If you have a taste for adventure and a love of the great outdoors, visiting Australia is probably on your bucket list. With a coastline stretching over 35,000 km and awesome cultural destinations like Sydney, Melbourne, and the Gold Coast, there’s no shortage of places to see and things to do. The only problem? It’s expensive. But if Australia is your dream destination, put a little time into researching for your trip and you can visit even on a limited budget.
One thing that seems obvious but that can make budget travel difficult in Australia is the sheer size of the country. It’s the 6th biggest country in the world, so you need to be more specific in your planning than just “I’m visiting Australia”. Depending on how long your trip is and how big your budget is, you may want to limit your travel within the country to 1-2 regions. Prioritize where you want to go and get the most out of your time and money.
Getting there (and getting around)
You’re getting to Australia either by air or by sea. If you’re a fan of sailing, cruise lines are a good option for traveling to Australia and seeing many of the great tourist destinations, with the added bonus of having meals built into your trip. If you’re flying, use online tools like Skyscanner.com to find the best deals. Either way, you’ll get the best deals by planning your trip at least 6 months ahead of time and avoiding the peak summer season between December and February. You’ll still enjoy nice weather and have a great season in the fall or spring months.
Once you’ve arrived in Australia, you’ll likely need to travel within the country. You can do this by air, by renting a vehicle, or by train or bus. Another consideration is the cost of gasoline, which is fairly expensive and varies daily.
Of course, Australia has wonderful 4-star hotels and resorts, but if you’re looking for a budget friendly option, there are also hostels, which can range anywhere from $25 – $40 a night. If you’ll be spending most of your time enjoying the beach and cities, this might be a good option for you. If you’re comfortable in the great outdoors, camping is another economical option with the added bonus of some privacy within your campsite. Australia has many national parks with free or very low camping cost. You can also rent a caravan and meet your travel and accommodation needs at the same time. Finally, if you’ll be visiting one destination for a length of time and are traveling with a group, renting an apartment might be the best bet for your wallet with the extra benefit of a kitchen for cooking and dining in.
Food & drink
Eating out is expensive everywhere, but visitors to Australia might experience more sticker shock than they’re used to. If you do need to eat at a restaurant, try to have a breakfast or lunch rather than dinner to save money. If at all possible, shopping the local grocery and making your own food will save you a lot of money. Another excellent option is to pack a picnic lunch and head to the beach. After all, you’re there to take in all of the awesome scenery right?
Another budget buster for travelers can be found in any pub or bar. Beer and spirits are expensive in Australia. You might find yourself paying $12 for a pint of beer if you head into the local tavern. You can also purchase alcohol by the case, and while this still might be more expensive than you’re used to paying at home, it will be much cheaper than buying it from a bartender.
Here is one part of Australia that is not expensive because so much of what Australia has to offer travelers is the great outdoors. National parks, coastal hikes, and surfing have minimal expense and offer a lifetime of memories. Sightseeing, visiting local markets, and taking in a museum are all options for how to spend your time without spending lots of money. Many museums will have no or low cost admission days—just visit their website to find out more information.
About the Author:
Will Norquay is a frequent traveller who shares his experiences and thoughts writing for Stayz, Australia’s #1 holiday rental website.