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8 Tips for Flying to Australia

Sydney, Australia

Whether you're going for a holiday of a lifetime, or visiting friends and family, flights to Australia aren’t as simple as booking a trip to Europe. There’s a lot more to consider and prepare for in order to ensure you trip goes smoothly and that you get the best value for money. As Australian Experts, our people know exactly how to secure the right flights to Australia for your needs and budget. To help you plan, we’ve listed our best tips below.

Book Your Australia Flights In Advance

While it is possible to find fantastic flash sales to Australia, if you have certain dates and airlines in mind, it’s worth booking as soon as possible. Leave it too late and you might end up having to pay almost double the price of when the flights were first available, especially if you’re looking to fly during popular times like December.

Choose Your Airline Carefully

When browsing for flights to Australia, the cheapest prices aren’t always the best options. Considering you are going to be flying for almost 24 hours, with a stopover in between, the in-flight experience is important and one that’s worth spending a little bit more money on to ensure you are comfortable. Plentiful entertainment, spacious seats, a delicious in-flight menu and limited stopovers will make all the difference when seated on a flight for a 12-hour leg. See our airline guide for the airlines we recommend.

Consider Upgrading to Premium Economy or Business Class

You can make your flight to Australia even more comfortable by upgrading to a premium cabin. On most airlines, Business Class flights to Australia will include flat-beds, so you can truly stretch out and get a good night’s sleep. On your stopover you’ll also have access to a lounge which, depending on the airline, may have shower facilities. Premium Economy cabins are also another more affordable option which will include more space than Economy cabins. Upgrading your flight is an ideal way to ensure you enjoy the best journey possible.

Make the Most of Your Stopover

Unless you opt for Qantas’ direct flight to Perth, all other flights to Australia will include at least one stopover. Depending on which airline you fly with, the most popular Australia stopover flights include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Hong Kong. But there are also many other stopover options including Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa or Los Angeles. Whichever one you choose, you may want to consider adding a few nights stay on the way to or from Australia (or both!), allowing you to break up the trip and see another destination.

Prearrange your Australian Tourist Visa

Even if you’re just visiting Australia for a shorter holiday, you will need to prearrange a visa for your visit. You can do this electronically (referred to as an ETA) via the Australian Government website, or your Travel Consultant can arrange this for you after you have booked your flights.

Prepare For Your Long-Haul Flight

When flying to Australia, being comfortable on the flight means being prepared. Don’t leave packing for Australia until the night before. Instead, pre-plan what you’ll need for your holiday and what you’ll need for the flight. In your carry-on luggage we recommend having the following items:

  • Eye mask
  • Neck pillow
  • Comfortable and warm layers to get changed into (the air conditioning can get cold on planes)
  • Socks
  • Shoes that are easy to slip on
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (under 100ml)
  • Snacks and chewing gum
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • A credit card or relevant currency to use during your stopover

For more tips and advice, see our guide on how to survive a long-haul flight.

Be Careful What You Bring Into the Country

Australia has very strict rules when it comes to what you can and can’t bring into the country. Any fruit or vegetables you may have taken on to the plane to snack on during your flight will not be permitted in the country, so be sure to eat or dispose of any of these things before you enter border control. Even packaged foods will still need to be declared at customs (random checks and sniffer dogs are common), so if you would like to skip customs and get out of the airport as quickly as possible, we recommend you don’t bring any food or natural materials into the country. See the Australian Government website for what you can and can’t bring into Australia.

Don’t Pick Your Car Up as Soon as You Arrive

No matter how comfortable you were or how much sleep you had on the flight, when you arrive in Australia you're still bound to feel a little tired and groggy. Picking up a car and driving for a few hours will be the last thing you feel like doing. So, instead, have your Travel Consultant pre-arrange your transfers and at least one night’s accommodation nearby, this way you can rest easy and get used to your surroundings without having to stress about public transport and finding your hotel. 

Written by Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.

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