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Going to Asia or Australia Next Year? Book By Sunday to Add Another Stop for $3
Watch out for kids with squirt guns! If you’re in Thailand for Songkran next April, you’re going to get drenched.
Have you ever dreamed of experiencing this Thai New Year festival, where people douse each other in water to wash away bad luck? Or witnessing the traditional 10-day Balinese Galungan festival, where families pay tribute to their ancestors with spreads of food and flowers?
If you’re planning a trip to Asia or Australia next year, squeeze in some budget travel to one of these festivals or a new country. Until the end of this week, AirAsia is offering a super-cheap way to visit an extra destination or two on your international trip.
Act Quickly to Get Cheap Plane Tickets
To get your hands on these deals, you’ll have to book your ticket on AirAsia between now and September 13, 2015, and travel between March 1 and October 29, 2016.
The airline is even giving away three million seats for free — you just have to pay taxes and fees.
How Much Do Tickets Cost?
Here’s the full list of available routes with their “All-in-fare” prices, which include taxes and fees.
Travel within a single country is generally the least expensive. Fly from Bangkok, Thailand, to other popular destinations within the country, including Krabi, Hat Yai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phuket, for just $3.
Traveling between countries typically involves higher fees, but it's still dirt cheap to travel between Bangkok and Kunming, China, or Bali, Indonesia. Each ticket is $21.
Want to hop from Asia to Australia? You’re in luck. Fly from Bali to Darwin for just $39, or to Perth for $62, among other routes.
How to Beat the Crowds and Score Cheap Fares
AirAsia offers booking tips to help you avoid the digital crowds and snag the cheapest promo seats. For instance, it suggests downloading the airline’s mobile app for more efficient booking.
Before you book, have backup travel plans in case your first choice trip isn't available. If you have an alternate plan, you can switch gears and score a cheap deal, even if it’s to somewhere other than your original destination.
If you’re buying tickets for multiple people, the airline suggests having your travel companions' information (such as their full names and dates of birth) ready, to make your purchase faster.
Where Should You Go?
March through October is Asia's low season because it's often hot and wet, so keep that in mind. Many travelers like to plan their trips around events and festivals like these ones:
Hong Kong Sevens (Hong Kong; April 8-10, 2016)
The world's top rugby teams compete during the annual Hong Kong Sevens tournament. Join the huge international crowd that gathers at Hong Kong Stadium for this event, reveling in great play, fun costumes and a carnival atmosphere.
Flights from Chiang Mai, Thailand, to Hong Kong are only $21, and it’s only $33 to fly in from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Songkran (Thailand; April 13-15, 2016)
Celebrate the traditional New Year Thai-style at Songkran in mid-April.
This not-to-be-missed festival features water galore. People toss buckets of water and squirt others with water guns, a nod to traditions of washing away bad luck in preparation for the new year. Don't be surprised if you get soaked just walked down the street!
Fly from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Bangkok for just $20 or hop on a flight from Singapore to Bangkok for just $26.
Vesak (Indonesia and elsewhere; May 20, 2016)
This festival celebrates the Buddha's enlightenment with a procession featuring holy relics, books, offerings and sky lanterns.
The largest celebration is in Indonesia, but you’ll also find events in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Fly from Manila, Philippines to Jakarta for just $56 or Singapore to Jakarta for just $34.
Galungan (Bali, Indonesia; September 7-17, 2016)
This celebration of good over evil lasts for 10 days, during which families offer food and flowers to the spirits of their ancestors and loved ones.
Flights from Singapore to Bali are $45, and from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, just $35.
Hungry Ghost Festival (Malaysia and Singapore; August 17, 2016)
The Chinese communities in Malaysia and Singapore celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival in the seventh lunar month. People offer food and other items to spirits, and music and theatrical performances abound.
Fly from Bangkok to Singapore for just $21, or hop a flight from Jakarta to Singapore for just $19.
Your Turn: Are you planning to take advantage of this deal? Where will you go?
Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.