A guide on how to travel to Australia on a budget
Travelling in Australia can be daunting if you are not familiar with this big country which is also called Land Down Under, or simply Oz. Australia is a huge country (double the size of Europe) with a scarce population (24 millions).
While Australia offers endless ways for an adventure, it's not a country for last-minute holiday. It's easy to get around and a paradise for young backpackers who love to travel along the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns.
I have been travelling around Australia for +13 years by crisscrossing the country and covering nearly 100K km of which 6K on solo road trips. I have learnt a lot from my solo travels and I can say that I know one thing or two about how to travel around Australia. I am keen to help you plan a memorable Australian Adventure. On the site you will find tons of specific travel tips and destination guides.
But before diving into the basics of planning a trip, there are things you should know before travelling to Australia.
In internet you will find many articles about the cost of travelling in Australia. While Australia is not a cheap destination, the biggest expenditure you will face is the cost of getting there and travelling around the country.
Considering the fact that a flight ticket to Australia will cost at least 1000 Euro or 800 GBP or 1200 USD, this makes roughly 1/3 of the whole travel expenses, for a trip of 3-4 weeks. So finding good airfares to Australia is key!
Planning ahead is key, however between 3-4 months is the ideal timing for off-season trips and 6-8 months for trips in peak-season.
Some destinations and activities can be a bit pricey on high-season too. It's important that you plan your trip as efficiently as possible, this is the only way that allows you to save money without sacrificing comfort and quality of travel.
That being said, there are ways to travel on a budget in Australia.
What you need to know before travelling to Australia
There are a few things that you need to know before travelling to Australia with regards to when to travel , how to travel long distances and which destinations to choose. Being Australia a big country, you will have to make hard choices if your time is limited to 2 or 3 weeks holiday. With two or three weeks itinerary to Australia you will be able to see a small part of country. That's why you need to make wise choices as to where to go and what to see in Australia. It is very important how you choose the destinations as well as how you decide to get around the country, because this will have an impact on your budget and also on your overall trip enjoyment.
If you visit Australia for the first time, I would start planning your trip between 3-6 months in advance, depending on the time of the year you can travel.
December and January are peak season months with Australian school holidays, and most visitors wanting to go there in summer. This is something I don't encourage you to do. If you can, travel in Australia off-season, i.e. in the months of March to May or October to December.
So these separate blog posts tell you more about the best months to travel, how to choose destinations and how to combine the right type of transportation to travel around.
- When to is the best time to visit Australia
Find out what time of the year is the best for visiting Australia and learn what you can do and what places you can visit and fit in with what you have in mind.
- The basics on how to plan your trip to Australia efficiently
Timing, destinations and ways of getting around are crucial to your Australian trip success. On this post I give you detailed information about it.
- Create your own Australia itinerary in a few hours
This is the itinerary book for Australia I wrote n 2014 which comes with all helpful information and handy tips and everything you need to know for Australia. 4 detailed itineraries and 36 customization options and 15 pages or resources to plan your trip.
If you fail in choosing the right type of transportation in Australia, you may end up spending more time travelling to your destination than exploring places. So to help you make the right decision, check out these articles:
- How to travel around Australia
Learn about the various transportation options for getting around in Australia. From hiring a car or camper van, to bus travel and train travel and domestic flights. While driving in Australia is probably the best way to explore the country, the trick to maximize your time is to efficiently combine all of them and make good use of all transportation options.
- How to book good flight deals to Australia
finding a good flight deal should be your priority no. 1 to start with. On this post I tell you which airlines are the best for Australia, which flight comparison sites to use and how to strike a good flight deal.
- The best tools for booking cheap domestic flights
The next step is to make sure you have a trip itinerary frame and book domestic flight in Australia as cheaply as possible before going to Australia. On this page I show you the best tools for this.
- Book best car rentals and camper van deals with no upfront deposit
If you choose to explore some trip legs of Australia by driving, booking a car rental is essential. I would do this before going to Australia by using a top-notch Australian comparison site that doesn't charge any upfront deposit when booking your car online nor for making changes or cancelling your booking.
Travel in Australia by yourself vs Group Travel
Driving on the left in Australia is easy but it can be scary for those who are not familiar. Due to the long driving distances road trips are tiring and can put a strain on you if you don't plan enough time. What often seems a short distance on the map, it takes long hours of driving. So make sure you first consider the travel distances when choosing your route and which road trips in Australia.
As a long-term solo traveller in Australia, I can suggest combining as much as you can flights with self-driving or more transportation options, according to your travel itinerary and time frame. It is very important to carefully evaluate the different transportation options that are available. Once you've made your choice you will be able to plan your Australia itinerary more accurately.
Australia is a top country as far as accommodation options are concerned. Within each category there are so many options so if you hear that accommodation is expensive in Australia, that's not really true. Or it can be true if you speak of hotels in cities and over weekends. And in remote regions like Outback towns.
You can find a myriad of budget accommodation from top quality hostels to camping sites, to guest-houses and private home rentals to house sitting and much more.
Here are a few pages where you can find out about where to stay in Australia:
- How to Compare Hotels in Australia
The best Australian site for comparing hotels from over 200 destinations in Australia. Ideal for hotels, hostels and guest houses.
- A Guide to Hostel Accommodation
Read why hostels in Australia are good quality budget accommodation. If you are a solo traveller hostels may be the right thing for you. However there are more and more families with kids and couples spending time in hostels in Oz. For a long-term holiday is definitely the way to go.
- How to use Airbnb for the first time and have a great stay
If you like private home rental with Airbnb you can rent a room or an apartment and get to know the local, so a great way to be part of the community. This is my preferred way of staying in Australia.
- Where to stay as a solo traveller in Australia
If you love to travel by yourself and are thinking of travelling solo to Australia, this post will help you choose the best suited types of accommodation for the solo traveller i Australia.
When it comes to choosing destinations for your Australia Trip, you are likely to feel overwhelmed. One of the biggest challenges first-time travellers face is how to create an itinerary that allows to see as much as you can, but at the same time is not time-consuming in terms of getting around. Ideally you should pick an area or two of Australia.
On this post I give you a few tips on my favourite destinations in Australia. These are just a few, there are many more places you can read about detailed itineraries and destination guides on the site.
- How to choose your destination: top places to visit in Australia.
A list of top destinations that I believe are a must-see for Australia. This post is updated on a regular basis.
- Why starting a trip from Melbourne and Sydney
If the East Coast of Australia is on your list, I would start the trip from Melbourne and then build the itinerary around these cities and the surroundings. The East Coast of Australia stretches for 4000 km though. 3 main Australian cities are located within 2000 km: Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Internal flights linking these 3 cities are offered at reasonable prices, and by hiring a car you can explore many interesting places in the greart surroundings.
- Best Places to see in Australia when travelling alone.
These are destinations that are best-suited if you are travelling alone and don't want to join groups. They are easy to travel and explore for those who love a solo travel adventure.
- Best Road Trips of Australia for the first time visitors.
If you like to drive by yourself these are great road trips for the first-timer. I have done all of them by myself and are a no-brainer as far as distances and driving challenge is concerned.
Travel Planning Resources
If you are planning your trip to Australia right now, click on the icons here below to find out about the best travel resources for Australia. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at any time.