Cost-Conscious Travel Down Under
Guest Post by Lisa Walker who shares here best tips to travel Australia on a budget.
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Travel Australia on a budget
If it’s your dream to venture through the Australian landscape and enjoy some of the greatest natural beauty on earth, you’re not alone. People worldwide relish the idea of a trip “down under.” Unfortunately, as Leave Your Daily Hell notes, touring Australia can be a costly proposition; getting the most from the experience takes some travel-savvy and tips for travelling in a sparsely populated country that lacks competition and levies high taxes on many items. But with a cost-conscious mindset and a determination to stretch your budget, Australia can provide an experience you’ll never forget.
Before heading out, a few tasks should be marked off your travel checklist. One is to gather all the essential items needed for a trip abroad. Your passport, travel insurance, and boarding passes are obvious. One Chel Of An Adventure lists other items that don’t come to mind right away, including a portable charger for your phone, a universal plug adapter, and information for an emergency contact.
Also be sure to secure your home for the time you’re away, which includes informing trusted neighbours so they can keep an eye on your property. Further prep your home by doing a bit of cleaning and decluttering so you don’t return home to stress; you’ll also feel better during your holiday knowing your living space will be nice and tidy upon your return.
Unless you have money to burn, don’t go to Australia intending to see everything the sixth-largest country on the planet has to offer. Instead, concentrate on a specific region. Airline travel has become more affordable thanks to increased competition, though flying defeats the purpose of adventure travel in a country with plenty to see at ground level (Jetstar’s Friday Frenzy deals can set you up with airfare as low as $19 in some cases if you need to fly).
Driving in Australia
For many tourists, driving is the preferred mode of travel in Australia. The country’s varied natural beauty, beaches, mountains, and wildlife offer many wonderful opportunities for camping, hiking, and outdoor sports, but be aware that the cost of gas can make it a pricey proposition if you’re going it alone — so consider going with friends and splitting the cost of petrol, lodging, and eating. (MotorMouth is a wonderful app that can be used to locate the cheapest fuel around.)
Look for ways to save on fuel, such as earning coupons by spending a certain amount in local groceries, which can save you up to 8 cents per litre of fuel. Pay close attention to common-sense strategies such as removing excess weight from the vehicle, lodging in locations that allow you to walk many places, planning driving routes carefully, and using air conditioning sparingly, which will save you a lot of gas money.
If your plan is to enjoy Australia’s many national parks and campgrounds, consider buying a caravan or camper trailer during your stay. There are many sites where you can camp for free or at minimal cost, but bear in mind that some of the more desirable campgrounds require a reservation. Campsites are also a good way to defray the cost of accommodations as you travel.
Budget Accommodation in Australia – Hostels
The high cost of hotels in Australia makes hostels a popular option for many travellers, who can often find lodging in a dorm room in Sydney for an average of $30 a night. Some hostels will let you work off the cost of your lodging by doing simple cleaning and maintenance (membership in YHA will earn you a 10 percent discount on accommodations). Australia is home to many organic farms, which allow guests to lodge in exchange for help.
Australia offers visitors one of the world’s great adventure travel experiences. The best way to see such abundant natural beauty is by doing so firsthand and without having to drain your entire travel budget, so look for both small and significant means of saving money. They’ll add up and make your experience much more enjoyable.