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Christmas comes early for savvy holiday makers

With Christmas in July celebrations in full swing, Webjet.co.nz has revealed that holidaymakers can get an early Christmas present: potentially saving big if they book their December getaways this month.

Australia and New Zealand’s leading online travel agent saw high numbers of Kiwis leave their Christmas travel plans until the last minute in 2018, with bookings for December departures soaring by 121 per cent between October and December. In fact, almost a third (31 per cent) of bookings for December departures were made in that month.

For select destinations, there are great savings to be had when booking in July for December travel. For example, the price of flights to Christchurch booked in December was 49 per cent higher than flights booked in July. Flights to Auckland saw a 20 per cent flight price increase.

It’s not just domestic routes which are topping the tables for big early bird savings; flights to Nadi were 42 per cent more expensive when booked in December last year.

Families were one of the latest groups to book, with 44 per cent locking in their flights in November and December- to make the most of school holidays. This means a family of four who booked the same trip to Nadi in July may have saved as much as $928 on average for the cost of their flights.

Around 69 per cent of all solo trips were also booked in November and December as the warm weather led to a burst of wanderlust nationwide.

"Christmas in July celebrations continue to get bigger and better every year; so why not give yourself an early gift and save on your December travel," says Webjet CEO OTA, David Galt.

"It may not be a surprise that the earlier you book, the more you save; but it is surprising how many people are leaving booking their flights until the very last minute. We’re already seeing new destinations such as Rarotonga and Manila emerge as favourites for Christmas 2019, so now is the best time to save money and brighten up those cold, wet winter months."

The 2018 Christmas destinations that saw the highest average price increases for flights booked in July compared to December:

1. Christchurch – 49 per cent

2. Nadi – 42 per cent

3. Auckland – 20 per cent

4. Queenstown – 16 per cent

5. Wellington – 6 per cent

The most-booked destinations for December 2019 travel, as of July 2019:

1. Melbourne

2. Brisbane

3. Sydney

4. Gold Coast

5. Manila

6. London

7. Rarotonga

8. Denpasar

9. Nadi

10. Perth

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