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Best-kept travel secret: How to get the cheapest flights in Australia

Fat Mum Slim /

How to get the cheapest flights {within Austrlaia} on the internet

I’ve only just been bitten by the travel bug. Up until about two years ago I was one of those people that was happy exploring my own backyard, with an annual road trip thrown in and a few weekends away added to the mix as well. I guess that’s more than some people {Mum, I’m looking at you!}, but it wasn’t really until I ventured overseas that I realised that there is so much of this world that I want to see and explore, and some of that is in our very own backyard too, the lovely Australia.

But there’s something I don’t like about traveling, and that’s paying crazy prices for flights. I want to save as much money as I can on getting to the destination so I can indulge in a cocktail or two {once the baby is here, of course!}, or a little shopping here or there. You know what I’m talking about, right?

As well as getting the travel bug in the past few years, my family and I have also made a big change from the City to the Country. It means that we’re away from family, and friends, and all the good stuff that comes from living in the City {oh you know, the good food, the vibe, the fun stuff, and most of all, being in the middle of the action}. It also means that each year we’re spending a big bit  of our budget to get back down to Sydney to see the people we adore {and eat the food we just can’t get in our new home, and yes you just can’t know what I mean unless you’ve made the big move yourself. I’m not obsessed, I promise}. Depending on the time of year, and how disorganised we are, the flights can be almost affordable {around $120 per person return} to utter-nonsense {around $300+ per person return}.

But I’ve recently stumbled across a little secret. It’s one of those secrets that’s almost too good to share, in case the sharing of the secret puts a stop to the good stuff. And by good stuff I mean totally INSANE flight prices. So, if by sharing this it means that there are no more cheap prices and I have to go back to paying UTTERLY RIDICULOUS prices to fly back to my former-home, I’m sorry. Sorry to me, my budget and anyone else who used to do this sneaky business too.

It’s also too good NOT to share. So here goes. I found out through a friend of a friend that if you go to a foreign Expedia site to buy your flights you save money. And not just a little. Last month I flew to Sydney return from the Gold Coast for $65. I’ve seen them for $45 too. Crazy.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Go to {the Japanese Expedia site}.

2. Yes, it’s all in Japanese. So go up to the top right corner and click English {next to the Twitter icon}. Much better, right?

3. Choose your flights and dates.

4. Eeek. The prices are in Yen. That’s cool. Use a currency conversion tool to convert it into Australia dollars {or where ever you’re from}. This isn’t exact, but it was almost spot on for me.

5. Choose your flights and purchase them. Some credit cards won’t work. My Visa did. I incurred a $1 fee PLUS the flight costs. I also signed up to Expedia Japan so I could get my itinerary, I suggest doing the same although you will receive an email confirmation from Jetstar and Expedia.

→Buying flights this way worked for me, and I did so knowing that I was taking a risk. Of course, if you decided to do the same you would be taking your own risk too {i.e. when buying anything online it’s not like buying in person}. You should make your own decisions, as anyone should when buying products and services online.
→This is for Jetstar flights only.
→It appears that domestic flights, within Australia, are reduced but when I researched international flights they didn’t impress me as much. You might need to do a bit of exploring to find more.
→The price is for a starter fare only, which means no baggage – only carry-on. I don’t know if it’s possible to add baggage, so this is something you’d need to explore.
→For more tips and comments on this deal, you can read this post here.

Let’s talk bargains! Aside from this deal, the cheapest flight I’ve ever purchased was a $6 return flight to the Gold Coast and back from Sydney. What’s the best travel bargain you’ve ever snapped up?

  • saraholiver

    Darn, doesn’t appear to be any better of a deal for travel within the US. 🙁

  • Flew last weekend on flights using this method! Buy baggage allowance and seat allocations using the links in the Jetstar confirmation email. It’s in yen, but converted to only $17 for baggage and $3.50 for seat allocation 😀

    • P.S.this tip meant I could afford to go away for my birthday and it was the best weekend ever…couldn’t have done it without you telle 🙂 xo

  • Thanks for sharing that tip! I got straight on to have a look. It doesn’t seem to be much cheaper to fly to Perth from Sydney but really, really cheap along the East coast including Tassie.

    • Georgie McInerney

      doesnt surprise me re Perth we seem to carry the worst flight deals ever out of here domestically 😉

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  • Michelle W

    Thanks, Chantelle! I’m going to save this hint for later on. 🙂

  • MAN I am so going to try this idea for flying – I can now see travel more affordable for our family to be able to stay in touch 🙂 Thanks For sharing xxx

  • Kylie Wakeley

    Umm…you are the BOMB.DOT.COM
    I’m booking a little trip to Melbs and this has honestly saved me just over $100! Woohoo. More shopping money. Thanks lovely.

