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The cost of travel is nearly out of reach for more than half of Australians

A new study has found the post-pandemic travel bubble is on the verge of bursting.

Finder discovered travel was now prohibitively expensive for the majority of Australians.

Travel is either now unaffordable or close to it for 60% of Australians, according to a new survey from comparison website Finder.

The study of 1,079 respondents conducted in April 2023 found the cost of living is now biting so hard that international travel is taking a back seat to basic living expenses for more than one in every three Australians.

The poll found 37% - equivalent to 7.5 million people - say overseas travel is now prohibitively expensive, with a further 23% saying they’re close to the same point. The remaining 40% say they are still happy to pay whatever price is needed to secure their dream trips.

Furthermore, the same survey revealed only 37% of people would take out travel insurance for their overseas trips, including 8% of respondents who were already insured through their credit cards.

Overseas departure levels are fluctuating significantly, with both January and March recording more than 1.3 million outgoing travellers, while February only just passed the one-million mark.

Between 2017 and 2018, the average price of a return flight from Melbourne to London sat at $1,412, with the same flight now priced at $2,677.

Finder Travel Insurance Expert, James Martin, said travel is a luxury many cannot justify right now.

“The rising cost of living is impacting everything from groceries to petrol, and flights are no exception,” Martin said.

“Discretionary spending is taking a back seat as many look for ways to cut back.”

Martin added that if travel was a priority, it needs to be budgeted even if it’s five years down the road.

“Book in advance, travel off-peak and keep tabs for airfare sales to secure the cheapest international flights,” Martin said.

“Using banked-up rewards points and travelling domestically are great ways to save money.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 13 June 2023

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