As the year draws to a close, school leavers are planning their next 12 months, with one in four tipped to take time off to travel. And according to new Cheapflights.co.nz data, there has been a 36 per cent spike in year-on-year searches for one-way tickets and trips of six months or more, departing just after graduation.
Looking at solo searches, Cheapflights found Asia-Pacific destinations including India, Bangkok, Bali and Shanghai are the most popular places to kick-off extended travel, with London rounding out the top five.
Nathan Graham, Regional Sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ, said there are currently great prices available for those considering a gap year, with one-way airfares to Fiji from $323 and to China from $588.
“Taking time off between school and university to explore is almost a rite of passage for young Kiwis, and while classic Asian destinations and the ‘mother country’ remain popular with these travellers this year, we’re also seeing new countries emerge as jumping off points for adventure. For example, searches to Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Sri Lanka, Norway and Canada all increased by over a 100 per cent year-on-year.”
The results also revealed students are multitasking, studying for exams while planning for their impending holiday, with August the busiest period for searches.
To help millennials make the most of their gap year, Cheapflights.co.nz has these top travel tips:
- Take the path less travelled – Venturing to lesser-known destinations and travelling off-peak is an easy way to save some cash. The recent Cheapflights Compass report showed destinations like Myanmar rising in popularity, with Yangon airport being one of the most affordable in the region.
- Do your research – Plan ahead, mapping out where you’re going, places to stay and how you’ll get around. Where to after you reach London? New Cheapflights data shows the most affordable destinations include Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, Oslo and Athens.
- Get the right documents – Visas are normally obtainable from the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit. Check the requirements and how long it will take to receive approvals before booking your travel.
- Stay in date – There are some countries that may refuse you entry if there is less than six months remaining on your passport. Check your expiry date and if you need to renew – make sure it’s with plenty of time to grab your visas too.
- Insure yourself – All travellers are advised to take out insurance before departure, but this will be especially important when abroad for a long period of time. Find a policy that also covers you for damage to valuables, thefts and interruptions to travel plans.
- Find the right card – It’s sensible to take a credit card with you, but taking your everyday credit card might not be the best option. To avoid getting stung by foreign transaction fees, shop around for a good deal or consider getting an overseas spending card. And keep backup credit cards separate from your wallet in case of emergencies.
- Reduce your costs – It’s all about finding savings on a gap year. Before you leave, grab a Youth Card, as this is your pass to exclusive discounts and cheaper tickets.
- Do as the locals do – To find your place abroad, take your cues from the locals. This is the quickest way to find the best places to eat, hang out and stay – and if you don’t look like a tourist, you won’t be as easy a target for swindlers or pickpockets.
- Don’t rule out alternative lodgings – If you’re travelling rather than settling in one place, homestays or room-sharing services like Airbnb can get you a bed for a fraction of the price of a traditional hotel.
For more tips or to search your next getaway, visit Cheapflights.co.nz.
Longitudal Surveys of Australian Youth, 2015, www.lsay.edu.au/