We look at the best value international destinations and last-minute New Zealand breaks for under $150

There are any number of reasons why travellers pick a holiday destination.

There are all those "would be" destinations, if it weren't for the involvement and the price tag.

Then there are the "should be" destinations which are in vogue for just that moment, and your ever-so-slightly-cooler-than-you friends won't shut up about their holiday to.

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Finally there are the dwindling pile of "could be" destinations that exist only in the perfect intersection of the holiday Venn diagram - somewhere between the "price", "interest" and dwindling "annual leave".

If Cosmopolitan magazine would be believed, it is a random process entirely at the mercy of the Zodiac.

Novelty is another big reason to travel. A study by the University of Georgia found that the bragging value of a location was an important factor when spending one's holiday leave.

The paper found that the appeal of a destination was related to the amount of compliments (or "social return") travellers had on their holiday photos.

In other words, most people are looking for an ego boost from a holiday that makes them appear more "adventurous" or "trendy" than they otherwise would be.

Places like Cuba suddenly emerged in the public consciousness because of the lifting travel embargo on US tourists.

However, attitudes towards "trendy" holidays tend to cool as the novelty wears off.

Then there was the Eyesfjollorkolken volcanic eruption. European airspace was closed in April 2010 after Iceland belched volcanic ash into the north Atlantic. But instead of hurting Iceland's appeal, this led to the island's emergence as a tourist hotspot.

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Eyjafjallajokull eruption: Iceland's ashcloud closed airspaces, but brought in more tourists. Photo / Getty Images
Eyjafjallajokull eruption: Iceland's ashcloud closed airspaces, but brought in more tourists. Photo / Getty Images

Shortly after the volcanic explosion, Icelandic tourism operators noticed a boom in tourism.

Simply being aware of a place makes travel more likely. Of course it helps when that place is as rugged and beautiful as Iceland.

It's all very well adding destinations to the bucket list and fantasising about the latest travel trend, but biggest drive in actually taking the plunge and booking those tickets is price.

Looking at the current median price we've cherry picked the cheapest seats going to international destinations and last minute deals for under $150.

Looking at a pool of 463 New Zealand flights over the next 6 months, using historical flights data provided by the flight comparison website Skyscanner, we might have found your next holiday destination - and at a bargain price.

We've identified the best value flights going right now, which might just be the time to start planning your next holiday.

Prices are based on return flights for one adult in Economy, compared to the median price in $NZ from the past 12 months listed by Skyscanner.co.nz

Long-haul deals

Japan

Ahead of Tokyo's Olympic year additional flights between Auckland and Tokyo Narita have brought the price of a seat to under $600 return (less than half the normal median price).

Flights with Fiji Airways are some of the cheapest you'll find, albeit with a long layover in Nadi. Still, there are worse places to spend a day than the beach in Fiji.

While these bargain flights fall either side of the RWC 2019 and the Olympics, non-sporting Kiwis have never had a better reason to visit Japan.

Tokyo: Non-sporting Kiwis have never had a better reason to visit Japan. Photo / Getty Images
Tokyo: Non-sporting Kiwis have never had a better reason to visit Japan. Photo / Getty Images

Canada

Auckland to Montreal at the end of October is up to 40% cheaper. Three weeks in Francophone Canada and Halloween on the American north east comes in at under $1200 return.

Montreal Fall: Autumn in Francophone Quebec is within easy reach. Photo / Getty Images
Montreal Fall: Autumn in Francophone Quebec is within easy reach. Photo / Getty Images

China

A glut of cheap flights to mainland China lend themselves to the perfect city break to Shanghai, or two weeks in the Chinese panda capital of Chengdu is 30% cheaper.

Uruguay

Fancy a South American adventure for under $1100? Flights from Auckland to Montevideo are over 30% cheaper. Just across the Rio from Argentina and Buenos Aires, Uruguay could be the ideal base for a two-week jaunt in South America.

Don't leave home before you seen the country: New Zealand domestic breaks for under $100. Photo / Getty Images
Don't leave home before you seen the country: New Zealand domestic breaks for under $100. Photo / Getty Images

Domestic bargains under $150

Looking for something more impulsive and closer to home? We've homed in on the best last-minute domestic flights from Auckland for under $150.