It’s time to start planning that bucket-list trip – international travel is closer than you might think.
After the last 18 months, international travel seemed like a faraway dream for many Aussies, but there’s great news on the horizon: we’re getting a lot closer to dusting off our passports and hopping on a plane once more.
As the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter, we’ve broken down the five reasons why international travel is just around the corner.
1. Local vaccination rates rising
Our path to being able to travel again is very dependent on vaccinations, and after a slow start, Australia now has one of the world’s fastest vaccination rates. The Australian Government has a four-phase roadmap to get us travelling once again based on exactly that. We’re currently in Phase A and will reach Phase B when 70% of adults are fully vaccinated (ages 16+, two doses).
Phase C will kick in when 80% of the adult population are fully vaccinated. At this point, several freedoms are expected in terms of travel: intrastate travel will be back, there will be no caps on returning vaccinated Australians, no restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated Australians and extended travel bubbles will be explored with safe countries. Experts think NSW will reach 80% vaccination rate by mid-October, with Victoria not far behind.
Phase D, which is almost normal overseas travel, hasn’t yet been announced, but insiders suggest that it could be when 90% of the eligible population have been vaccinated. While that seems high, NSW could hit that level by mid-November. The Australian Government seems to agree, with Australia’s biosecurity travel ban scheduled to end on 17 December, after almost two years.
“It’s incredibly encouraging to see vaccination rates growing so quickly. It gives our industry hope that both interstate and international travel will soon be back on the cards. We know Aussies love to get out there and explore, so we can’t wait to help them do just that,” says Adam Schwab, co-founder and CEO of Luxury Escapes.
2. Strong international vaccination rates
It’s not just at home that vaccination rates are making a difference – key destinations across the world are already vaccinated. The first destinations which will likely accept Australians (possibly even before December), are Singapore and Fiji, both of whom will soon be well above 80% vaccination rate of their entire population. Meanwhile, the US is about to open to international visitors in early October, while the UK have significantly eased their ‘traffic light’ system, allowing for much easier international travel.
This can only be a good sign for Aussie travellers, with these destinations likely to be the first to open post-lockdown.
3. Qantas is planning ahead
As our national carrier, Qantas has set out its plans to get Aussies back in the air. In August Qantas announced it would be working to restart international flights from mid-December, based on National Cabinet’s plan for the reopening of borders. In the week following their announcement, Qantas saw an almost tripling of customers searching for international flights.
Qantas has indicated it expects to resume flights from mid-December (pending decisions by the Australian Government and entry policies of other countries) to destinations that have high and increasing levels of vaccinations, including the US, UK, Singapore and Fiji. December 2021 was the most searched month for travel showing that Australians are keen to travel overseas as soon as they can. Flights to other countries, like Indonesia and Thailand, are available from April 2022.
4. Australians are looking forward to travelling again
Over the past month, we’ve seen a huge increase in customers searching for international destinations on Luxury Escapes, showing that Aussies are ready to jet away as soon as they can. In fact, the number of people exploring international destinations this quarter was 250% times higher than the same time last year.
“We know that Aussies love planning and taking holidays and now is a great time to start looking towards your next big trip. The last 18 months have shown us that we can’t take travel for granted, so it’s no surprise we’ve seen a surge in customers thinking about those bucket-list experiences or looking to reunite with family and friends around the world,” says Schwab.
5. Bookings are flying
And customers aren’t just browsing; smart travellers are locking in the best deals now and getting ready for the inevitable travel rush in early 2022. Many of Luxury Escapes’ hotel packages are now bookable well into 2023, allowing members to plan ahead and start thinking about their first escape post-lockdown. From the beaches of Southeast Asia to the landscapes of Canada and the US, and the buzzing energy of Singapore, the world is just waiting to be explored.
Luxury Escapes’ Robinson Club Khao Lak package is proving particularly popular, enticing members to plan a five-star all-inclusive Thailand trip. Luxury Escapes travellers are looking ahead, with a third of purchasers locking in travel in 2023 and another third snapping up the incredible package as a ‘buy now, choose dates later’ option, so they can select dates when they’re ready to fly.
Other international destinations proving popular with Aussie travellers on Luxury Escapes include Bali and Singapore, which have seen incredible interest for Australians desperate to be immersed in the sights, sounds and tastes of South East Asia.
It’s time to stop dreaming and start planning – discover our curated collection of bucket-list destinations.