We have dealt extensively about what is the best way to book a flight out of Australia. Especially on long journeys with open end, the return flight is a complicated issue.
Usually you have no idea when exactly you want to return home (if ever?) and from where. You have the following options.
One-Way Ticket to Down Under
When traveling to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, you do not have to show a return ticket (find all requirements for a Working Holiday Visa here).
Therefore, you can easily book a one-way ticket only and keep the date open, when you want to leave Australia again. Just book your return flight, whenever and from where you want.
However, keep in mind that a one-way ticket is a lot more expensive than a return ticket.
More about it: When are flights to Australia cheapest?
Round Trip – with Option to Change the Return Flight
You can also stay flexible with a round trip ticket. If you do not know when you want to fly home from Australia, or from which departure airport, you can still make changes on your return flight.
Please note that any change of each element (e.g., date or departure location) will cost around 100 pounds, depending on the airline. In sum, this option is usually still much cheaper than a round trip. Sometimes a transfer fee is also included in the ticket price.
The changing fee, however, is only the transfer fee. The final price depends on the availability of your booking class. If your booking class is not available, you will have to pay an extra fee – or fly on another day.
If you decide to go with this option, keep in mind, that you can book flights only up to one year ahead. By changing the ticket, this time frame is being automatically extended.
Open-Return Tickets to Australia
We regularly receive questions about how to get cheap open-return tickets. But these types of tickets are practically no longer offered as they are much more expensive than the options above.
If you are offered a open-return flight, make sure to ask what the regular price is. You will see that the simple return option is much cheaper. If not, please let us know so in the comments.
More about it: How to book cheap flights to Australia?
Travel Hack: With Low Cost Airlines to Australia
If you are planning to have a stopover in Asia on the outward or return journey, you have the possibility to book a round trip only to Asia, e.g. to Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore. Flights to Asia are normally much cheaper than flights to Australia.
From Asia you can find easily cheap flights to Australia. The most important and popular low-cost airlines between Australia and Asia are AirAsia and Jetstar – check our guide on how to book cheap flights to Australia.
Make sure to leave enough time between the flights (ideally 2-3 days). If you miss the connecting flight for any reason, you are not entitled to any compensation since you made 2 separate bookings.
Tip: Find the cheapest flights worldwide with Skyscanner.
A Perfect Return Flight Itinerary to Australia
You can, for example, book with the above mentioned method a return flight to Bangkok on the 1st of September until the 1st of August. From there you fly to Australia with the low cost airline AirAsia. All you have to do now is to eventually book a flight back from Australia to Asia.
So you are completely free on how to make your journey back home:
- Spend the whole time in Australia and fly to Bangkok shortly before your return flight
- Fly to Bangkok and travel through Asia
- Fly to somewhere else (for example Bali) and make your way to Bangkok, where you fly back home
- You can always change your itinery and change your flight dates or departure airport
With this option, you can flexibly decide how you want to return home – without having to change flights which can be complicated and expensive.
Some of us have booked their flight for the Working Holiday in Australia exactly with this method. All the others among us, still regret not having done so as well. After all, this is the cheapest way to travel to Australia and until the end we all spent a lot of time in Asia as well (and you’ll probably do that too).