Bali .

Analysis of the top 10 international destinations found it could cost a person an average of 41 per cent more in travel dollars over the Christmas holidays.

Finder.com.au has provided the following table to help you work out the cost of travel for 2 people for 14 nights, including flights, hotel and car rental.

Rank Destination Off Peak Cost Christmas Cost Additional Cost Percentage difference
1 Gold Coast, Queensland $4,391 $8,907 $4,517 103%
2 Phuket, Thailand $4,326 $7,453 $3,128 72%
3 Nadi, Fiji $5,464 $9,067 $3,603 66%
4 Bali, Indonesia* $3,068 $4,990 $1,922 63%
5 Goa, India* $5,374 $8,265 $2,890 54%
6 Tokyo, Japan $11,341 $14,843 $3,502 31%
7 Singapore $5,120 $6,504 $1,385 27%
8 Shanghai, China* $4,356 $5,047 $690 16%
9 New York, USA $8,282 $9,467 $1,185 14%
10 London, UK $6,144 $6,882 $738 12%
11 Auckland, New Zealand $5,605 $5,279 -$326 -6%
  International Average $5,770 $7,882 $2,112 41%
source: finder.com.au, skyscanner.com, trivago.com, expedia.com.

*Rental cars not available in locations


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Bianca Hartge-Hazelman
December 7, 2016
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