Travelling in Australia needn’t be expensive. Before I got here, I was lead to believe that travelling in Australia was going to bankrupt me but that’s just not the case. Granted, it doesn’t match the ridiculously cheap prices of other popular backpacking areas such as South East Asia, however, with a few top tips, a trip down under doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Here’s how to travel in Australia on a budget.
1.Work and Travel
The best way to save loads of money when travelling in Australia is to come here on a working holiday visa. A working holiday visa (subclass 417) is something that’s available to 18 to 30-year-olds from these eligible countries and it entitles you to stay and work in Australia for up to one year. Doing a working holiday means that you are able to make up the money that you spend travelling in the country, while getting to stay for a longer period of time. What’s more, the wages in Australia are so crazily good, you might even come back home with some extra money in the bank.
2.Prioritise your tours
Australia is packed full of places and experiences to tick off your bucket list. From sailing through the Whitsundays to Camping on Fraser Island, Diving in The Great Barrier Reef and visiting the Sydney Opera House, there’s no end of things to do- however, my advice to save money? Priorities your tours. As fun as they are, it’s the tours like Fraser Island that are going to eat into your savings so, have a think about which ones are most important to you. You could always do, say, your skydive, after you’ve worked and have a bit more cash.
3. Get Your Coffee at Seven Eleven
Of course, you have to treat yourself to a nice coffee every so often but that daily Flat White can easily set you back $5 a day. For anyone on a budget, Seven Eleven Coffee’s are a life saver. These are just $1 for a small and while it’s obviously not the best coffee on the market, it’s fresh bean and it does the job.
4. Buy your booze from the bottle shop
Drinks in bars and clubs in Australia is expensive, particularly in the bigger cities like Melbourne and Sydney. If you want to seriously save some money then my advice is to buy your drinks from the bottle shop. Whereas a glass of wine from a bar can easily set you back $12, you can find plenty of (surprisingly good) bottles of wine from the liquor shop for just $5- if that’s not an excuse to say yes to that night out then I don’t know what is.
5. Make it to happy hour
The exception to not buying drinks in bars is happy hour. Happy hours are a big thing in Australia and there are loads of great deals to be found for cheap food and drinks. The best way to find these is online through the app, The Happiest Hour, which lists all the times, dates and places of the happy hours nearby.
6. Get a car
If you’re planning on visiting a few places in Australia and there are a few of you, then it probably makes sense to get a car. In terms of the East Coast, the other population option to get about is by Greyhound bus however if you can drive, buying a car and splitting the costs with some friends will give you more flexibility and save you some money as you can stay in campsites.
7.Rent a room
Staying in hostels in Australia can work out to be to quite expensive in the long run so, if you’re planning on staying in one place for a while then it’s probably worth looking for a room. When I started working in Melbourne, I originally was going to stay in a hostel the whole time. That is, until I found out just how much cheaper staying in a flat would be, more than half the price actually. Finding a room or a flat share is pretty easy for backpackers and the best places to look are either the Fairy Floss Facebook page or the Flatmates site.
8.Cook your own food
Australian hostels all have kitchens for a reason, eating out is expensive. Unless you’re only stopping by Australia for a few days, you’re going to want to go to the shop and cook your own food or you’ll run out of money pretty quickly. In terms of supermarkets, if you are really after good value then it has to be Aldi.
9. Make it a Dominos
If you really feel that you’re in need of comfort food but don’t want to part with the cash then Dominos pizza is the answer. In Australia, Dominoes’s selection of value range pizzas are just a mere $5- bargain.
10. Eat out Asian
Although you have to treat yourself to a proper Aussie brunch out at least once, when it comes to food out, brunch is by far the most expensive dining option. If you want to eat out but don’t want to spend too much then Asian food is your best bet with loads of cheap dumpling, Thai, Vietnamese and Japenese places to choose from.
11. Do the Free Walking Tours
Sydney and Melbourne have lots of free walking tours on offer and these are a great way to get a feel for the city. Run by knowledgeable local guides, these tours will show you the best of what the cities have to offer and best of all they are completely free, although it’s nice to make a small donation. I did one of these tours on my first day in Melbourne and it was the best way to orientate myself and learn all about the city.
If you’re going to be travelling in Australia, don’t stress, it’s really not as expensive as people make out and like I said, if you come here on a working holiday, you might even leave with more money than you came with.
Do you have any more questions about budget travel or 20-Something travel in Australia in general? Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to help.