Australia is one of the most stunning holiday destination of the world and everyone wants to travel to Australia. It has been written and re-written hundreds of times in different ways. On all major web travel publications, and on Rocky Travel too, you can find tons of articles packed with top destinations, from travel-planner to what to see and do in Australia and reasons to travel Australia.
Not many sites tell you about those important things not to do when visiting Australia though.
Why sacrifice adventures, tours and activities that were on your Australian bucket list for a long time?
Check out how these list of do's and don'ts for Australia will help you not make the common mistakes and maximize your overall travel experience in Australia.
All things not to do when visiting Australia
Do not travel without travel insurance in Australia
This is often underestimate by international travellers. It does not matter what plan you have, when you travel Australia you first need to make sure you have unexpected expenses like medical coverage and cancellations of bookings covered. In addition if you ever need to interrupt your trip for an important reason like illness or family issues, a good travel insurance policy will cover this expense too. Medical coverage can cost you thousands of dollars in Australia if you travel without insurance. I always buy travel insurance for my overseas trips from WorldNomads. I prefer the explorer plan for the adventurous traveller at a competitive price.
Do not take travellers cheques to Australia
Do not exchange money at the airport either. While in the past travellers cheques were used as a way to save money on commissions, nowadays there are high commissions hidden when exchanging in any bank. So the best thing to do is to whitdraw money from ATMs at the airport and possibly use a credit or debit card with low commissions or credit cards with zero commissions. In Europe it's almost impossible to get get a zero-commission credit card. But in the US there are many of these credit cards you can apply for. Furthermore do not rely on just one pre-paid or debit card. Take at least two of them, as debit cards are not accepted everywhere in Australia. For online payments you will need a credit card and for hiring a car too!
Do not book your flight to Australia too early
Most people tend to believe that the earlier you book the better. This travel rule applies only when you plan to travel to Australia on peak season. At Christmas or Easter you need to book at least 6 months ahead but for low season you do not need to book so early. 3 months are enough and sometimes 8 weeks may be just the perfect time for booking the cheapest flights.
Do not stay in expensive hotels in Australia
It's not easy to find good value accommodation in Australia. If you are want to try out something different why not consider other options like private stay with Airbnb and why not staying in YHA hostels they are all great ways of staying on a budget trip to Australia without sacrificing comfort. For the long-term traveller you can try out housesitting: free accommodation vs house and pet-sitting.
Do not eat in restaurants everyday
They are expensive. Instead eat genuine local food at street market or at major fresh markets halls for a real Aussie food experience. Prefer cooking your own meals, when you can, and shop at the local farmers markets. You will be surprised of the excellent food in Australia.
Do not fly too much within Australia
Domestic flights in Australia are not expensive if you book early, do not fly if distance for shorter trips than 800 km. If you are planning a two week-trip in Australia do not plan more than two flights and hire a car to experience the real Australia. There is nothing more rewarding than road tripping Australia at your own pace.
Do not drive at night
This may sound silly or unusal, but this is a good thing to know before visiting Australia. It truly is important for your own safety not to drive at dawn or dusk, because of wildlife crossing the roads in rural and Outback areas. Moreover bad weather and road conditions can be an issue too. While driving in Australia is certainly good fun, you must know about the do's and dont's. I drove for 70 km one night in North Western Australia and this served me as a lesson not to do it again. Here you can check my best Solo Driving Tips in Australia.
Do not rent a car with a different drop off location
As long as you can plan road trips in a loop back to your destination, this will save you at least 300 AUD each time you rent a car in Oz. Usually it's about 300 AUD for returning your rental car to a different location. This happens in remote locations like in a road trip to Uluru, however it is becoming common to have this extra expense added on top of the rental car booking, whenever the drop off is different from the pick up location.
Do not use your mobile phone Sim card in Australia
Because this is going to cost you a fortune. Instead buy for 2 dollars an Australian Sim Card that allows you to call landline and mobile numbers in Oz at reasonable rates. Plan start from 30 AUD for 250 minutes. For international calls you can use Skype for free. Or any international phone card for 10 AUD which can be used with any landline for 6-8 hours calls. Telstra is the only provider in Oz that can guarantee a decent coverage in rural areas of Australia.
Do not use your own internet when you can use the free-wifi
From public places, libraries or friend's flat internet connection! Internet is very expensive in Australia. Tourist Information offices will tell you about free-wifi places in town and and give you a map with hot-wifi-spots. There are also apps that can identify the next free-wifi near your location.
Do not buy any electronics in Australia or camera spare parts
Like digital cards, memory cards for your camera, everything is very expensive. Pack all your electronic devices and extra spare memory cards with you, as these can cost you up to 40 AUD. Make sure you have a spare compact camera just in case something happens to your good camera.
Do not take fruits and vegetables with you
When crossing interstate borders within Australia. Quarantine law is strict in Australia not only when arriving in Australia from abroad but also within Australian states and to/from New Zealand. Especially when travelling by car from Northern Territory into Western Australia and from Victoria into South Australia you shall not take food with you or you will have to place it into disposal bins along your way. The fine for getting caught with fruits & vegetable is about 2.500 AUD. So please beware and do not pack any fresh food when crossing Australian states. You can get more info about Quarantine Law in Australia here.
Do not underestimate the Australian sun
Get your skin sun smart and hydrated all the time. Drink plenty of water and try to maintain healthy eating habits when visiting Australia. Do not buy water from the local convenient shop round the corner, it will cost you at least 3-3,50 AUD/bottle. Buy 10-liter water canister or from supermarkets like Woolworth or Coles, or discount chains like Aldi, this way you can save at least 2 dollar a day on a bottle of water!
These things not to do in Australia will help you better plan your trip thus saving money on your daily budget which will result in hundreds of dollars if not a thousand.
For more help on planning your trip check out this page with the best travel sites and resources.
If here anything that you would add to this list of things to know before visiting Australia, please leave your contribution to this, by leaving a comment in the section below.
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