AUSTRALIA’s workaholics – who between them have accrued more than 100million days in untaken annual leave – can no longer use a lack of time as an excuse to avoid an overseas holiday.
The increase in the number of airlines servicing the country has created a new holiday option for time-poor Aussies – the overseas long weekend.
Flight Centre Limited global marketing manager Colin Bowman said overseas long weekend options ranged from obvious locations on Australia’s doorstep, New Zealand, Noumea and Fiji, to more exotic and distant locations.
“Depending on where you’re flying from in Australia, you may be able to spend a long weekend in Guam, Japan or Johannesburg,” he said.
“Many popular locations are now within reach of travellers who want to sandwich a weekend in between a day or two of annual leave.
“Obviously, the flight schedules mean you can’t necessarily bank on a full night’s sleep before you return to the office, but that might be a small price to pay after three days on the beach in Bali or a shopping trip to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.”
Flight Centre has studied international flight schedules to narrow down the overseas long weekend holiday options for Australian travellers.
From Adelaide, options include Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Auckland.
Sun seekers interested in a Bali long weekend can take off on a 9.45am Virgin Australia flight on Friday, with a scheduled arrival time of 12.45pm the same day.
A return Virgin Australia flight leaves Bali at 1.15am Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Adelaide at 8.50am.
Prices start from $757* per person for a return airfare from Adelaide to Bali.
From Brisbane, travellers can fly to Port Vila, Auckland, Noumea or Fiji.
The Port Vila option, with Air Vanuatu, leaves on a late afternoon flight on Friday at 4.10pm and arrives in Port Vila at 10.30pm on the same day.
Then, on the return, flights home depart on Monday 4.10pm and arrive in Brisbane at 6pm.
Prices start from $522* per person for a return airfare from Brisbane to Vanuatu.
Tropical North Queensland is the gateway to some of the more exotic overseas long weekend options, including Guam, Osaka and Tokyo.
Travellers bound for Guam can catch an United Airlines flight at 0.35am Friday, with a scheduled arrival time of 5.20am the same day.
A return flight leaves Guam at 7.35pm Sunday and arrives in Cairns at 11.40pm.
Prices start from $799* per person for a return airfare from Cairns to Guam.
From Darwin, options include Manila, Singapore and Bali.
Bali-bound travellers will, however, be required to take an early mark on Friday to catch the 4.10pm Jetstar departure, which is scheduled to arrive in Bali at 5.15pm.
A return flight leaves Bali at 6pm Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Darwin at 10.30pm, thereby allowing travellers the best part of three full days on the beach.
Prices start from $430* per person for a return airfare from Darwin to Bali.
From the Gold Coast, consider Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Osaka.
The Singapore option includes a 8.45am Scoot flight on Friday, with a scheduled arrival time of 3.20pm the same day. A flight returns to the Coast at 7.50am Monday, following a 10.25pm Sunday departure.
Prices start from $469* per person for a return airfare from the Gold Coast to Singapore.
Travellers from Melbourne can spend a long weekend in Saigon, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or Christchurch.
The Kuala Lumpur option includes an early Saturday morning Emirates departure, with a scheduled arrival time of 8.25am the same day.
The return flight leaves KL at 3.30pm Monday and arrives in Melbourne early Tuesday morning, in time for a couple of hours sleep.
Prices start from $956* per person for a return airfare from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur.
From the West Coast, consider Kota Kinabalu, Dubai, Hong Kong, perennial favourite Bali or Johannesburg.
Travellers taking off to South Africa will require additional leave, as the South African Airways flight leaves Perth at 11.50pm Thursday and arrives in Johannesburg at 5.10am Friday.
The return flight leaves Johannesburg at 10.05pm Sunday and arrives in Perth at 13.25pm Monday.
Prices start from $2055* per person for a return airfare from Perth to Johannesburg.
From Sydney, three or four-day trips are on offer to Honolulu, Port Vila, Seoul, Wellington or Fiji.
Air Pacific flights leave Sydney at 6.30am Friday and arrive in Fiji at 12.20pm the same day. A return flight leaves Fiji at 1.30pm Monday and arrives in Sydney at 4.25pm.
Prices start from $694* per person for a return airfare from Sydney to Fiji.