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Experienced budget travelers know that in order to hop around the globe without bankrupting themselves they have to follow the golden rule: go where it’s cheap, when it’s cheap. The industry is always changing, and a traditionally expensive destination can quickly become affordable. Case in point: Australia.


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May through August is winter in Australia, so while summer fares to locales in the Northern Hemisphere skyrocket, fares to this far-off nation do just the opposite. Air New Zealand, United, and Qantas Airways are all offering tempting rates from the West Coast starting from as little as $263 each way. Most fares are valid on select dates through December, but these sales end as soon as May 19. Once you touch down in Australia, your dollar will go a lot further – exchange rates are more favorable than they’ve been in years.


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Our editors put these advertised fares to the test, and here are some sample fares that turned up on select dates in September.

•    Los Angeles-Melbourne: $642
•    Los Angeles-Sydney: $648
•    Los Angeles-Brisbane: $654
•    San Francisco-Melbourne: $663
•    And more

Fares listed are round-trip and include taxes and fees.

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