WHAT ARE EARLYBIRD AIRFARES?

Travellers looking for great deals on Europe holidays can bag a bargain as the major airlines and tour operators release their best value airfares and tours for 2018. In the travel industry, this is known as 'earlybird season' and it signifies the first release of the new season's pricing at significant discounts for customers.

Save pounds, not pennies, with earlybird airfare deals to the UK and Europe.

September, October and November are traditionally considered the best months of the year for travellers to bid bon voyage to their Europe travel daydreaming and make their plans a reality. And it's not just Europe on sale, with earlybird season offering discounted flights and tours for other key destinations worldwide, including the US.

The benefit of earlybird airfares is in the pricing. Flight Centre analysis on the 2016 earlybird season showed the average price of an earlybird airfare to Europe was around $1,600 from all capital cities in Australia. Together with ‘double dips’, ‘triple treats’ and multi-class airfares available from your travel consultant, this means you can really make the most of your holiday budget.

Put yourself in the picture in 2018 with earlybird airfares to Europe.

So if you're thinking of snapping up an earlybird airfare to Europe, here's a list of seven things you can do to make sure you're getting more bang for your buck.

1. Be flexible with your travel dates.

The best value earlybird fares are for travel in the early part of the year during the shoulder season before the Northern Hemisphere summer of June to August.

2. Bypass the popular hubs of London, Paris and Rome.

Travellers can get a better flight deal if they bypass the more popular European cities in favour of flying into Amsterdam, Dublin and Istanbul, for example.

3. Book early.

The most popular and competitive fares will sell out quickly so to avoid disappointment, get your fares locked in quickly. Most of the sale fares on offer now will expire before the end of this year.

Find out the ins and outs of earlybird airfares. 

4. Include a short-stay stopover.

All flights to Europe will offer a stopover, such as Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore, so why not make the most of it and organise a side trip to get more bang for your buck? Your travel agent can help you work this into your flight itinerary.

5. Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance.

This is particularly important for long-haul flights. When you plan six months in advance, you never know what might happen, so having travel insurance will ensure you are protected if you need to cancel or reschedule your trip, if you lose your luggage, or any other number of scenarios.

6. Utilise the eurail system to connect the dots on your itinerary.

Thanks to Europe's comprehensive fast rail system, it's a great idea to fly into a more affordable Europe hub and then travel on via rail to maximise your budget. Your travel agent can help by working out which rail pass and routes are best for your itinerary.

7. Get creative with your flights.

Don’t assume you are restricted to the airfare options listed online. Your travel agent has access to a host of deals unavailable to the general public and can advise on the best value route for getting from point A to point B based on your budget. They can even create a custom-built, round-the-world airfare that may represent better value for a multi-stop holiday.

8. Book a tour or accomodation

Fly Free, Pay $299 per person return, Pay $699 per person return. This is not a joke. Tour companies and River cruising often pay for or heavily subsidise your flights if you take a tour with them. It's not hidden in the price it is actually the cheapest way to travel to Europe and its packed with bang for your buck.

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