Australia’s diverse tourist attractions and activities entice all kinds of travellers, but one critical fact remains: an Australian adventure can be expensive if the trip is not planned well. So, there goes the big budget issue, which readily bursts the fantasy of carefree enjoyment of sunny beaches, lush rainforests, and snow-capped mountains. However, by sacrificing a number of bells and whistles, Australia can still be enjoyed for less by following these tips:
Before flying to Australia, two essentials must be ensured: a tourist visa in Australia and secure travel and personal documents. One quality that makes Australia great for backpacking and touring is its different tourist visas. One visa popular among budget-limited tourists is the Working Holiday (Subclass 417) visa. Specifically targeting young adults, the Subclass 417 allows tourists to travel and undertake employment at the same time. Because of its popularity, many Australian visa firms offer personalised service for this particular visa. National Visas has expert agents to help adventurers of all ages determine their visa eligibility and resolve possible application issues.
Having copies of travel and personal documents saves you from security concerns when in the country. Travel documents need to be shown to airport personnel upon arrival, while personal documents are often required when applying for work. Before flying to Australia, ensure that all copies of these documents are saved in a secure online location for ease of future access.
In addition to these two essentials, Australia-bound tourists have to secure evidence of certain vaccinations and in some cases may need evidence of having sufficient funds for the first part of their working holiday. National Visas has migration agents are able to accurately advise tourists on the type of evidence they may need, or if they can apply without having to provide any documents at all.
A knack of doing things for free or for less is essential for Australian travel on a budget. Listed below are quick nuggets that will allow both off-beat and laidback tourists to enjoy the array of offerings in all of the country’s seven regions:
Map a trip that does not require flight. Australia is a vast country, so travelling within a region is wiser than covering two that sometimes span thousands of kilometres. Although it is tempting to trek on Mount Wellington in Tasmania in one day and experience the outback in Western Australia in the other, it may be better to save that flight money for attractions located in only one region.
Travel in group, if possible. By organising a small group of tourists, you can save by renting a car and driving from point to point. The split cost of fuel provides some wiggle room in the budget, but make sure to follow road regulations (e.g., speed limit, seat belt, etc.) so that fines for tickets do not consume travel savings! Park in free spaces, and take note of the time when they start to charge. When travelling in major cities, ask around for free transportation options; for instance, when in Melbourne, the free inner city tram allows you to visit city attractions without spending any for travel.
Prioritise safety. Australia is an image of cute koalas and verdant rainforests, but in actuality, the country’s wildlife and ecosystem may pose danger to tourists who are not aware of things they should be. There is the harsh sun to account for first, so apply sunblock and take care to re-apply when bathing in the beach. Wear appropriate clothing for every activity: a pair of sneakers is great for all activities and locations; a pair of long pants makes it safer to bushwalk; and thin clothes keep more heat off the body when in the outback. Bring a safety kit, especially when in forests where poisonous animals are likely to lurk. When in need, dial 000 for emergency services. That said, there is often a lot of talk about the dangers in Australia. However, whilst they are there and you should be aware of them, for the most part you would not encounter too many problems!
Forget about the restaurant. Food and drinks can be cheaper if you know where to look. Three tips: take up food discounts (drinks do come for free sometimes); buy bulk food for less and eat the extra in other meals of the day; and eat in food courts in malls. Some parks also have barbecue stations where you can get cheaper lunch. Refill water at public fountains, but avoid taps labeled with “bore water” as it is unsafe to drink. For occasional drinks, head to a backpacker bar; if within reach, visit an RSL facility where food and drinks are offered cheap.
Search and be prepared for a job. Local newspapers, the web, and fellow travellers are three easy sources for jobs. When intending to travel and work in Australia at the same time, make sure to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) upon arrival. Employers will only accept your application if you have a TFN because they are required by the government to pay for tax. Do not forget to claim your super or pension fund after your employment period elapsed and you have left Australia.
Be mindful of the best days to buy. Doing some cultural research (including asking experienced travellers) can also save a few dollars. On cheap Tuesdays, many cinemas offer a discount on movie tickets; watching movies is a great way to pass rainy days to boot. Tuesdays are also best for refueling, as petrol stations provide between .05 and .15 cent of discount per litre. Check petrol coupons at the bottom of supermarket receipts. When travelling across regions, book flights on Fridays because some companies lower their ticket prices to cater to weekend travellers. Rule of thumb: Do not buy on weekends or at the start of holidays because prices tend to rise steeply.
Be simple in accommodation. Hostels, which cost around $20 or $30, are the best option when travelling on a budget. Parks and campgrounds also have basic facilities, but at most, rental is only around $10 to $20 per night. For this latter option, make sure to invest in quality sleeping tent and clothing to avoid catching the cold during the nippy Australian nights.