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This guide is for travelers who want to visit Australia, and also for Australians who are thinking of visiting the United States. When thinking of traveling to Australia or the United States, where does one begin? There are endless possibilities for creating a vacation itinerary, whether you want to enjoy the outdoors, live the city life, visit famous parks and attractions, or experience local cuisine.
Sought-after destinations in both countries include the nation's best parks, landmarks, restaurants, and overall experience. You're better off choosing a short list of destinations to visit your first time, then planning a return trip to experience more.
We've divided this guide into three sections: Where to Go, When to Fly, and How to Fly.
Where to Go
It's nearly impossible to even scratch the surface of things to do and attractions in these two big beautiful countries - not in the limited amount of space on this page, that's for sure - but you can at least read a few expert tips to help you get started.
- Sydney, New South Wales: The world famous Opera House in a beautiful harbor setting.
- Melbourne, Victoria: Royal Botanic Gardens, Federation Square and all those great restaurants.
- Brisbane, Queensland: Watch a ballet or bike or snorkel in this subtropical city.
- Perth, Western Australia: Visit family-run wineries in the beautiful Swan Valley.
- Adelaide, South Australia: This elegant city is also your jump-off point for Kangaroo Island.
- Gold Coast, Queensland: Sun and surf plus the Pacific Coast Touring Route to the Great Barrier Reef.
In the U.S.
- Boston, Massachusetts: This New England city offers history, culture and trendy nightspots.
- Los Angeles, California: Home to Hollywood, beaches, clubs and a dynamic restaurant scene.
- New York City, New York: See a Broadway play, visit the Statue of Liberty, and shop in an amazing array of stores and boutiques.
- San Francisco, California: Cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge and tremendous restaurants.
- Washington, D.C.: See the While House and the incredible collections of the Smithsonian museums.
When to Fly
Two good rules of thumb for any traveler looking to save money:
- Avoid flying during peak season. If you must, try arriving one day early or staying a day late to avoid the peak travel days.
- Always compare airfare. Tip: FareCompare's search site helps you compare multiple airlines and online travel agency sites easily.
Travelers to Australia: Peak season is typically the last two weeks in April, the second week in June through the third week in July and the third week in Sept. through the end of October, with flights averaging about $2,000 round-trip. Other times you'll pay 20-30 percent less.
Travelers to the U.S.: The peak season for travel in the U.S. is generally June, July and August. The cheapest off-peak season generally runs late October through mid-February. However, these months include two very expensive periods: Thanksgiving in late November and Christmas through the New Year's travel period. Note that December, January and February can mean snow in many cities (exceptions: Los Angeles and Florida destinations).
How to Fly
Travelers from both countries: If you're flying to Australia or the U.S. from a smaller city, it may be cheaper to divide up your journey into two flights. In other words, fly from your home airport to a large city, then fly non-stop from that large city to your final destination. The only way to be sure is by comparing prices.
Example: Instead of looking for flights from Boston to Sydney, it may be cheaper to break up a trip into separate components - a domestic flight, and overseas flight. So you would take one flight from Boston to Los Angeles, and another flight from Los Angeles to Sydney.
Note: Be sure to leave plenty of time to connect with that second flight. Air travel analyst and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney says he usually flies to the West Coast and spends the night there before boarding a trans-Pacific flight. "This also helps me avoid jet lag," says Seaney.
Generally, the off-peak season rule again prevails; prices are cheaper when people are less inclined to fly.
Be sure to check prices on discount airlines like Australia's Jetstar or U.S. carriers like JetBlue, Virgin America and Southwest, but remember, no single airline always has the lowest prices so again, you must compare.
For More Information
- For more information on what to see and do in the United States visit DiscoverAmerica.com
Suggested reading: For anyone interested in Australia, see "In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson and here's a quote from the book.
"The people are immensely likable - cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted, and unfailingly obliging. Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn't get much better than this." - from "In a Sunburned Country"
Cheap Tickets to Australia
- Mount Isa
- Wagga Wagga
- Port Hedland
- Port Lincoln
- Hervey Bay
- Port Macquarie
- Broken Hill
- Mount Gambier
- Olympic Dam
- Horn Island
Cheap International Flights to Australia - AU
- London, United Kingdom to Sydney, Australia5-Apr to 13-Apr
- London, United Kingdom to Melbourne, Australia17-May to 23-May
- London, United Kingdom to Brisbane19-May to 21-May
- London, United Kingdom to Perth, Australia15-May to 27-May
- New York City to Sydney, Australia13-Apr to 24-Apr
- Los Angeles, California to Sydney, Australia8-Apr to 22-Apr
- London, United Kingdom to Adelaide22-Mar to 26-Mar
- Shanghai to Sydney, Australia31-Mar to 17-Apr
- Bangkok to Sydney, Australia18-May to 28-May
- Los Angeles, California to Melbourne, Australia7-Apr to 14-Apr
- Singapore to Sydney, Australia14-May to 18-May
- Beijing to Sydney, Australia11-Apr to 20-Apr
- Paris, France to Sydney, Australia5-May to 12-May
- Shanghai to Melbourne, Australia3-Apr to 18-Apr
- New York City to Melbourne, Australia2-May to 9-May
- Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Australia27-Jun to 12-Jul
- Bangkok to Melbourne, Australia11-Apr to 15-Apr
- Hong Kong to Sydney, Australia24-Mar to 27-Mar
- Chicago to Sydney, Australia13-Apr to 27-Apr
- Dubai to Sydney, Australia16-May to 21-May
- Tokyo to Sydney, Australia8-May to 16-May
- Singapore to Melbourne, Australia18-Jul to 25-Jul
- Paris, France to Melbourne, Australia8-May to 16-May
- Hong Kong to Melbourne, Australia25-Mar to 28-Mar
- Delhi to Sydney, Australia22-Jun to 8-Jul
- Jakarta to Sydney, Australia1-Jun to 11-Jun
- Dallas to Sydney, Australia12-May to 16-May
- San Francisco to Sydney, Australia11-Apr to 26-Apr
- Los Angeles, California to Brisbane7-Apr to 23-Apr
- Singapore to Brisbane23-Jun to 11-Jul