Keeping Expenses Down Under
There’s a lot to love about Australia - from the nature to the city culture to the incredible climate. Sadly, the price tag isn’t something to be celebrated – Australia is undoubtedly an expensive country to take a vacation to. That said, you can help to lower costs by planning ahead and choosing your activities wisely. Here are just a few ways that you can travel round Australia on a budget.
Fine-tune your flight
Pricing on flights varies throughout the year. The cheapest times to generally fly out are between September and November and between March and May. Breaking up the journey can also reduce costs – you could even stop twice on the way.
Some travellers may wish to take internal flights when in Australia (for example, from Sydney to Cairns). At one point, Quantas and Virgin were the only airlines you could choose between, but now there are new airline companies out there such as Jetstar which offer budget flights if you’re not fussed on comfort.
Make use of public transport deals
There are plenty of public transport deals that can make getting from A to B easier. In Sydney you can take out a MyMulti Pass and get around the city centre for free, as well as being able to make a one-of excursion to the blue mountains. There are lots of cheap bus tours for more long distance travelling. These are ideal for backpackers. There are also some places in the outback that will provide cheap car hire.
The weather in Australia is generally perfect for pitching up a tent. Camping sites are very cheap – some are even free. For those that aren’t comfortable living out in the bush in such a rustic manner, youth hostels are the next cheapest option. Every city is full of these - in more rural areas they’re few and far between. As for hotels, you can get some very cheap ones on city outskirts.
Taste the street
Street food is generally advised when visiting Australia on a budget. Fine dining is very expensive and you don’t always get your money’s worth. Try going off the beaten track and you’ll find lots of great low end eateries. If you’re in Sydney, you’re certain to find a cheap Thai restaurant in The Rocks. Melbourne also has some top-notch affordable Asian restaurants, as well as many cheap coffee bars that also do lunch.
Beware of booze
Alcohol costs a small fortune in Australia. It’s far too easy to visit a bar and get carried away, spending way over a hundred dollars. In most mainstream bars, the price of a beer will be upwards of ten dollars. You can save money by getting your own liquor from a shop. Alternatively, backpacker bars will often sell alcohol at a much cheaper rate, sometimes as low as four dollars (although you may have to be a guest with a room booked to get these deals).