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Sky-high fares? No problem. The top reasons Aussies won't stop travelling abroad

New research reveals that despite high airfares, Australians are still committed to certain trips.

New research reveals that despite high airfares, Australians are still committed to certain trips.

A survey by Insure&Go, involving over 1,000 Australians, shows that three in four (74 per cent) would still attend a family member’s wedding and four in five (80 per cent) a family funeral. 

The study explored which overseas trips Australians would delay until airfares return to pre-pandemic levels. Events considered included weddings, funerals, holidays and ski trips. 

According to the survey, the trips that we’re next most committed to – after family weddings and funerals – are friends’ weddings abroad (70 per cent) followed by winter ski trips (66 per cent), family events like Christmas (64 per cent), summer holidays in Europe (62 per cent) and other overseas Christmas holidays (61 per cent).

Image Tom Grimbert/Unsplash.

Travel priorities also vary by age group. Under-30s are the least likely to cancel trips due to high airfares, with six in seven (83 per cent) willing to travel for an overseas funeral, for example.

By comparison, fewer travellers aged 31-50 would do the same (77 per cent). 

Millennials and Gen-Xers are more likely to cancel trips due to higher living costs.

Insure&Go Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Etkind said that Australians balancing families and rising interest rates are the most likely to skip expensive trips at the moment.

“We’re also seeing most households record higher mortgage jumps than interest rate hikes indicate,” he remarked. 

Easter holiday family travel
Families can nab cheaper airfares off-peak.

“This means that respondents aged 31-50 are among the most impacted by the soaring cost of living and therefore the most likely to avoid international trips when the purse strings need to be tightened. 

“This is an interesting shift from a few years ago when Millennials were among the strongest traveller cohort.”

Penny pinchers

Despite predictions of global fare reductions due to increased airport traffic and China’s market reopening, international airfares remain high – or at least higher than they were in 2019.

Because of this, the vast majority of those polled (92 per cent) said they would be willing to adjust their travel plans for cheaper airfares.

Over half (57 per cent) would travel outside school holidays, and half (49 per cent) would choose off-season or early flights. Nearly half (48 per cent) would book 6-12 months in advance.

Under-30s are the least likely to book in advance to save money, with far fewer than half (38 per cent) doing so, compared to more than half (53 per cent) of over-50s. However, both age groups are equally willing to travel off-season (50 per cent). 

A plane taking off from Melbourne Airport
Airfares remain higher than 2019.

Boomers are the most flexible, with two in three (64 per cent) happy to travel outside school holidays and more than half (57 per cent) willing to fly at inconvenient times.

Despite cost-saving efforts, comfort matters: three in four (74 per cent) won’t book multi-stop flights, and only a fraction (13 per cent) would stay in hostels or far from tourist areas. 

Only eight per cent of travellers would not make any compromises.

“These figures really speak to the purchasing power and lifestyle constraints of certain Aussies,” Etkind said 

“Younger travellers might not be able to book far in advance because they simply don’t have the savings. 

“While older Australians aren’t impacted by school holidays and can more easily opt for off-peak travel, younger Aussies are also far more likely to book a flight with multiple stopovers, which points to lower disposable income and perhaps an ability to sacrifice on comfort and time more than older Australians.”

According to new figures released by Flight Centre Corporate’s FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller, overall international and domestic air capacity reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time in Q1 2024 – and cheaper air travel is the winner.

Reasons to travel