1. When to go back to Australia or New Zealand
Flight prices and availability depend on the season; expect premium prices for flights to Australia and New Zealand in December, January and February.
In May, June and April (outside of the Easter holidays) you can snag a seat for around £500 – that’s half the peak price.
2. Round the world tickets
A good option for those with time and the desire to do one last spot of travelling is a round-the-world ticket (RTW).
With one of these in your pocket, you choose a number of destinations to stop at on your way home over a 12-month period. The number of stops you make depends on the mileage option you choose (usually between 20,000-40,000).
The origin and destination must be the same, and there must be at least one crossing each of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The other advantage of an RTW ticket is it offers flexibility for date changes.
3. A one way ticket with stopovers
Most airlines will offer at least one free stopover on a one-way ticket.
Apart from the RTW ticket, a one-way ticket with stopover options is the next best way to tick off countries you’d still like to see on your way home. The length of time you can stay in a stopover destination is down to the airline and your ticket.
In Asia, Bangkok and Singapore are popular stopover destinations as they’re in the heart of the continent, and the range of budget tours and domestic flights out are plentiful.
The only condition is that you must make a stop in Australia, but otherwise you can choose your own stopover points and prices will vary depending on how many you make.
4. The benefits of a return ticket
A one-way and return ticket that costs the same is a peculiarity of modern air travel. So while home may beckon, you may as well have a return flight in the back pocket, which is usually valid for 12 months and sometimes costs the same as a one way.
In many cases you will only be able to use frequent flyer points on a certain class of ticket, but it may still prove financially worthwhile. If you’re serious about using points to fund your return home, get in early and check conditions with your provider.
5. Which is best – travel agent or online?
This depends completely on you, and how comfortable you are doing your own research.
Online booking systems make it very easy to plan your own journey, but you can’t top the advice of an expert who can tell you things you might not necessarily know.
The best bet is to scan the web for good deals and take what you’ve found to an agent and ask them to beat it. Most will.
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