Aus: Bus vs domestic flights
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 11, 2012 4:46 AM Last Post By: Ozziegiraffe
Nov 10, 2012 6:03 AM
Aus: Bus vs domestic flightsHi all,
I've started planning my trip to Australia in February-March. I will be travelling from Melbourne to Cairns, in about 6 weeks. My plan was to go by bus and some domestic flights. Bus because I actually enjoy being 'on the road' and because you meet ppl easier. Domestic flights because it goes so much faster.
I was researching Melbourne-Sydney. By bus it seems to be around $ 80, for 14 h drive (Greyhound). By plane it's 1,5 h, and $ 39 if I book it now (Jetstar). Okay, choice seems easy then. Then again, I do like my freedom of staying a day or two longer if I want, or the opposite: leaving earlier. And the cost of domestic flights seems to go WAY up if you don't book it so many months in advance. Same flight for this Monday 15th November for example is around $ 200!! :-(
So my question is: do you Oz-travellers book your domestic flights months in advance? (and just accept the dates)
I had read that ppl in Australia use domestic flights like they use the train in Europe, and that it's not necessary to book months in advance, because it's cheap to fly. But the difference between $ 39 en $ 200 seems to tell a different story though...
How do you guys do this?
Edited by: Elizabeth2
Nov 10, 2012 10:37 AM
1It depends very much on the season, but I frequently book less than a week in advance and, providing I'm flexible with flight times, I can usually find something reasonably priced. As an example I booked two days ago to fly from Gold Coast to Sydney (Tiger) and that cost $39 + $7.50 fees (10kg hand luggage only). It's now $59 for Tuesday and Wednesday and today (Sunday) starts at $329. February March should not be too busy, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays often have the best prices.
But it is a gamble so best to book as far in advance as possible.
Unless you plan on making a few stopovers both the bus trip and the train trip from Melbourne Sydney (and Sydney to Brisbane and Brisbane to Cairnsas well) are uninteresting and over long, but there are many delightful spots where you can linger for a few days along all of those routes.
Nov 10, 2012 1:36 PM
2I'm the opposite to the vicar - I book domestic flights well in advance and usually when their is a sale on.
Be careful when booking Jetstar from Melbourne - there are two airports, Tullamarine and Avalon. Getting to Avalon may cost you a bit more than to Tullarmarine. Otherwise there is nothing different with the actual flights.
Nov 10, 2012 4:45 PM
Nov 10, 2012 7:13 PM
4I am pretty sure you won't be paying just $39 for Sydney-Melbourne - this is the price for the flight only without everything!
They will charge you extra for your big backpack at least (i hope it's less than 20kg?), and eventually there are other hidden fees as well (credit card fees, booking fee, insurance, etc.). Plus, the bus terminal will be pretty central and close to a hostel, but the Melbourne Airport is ~20km out of the city, so you have to take the bus or taxi in both Sydney and Melbourne to take advantage of the $39 offer.
If time is an issue and you have to get there fast i would take the plane; but if you are on vacation and want to see something from the country i think the bus is still the cheaper option. Also, if the bus drives overnight you can save 1 night of accommodation in a hostel.
Or just check out the black boards in Sydney's hostels or here, there are usually offers from backpackers with cars traveling between the big cities.
Nov 11, 2012 4:46 AM
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