  • Elena

    Apparently deleting your cookies helps too as the site note how many times you visit the site and adjusts prices accordingly.

    • How do you do this? This trick didn’t work for me at all!

  • Georgie McInerney

    haha brilliant work Chantelle tho I do wonder if this glitch will be now zoned so Aussies cant do 😉 I know it was so much cheaper using Expedia in UK to book internal flights here back in 2002 🙂 but I cant do that now 😉

    • eliz a buf works brilliantly as a proxy! i’ve been using it to get kindle books that “aren’t available” in australia.

      • Chris Johnson

        try PureVPN

  • Deb

    well that’s why the flights are stupid expensive when I looked… Jetstar doesnt fly to canberra. Qantas is same price as Aust prices.

  • Ebony

    Thanks for the tip. We travel a lot and I normally use the jetstar price beat guarantee which saves heaps of money also.


    Genius! I’m about to book our next holiday and will definitetly be doing it this way 🙂

  • Wow, and I thought my return flights from Gold Coast to Christchurch for $200 was impressive!!!! (Purchased on Boxing Day, travelled in March 2013)

  • Roni Faida

    Traveling is my passion and I’m always looking for bargains. A friend and I were in Quito, Ecuador and we hired a driver for a day trip (3 hours each way) had massages and lunch and didn’t spend more than $100. We thought it was a phenomenal bargain. When I’m in Australia I’ll try and use the Japanese site. Thanks!

  • scissorspaperrock

    Oh my lordy, this is insanely awesome. We want to do a Cairns trip over the next few months to visit family and I just did the exercise to see the price difference and it’s HALF the price of buying the tickets from webjet or jetstar direct. CRAZY!

    Thank you Chantelle.

    Claire x

  • Kyles

    No joy for us. Still over $600p/p for a return trip Armidale NSW to Sydney. Drats.

  • Alison

    I’m looking at going to the US next year. I did a rough estimate and it came in at $6500 for all 5 of us to fly. That is AMAZINGLY cheap.

  • Lulu

    Have been contemplating a trip to Noosa during the school hols. For flights for four and a 2 bedroom apartment at The Sebel, Expedia Japan $3000k vs Expedia Australia $4100! Thanks!

  • Charli & Ben

    Ooo I wish I had known about this 6 months ago. We paid a fortune in flights during our 12 months in Australia. This is such a sneaky travel tip, Love it!

  • Cheryl Mummytofive

    Does it accept a M/C?

  • Cheryl Mummytofive

    This is great news! Happy news..LOL

  • Ange Webber

    Thanks for this tip Chantelle, I just booked our flights to Perth and it was like a buy two get one free deal!!

  • $6 flight! Holy moly! How did you get that?? Did you attach yourself to the outside of the plane?!

    • It was one of those freak sales, I got it for Hubby to go up to my in-laws. And it was $6 return, and that included he AND Lacey flying. It was the bargain of the century that I’m sure we’ll never be able to repeat.

  • Grace

    Great tip, Chantelle! You are the BOMB! x

  • Renee

    Thanks so much for this tip. I am so happy you decided to share. It meant that I was able to afford to attend my Pa’s funeral so it means more than words can say x

  • malleyboo

    Can this be done for flights within the US? Or only for or does this only work for as your blog says the Jetstar Airlines. Also if this particular site doesn’t work for the US are you aware of any that does?

  • JB113

    Does this apply with people from the States as well? Or no :/

  • Jill

    Thank you so much for blogging about this website, I just saved over 50% on the same airlines posting on different sites.

  • Thanks for the tip but did not work for me at all….maybe I did something wrong? I was searching sydney to gold coast, per flight it was $125 which was way more expensive than the jetstar website in australia is charging at the moment. I guess you gotta get them at the right time no matter where you buy them 🙁 bummed!

  • These tips are good and may be applied in Australia. There are other websites also that you can check that offers a big discount flights

  • this a very great idea. And looking at the comments posted by others, it surely would work. Cnt imagine how in such way youc an savemoney. A very good share.. thank you for the insight. I mean we all can use some extra money right. Specailly During travel.

  • Meredith

    I’m currently looking at the Expedia Japanese site, does this work for international flights? Or only within Aus?

  • Rhys Lazarou

    Just want to know if this tactic works anymore for anyone?

  • Rick

    Tried this for my flights from Perth to Bogota but its actually $400 more expensive than