Australia on a budget
Backpackers paradise Australia has everything you need for an unforgettable trip. A country so big, where so many backpackers travel around and enjoy life. Where the locals are super laid-back and more friendly than anywhere in the world. Australia, where everyone speaks English and where our parents do not worry too much as the country is super safe. Well, this all may be the perfect basis for an incredible trip but there is one downside to Australia: it is super expensive.
I went to Australia with not so much money in my bank account (200 euros). I did my internship there and did not earn anything. Luckily in the Netherlands you do get a study subsidy from which I was able to live. It wasn’t much and therefore I did Australia on a tight budget. Here are my tips to survive Australia without any money as well;
Australia is huge and therefore it often happens that travellers return their hired campervan at another location than where they started. These campervans need to go back to their starting point and therefore you can hire them for free or reduced rates (often with free fuel and insurances too!).
I did this all around Australia (i.e. from Sydney to Melbourne and from Cairns to Darwin). It is the cheapest way to travel around. Just sleep at the rest places next to the road, so no need to pay for campsites. Actually, in every city you’ll find plenty of other campervans that do the same and just sleep in their van somewhere. It’s fun to stand next to others and make new friends at some of the best locations – see picture.
The only downside is that you have a limited number of days. These days, however, are more than you need so you still have time to enjoy the journey as well. Click here and here to find your relocation.
Public transport is expensive and riding a bike is not really safe in most cities (except for Melbourne). I walked to work every morning instead of taking the bus. It was annoying at first but you get used to it faster than you think. Also, just walk around at tourism sites instead of doing all the touristy stuff (e.g. cable car at the Blue Mountains). It will save you a lot of money!
MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD
Going out for dinner is a little expensive in Australia. So if you stay anywhere with cooking facilities make use of it! Just try to adjust to the food that is cheaper there (don’t even think about buying yoghurt, mushrooms or mozzarella). Go to local markets to buy veggies and make yourself something nice – and healthy. Please do not buy the 1dollar Coles bread, it was my lunch (with the plastic cheese – at least that’s what it tasted like) for 6 months and I am still traumatized. Lesson: do not save on everything.
I hated it at first, everyone hates it at first, but you will drink goon. All backpackers drink this cask wine (or boxed wine). The reason: goon is cheap – compared to the other alcoholic drinks – and you have to get used to the taste. Actually, it is not too bad if it’s really cold or mixed. No further questions, just drink it.
BUY A SURFBOARD OR GOGGLES
If you like to be in the water then definitely buy a surfboard or goggles. It’s a one time investment but you’ll enjoy it the rest of your trip. Often you can even sell it for the same price as you bought it (that’s what I did with my surfboard). Check this website to purchase second hand stuff in Australia.
I hope these tips help you save some money on your trip through Australia. My best recommendation actually is: go to Asia for a bit after your trip through Australia and enjoy to finally be able to order whatever you want in a restaurant. I missed this feeling and going to Bali afterwards was my best decision of my whole Australia trip!