Welcome to winter. It’s been a very busy few months for the team at Discover Travel as we’ve been making your travel arrangements in the Northern Hemisphere so you can avoid some of it!
We were delighted to welcome Linda Weiss back to our team full time in May, so the Discover Travel sales team is now the same as it was in 2019. It’s great to see everyone ‘back home’!
Ian and Janine will both be overseas hosting our escorted tours in June. Ian will be searching for polar bears near the North Pole & Janine will be on safari in Namibia, Victoria Falls and Botswana. Look out for their updates on our Facebook and Instagram.
Many of our clients are now heading to or already in Europe, catching up with friends and family and finally enjoying travel plans long in the making. Amidst the perennial favorites like Italy, France & Croatia, other very popular destinations in 2023 have been Egypt & Jordan, Portugal, Ireland & Scandinavia. Virtually all Covid-related travel restrictions have now been dropped globally, with travel back to feeling very ‘normal’ again. After a couple of obviously rather quiet years, we had our busiest year ever in 2022/2023 so travel is certainly back!
Airfares to Europe in 2023 have been approximately 40% more expensive this year than pre-Covid caused by a shortage of aircraft and a huge spike in demand, especially for routings via Asia and the Middle East. With Emirates’ A380 now returning daily to Christchurch and more carriers expected to return next year, we should start to see airfares slowly dropping. This is already noticeable with fares to Australia and the USA, where there’s a far greater choice of flights. We were delighted to see United Airlines announce a direct Christchurch-San Francisco direct over next summer which is helping our clients keen to fly North for Christmas (or fly their relatives from the Northern Hemisphere here for the festivities!)
We do strongly recommend booking flights early for any long-haul travel to Europe, South America or Africa in 2024 – these are the destinations where flight availability from NZ can be especially tight. The earlybirds were certainly catching the proverbial worms this year; those clients that got in early for flights to Europe in 2023 made some huge savings, in some cases paying half of what the fare ended up being for the same flights for late bookers. Remember that flights can typically be booked 11 months in advance, so will already be in range for May 2024.
The large demand for all forms of cruising, whether it be expedition, small ship, river or large ship; there’s already limited availability for some 2024 cruises, particularly for Egypt. There are sizeable savings offered by most cruise lines for booking early, so if this part of your travel plans for 2024, please let us know.
Discover Travel will be offering a 15 day ‘Visions of Japan’ escorted tour from 23 Sep – 8 Oct 2024, hosted by Janine, so if this is of interest, please let us know as we are now taking expressions of interest.
The Discover Travel Team.