How to plan a budget-friendly last minute Easter break

Looking to escape on a budget this Easter break? Here are the best places to book and when to book them to get yourself the best deal.

Let’s face it, leaving your travel plans at one of the busiest times of year until the last minute isn’t exactly a good idea.

But if you simply haven’t had time to lock anything in, there’s still a chance you could soon be pool-side sipping cocktails without spending big bucks. Here’s how to do it:

Avoid the crowds

If you’re thinking of holidaying in all the usual places, chances are everyone else will be too meaning the booking volume will hike up the price. Try to think of new places to explore that won’t be so crowded.

According to data collected by Webjet, the most popular domestic destinations are Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Internationally, neighbouring countries are popular with Denpasar, Aukland and Phuket being the most frequently booked.

If you steer clear of these usual holiday hot spots, you’ll spend less time battling the crowds and more time enjoying your holiday. And you’ll potentially save on airfare and accommodation – it’s a win, win.

Decide on a new destination

So, where can you go instead? Here are some alternatives that aren’t as popular, meaning they aren’t as pricey, but still a great place to get away for a few days.

Swap Sydney for Newcastle: This little slice of paradise on the NSW North Coast has beautiful beaches, coastal walks, an evolving craft beer scene and the nickname mini Melbourne with local cafes serving up some of the best coffee in the country.
It has its own airport and plenty of places a short drive away to explore, such as Port Stephens and The Hunter Valley.

Swap the Gold Coast for Cairns: A trip to Cairns is all about the outdoors. You can spend time exploring some of Australia’s most beautiful spots, including the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns airport is just 15 minutes from the city centre.

Swap Phuket, Thailand for Krabi: While Phuket may be popular for its nightlife and Patong beach, Krabi is all about living a more laid back life. Situated on southern Thailand’s west coast, the area is most widely known for its famous Phi Phi Islands, but there’s a lot to be done here. There are plenty of beautiful islands close by to explore, luxury hotels and breathtaking beaches.

Swap Denpasar, Indonesia for Kota-Kinabalu, Malaysia: If you’ve never heard of Kota-Kinabalu, there’s a reason. It is one of Malaysia’s best kept secrets. Here, nothing is off limits you can island hop, hang out with orangutans and eat all the hawker food you can get your hands on. As one of Malaysia’s fastest growing cities, there’s plenty to see and do and worth visiting for a holiday, rather simply stopping over.

When to book

Timing is everything when it comes to booking a holiday. You departure and return dates can change the price significantly. Here is where you may be able to really save some money.

“Regarding Easter travel, on average, the airfares booked to domestic destinations were cheapest when departing on Wednesday 17th of April,” Webjet says.

“We saw an incremental spike in price for Thursday and Good Friday departures.

“This trend was also reflected in the majority of our top international destinations.”

So it may be worth taking an extra annual leave day to both beat the crowds and save some cash.
And the same goes for returning home with Easter Tuesday being cheaper than Easter Monday.

So it looks like you have the perfect excuse to extend your holiday. Enjoy!

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