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How to travel 5-star on a budget in Australia


Australia is many things: sunny, friendly, diverse, exciting and adventurous to boot.
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But it’s also one of the most expensive countries in the world to travel to, according to The World Economic Forum’s biannual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.

This could have something to do with the fact that the great big island of Australia is perched far away from Europe and the United States, demanding a lengthy plane voyage to reach its beautiful shores.

If you do make the trek, there are plenty of ways to save a penny – without having to rough it.

Adam Schwab, CEO of LuxuryEscapes.com, an Australian travel site that specialises in affordable five-star package holidays, says Australia is “an amazing destination for any traveller, and offers everything from breathtaking nature, amazing beaches, gourmet food and wine to vibrant cities.”
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“The good news is that with a little bit of creativity and planning you too can enjoy holidaying in Australia in style, without breaking the bank,” he says.

Here, Schwab shares his top tips on how to travel 5-star on a budget in Australia, the country Condé Nast Traveller named Destination of the Year 2016.


Travel off season
You can almost halve the cost of your trip and take advantage of low price, high end hotel prices if you can travel off season, to secure the best prices on both airfares and hotels.
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“Avoid travelling during Australian school holidays and public holidays – these vary compared to other countries, so do your research first!” Adam explains.

“Peak and off season periods also vary depending the destination. Hotel and flight prices are the most expensive in Sydney and Melbourne during December and January, while the Whitsunday Islands and northern Queensland are expensive during June and July,” he adds. “You would really have to get your wallet out if you’re heading to Exmouth during Easter, which normally coincides with the whale shark season.”


Travel during weekdays
Where you’re travelling during peak or low season, you can come across great hotel offers if you’re able to stay during weekdays, and then spend your weekends at more off-season destinations. “In other words, be savvy when you plan the itinerary of your trip,” Adam advises.

Avoid the CBD
If you’re after a city break, consider staying just outside of the CBD, as you will find the most expensive properties in the metro area.
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“By staying about 15 kilometres outside, you can get a five-star hotel suite for half the price,” Adam says.
“Melbourne and Sydney have great public transport, but if you are looking at other destinations within Australia, research the public transport system before booking the hotel.

You don’t want to end up in the middle of nowhere with no means of getting into the city and spending all that money you’ve saved on cab fares.”


Consider a package
By booking a package deal you may be able to secure up to 70 per cent off the hotel price, even at 5 star properties including One & Only Hayman Island and Lizard Island.

“Our packages include hotel stays at amazing properties, as well as indulgent inclusions such as airport transfers, tours, spa treatments, breakfast buffets and degustation dinners at unbeatable prices,” Adam explains.


Go Glamping
Want to experience the raw wilderness, without compromising on luxury?
Glamping is an amazing way to experience the natural beauty of Australia, without spending too much. Just don’t expect it to be as cheap as normal camping!

For something truly unique, try the Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay, NSW, or Cockatoo Island in Sydney.


Get gourmet dinners for less
You’ve likely made use of group buying sites in your own hometown; they’re a great way to lock in restaurants, activities and experiences for a bargain price.
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When you’re planning a trip to Australia, make sure to sign up to local flash sales sites such as LivingSocial ANZ and Cudo.com.au, to get access to great restaurant deals in the city you’re travelling to.

“Not only is it a great way to save money, but it will help you explore the city. Thanks to sites such as restaurant review destination Zomato and TripAdvisor, you can easily read up on reviews before buying the offer,” Adam says.


Plan ahead – or dare to get a last minute fare
A decade ago you could get the best rates by booking last minute, however, the way booking algorithms work now, often the best package prices can be found when you plan ahead.

“This is especially the case with flights,” Adam says. “With accommodation, you can get last minute offers that are more attractive, so the best idea is to keep a close eye on any offers that appear. Make sure to sign up to newsletters from airlines and holiday sites such as LuxuryEscapes.com, and download the apps for easy access to great offers.”

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Travel Magazine: How to travel 5-star on a budget in Australia
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