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It’s widely known that Australia is an expensive country to visit. But at the same time it’s also an incredible country to visit and one that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. So instead of letting price put you off of your amazing trip down under, you can be smart and easily keep to a friendly budget.
Here are some helpful tips on how to economize on your travel spending and make the most out of your awesome Aussie adventure.
This is a big one, especially the cost of air travel. Of course it depends on your country of origin but from most countries in the world Australia is very far away, which is why when Australians travel, they go on “walkabout” for months at a time to take advantage of the opportunity to experience the rest of the world that they had to travel so far to see.
Timing your visit
Between December and February Australians enjoy their summer while Europe and America enjoy (more like tolerate) their winters. These months are the most popular for travelling to Australia and the cost of air travel is accordingly expensive. So planning your travel outside of the high season would be a good start in keeping to a tight budget.
Air passes are convenient and budget friendly. They often include a round trip flight to Australia as well as several flights within the country. An air pass can also include flights to New Zealand and the South Pacific. Prices are based on both the season and your travel destinations but they are pretty much always quite effective in keeping costs low.
If you’re not familiar with air passes, you can read more about them here.
Travelling Australia by train is not a cost effective way to go and the reach can be quite limited, leaving you with fewer options to choose from.
The good old reliable Greyhound bus is the best way to get around affordably. And if you plan to do a lot of travel then it’ll be better to get a multi trip pass instead of single destination tickets.
Renting an apartment can make you feel right at home. In addition it provides the cost savings benefit of being able to cook in a kitchen as opposed to eating out several times a day.
A bed in a dorm room of a centrally located hostel should cost you about $30-$40 per night and the price should come down a bit if you move outside of the center to find your lodgings.
If you’re planning to stay a while you might also be able to work off part of your accommodation expense by doing some cleaning or other needed tasks in exchange for your bed.
For the outdoor loving type, Australia has a large number of beautiful and well-maintained campgrounds. The more popular campgrounds will have basic amenities like water, power and toilets. Your comfort level can also be much improved if you get a reliable camper trailer.
Check out also how to camp in Australia for free.
Food and Drink
Eating out is not the cheapest option in Australia so you should definitely plan to shop at the market and cook your own culinary delights most of the times. Plus, enjoying a picnic in Australia’s nature pretty much beats all other options, not just on the cost.
You’ll surely want to go out for a few meals here and there to enjoy the local dining scene. In this case you might want to opt for a breakfast or a lunch instead of a dinner as the prices will be much cheaper.
Drinking in Australia is a national pastime and the country is well know for its excellent beer and wine selection. It can get expensive pretty quickly though as beer or wine in a bar can cost about $7 to $10 and more.
Stocking up on drinks at the supermarket and starting out with a few before you hit the town is a great way to save some money and get the best of both worlds.
Tipping is not generally required in restaurants or bars so that will help with your eating out budget. If you’re especially satisfied with your server and want to show it then you can leave 10 – 15 %, which will nicely show your appreciation and will garner some appreciation back.
Individual tours in Australia can get pretty expensive so travelling independently is always going to be the better choice if you want to keep your budget in check.
I still wouldn’t fully rule out packages. If you score a good deal on a vacation package, you might have tours included in it. Look out for last minute offers of companies organizing trips out of your area.
Free Walking Tours
Pretty much every major city in the world has free walking tours, and Australian cities are no exception. You can come across tours like that in Sydney or Melbourne. They are commercial, though. You’re just expected to pay a tip at the end of the tour, based on how satisfied you were. Unless you really didn’t like the tour, it’s advisable not to go below $10.
Being surrounded by abundant natural beauty is one of the most amazing aspects of travelling to Australia and most of it is free for you to explore. You’ll need to spend some time doing your own research, but as there are plenty of stunning places to see, you’ll find that your efforts will be minimal and will yield all the satisfying results that you could ask for.
For more tips on how to save check out this overview of a budget trip around Australia.
And specifically, if you go to Australia’s largest city, use this Sydney budget guide.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can enjoy the beauty of Australia on a shoestring budget so don’t let the expensive reputation turn you off. Just plan your budget and work your plan. You’ll spend less than you think and you’ll be glad that you made the effort.