Australia travel doesn't necessarily mean spending a fortune on your trip. Despite the high cost of living, (Australia scores no. 6 of the most expensive countries in the world) there are many ways to reduce costs and travel on a budget is definitely possible.
If you make an accurate accurate travel plan, choose cost-effective ways of getting around Australia and stay in cheap accommodation, you can travel Australia for less than 80 dollars a day!
I know it's easy to make mistakes and choose the wrong things, if you don't know the country. This list of things not to do when visiting Australia will help you avoid many common pitfalls and create a realistic budget to travel Australia.
Australia travel is not only for wealthy travellers
I often hear “I cannot afford to travel Australia because it's too expensive”. Fortunately the Australian dollar has been dropping considerably over the last months, so that travellers are happy to re-consider Australia as a travel destination for their holidays.
That being said, there are a few things that have an impact when making a budget to travel Australia. If you can choose when you travel and are flexible with dates, you can keep travel expenses low and grab the best travel deals for your money.
Some time ago I wrote a post about how much it will cost you to travel in Australia which will give an idea of all important travel expenditures involved when travelling to Australia.
Important variables on creating a budget to travel Australia
In nearly 12 years of solo travels in Australia I have experienced the country in many different ways, from the lowest budget travel in 2004 when I spent around 4 thousands Euro for 10 weeks to the highest cost of travel in 2013 when the Australian dollar reached the highest exchange rate, that made my travel expenses 30-40% more expensive with over 7,5 thousands Euro for 10 weeks. Despite the Australian dollar fluctuation, I have learnt what works and what doesn't, I have realised that you cannot travel Oz without a well throughout travel plan, because if you do, it will easily drain your budget in a very short time.
11 killer tips for travelling in Australia on a budget
Here is a list of my best travel tips for travelling Australia on a budget that will help you create the itinerary travel plan that work well for you.
- Australia is a remote country not made for decisions last-minute – Basically every trip to Australia means flying from another part of the world, therefore finding a cheap flight to Australia is the first main goal of every savvy traveller. While Skyscanner and Google.com/flights/ are great planning tools for finding cheap flights you can use the incognito version on your browser to avoid higher flight rates that may be generated by using a browser with disclosed location. Check out this page with tips on how to strike a flight deal.
- When is the best time to travel Australia? I have been travelling throughout the year. March-May and Sept-November are the best months for visiting Australia because it's off-season, which means there are no crowds with warm weather and it's cheaper. Travel to Australia off-season to save at least 20-30% on the airfare.
- Make an itinerary plan that works well for you. To create a travel plan that matches your wants, needs, interests, style and budget it requires time. This is why I have created many free resources and the ultimate guide to creating Your own Australia Itinerary, which is hands down the best travel itinerary book for Australia that you can find online. With this guide you will craft your own Australia Travel Itinerary in a very short time.
- If you prefer one-to-one help get my personal Travel Planning help to help you choose what to see in Australia and how to do it. I create for you a personalised itinerary that not only will maximise your time and your money it will also allow you to make an authentic experience in the time you have. Tip: If you only have 2 weeks, stick to one area of Australia, build your travel itinerary around 2 Australian cities and travel between them.
- Travel distances are an issue in Australia, it's difficult to understand how much time it takes to get from A to B and how expensive it is. Prefer short road trips and consider flying for distances over 1000 km. Hire a car and travel in loops back to your starting point, this way you will not pay the 300 AUD fee for different drop-off location. Book your car rentals online that requires no upfront payments, like this comparison travel website.
- Domestic Flights in Australia are cheap if you book early. If you miss out on the flight deals and wait till the last-minute you may end up paying 3-4 times the normal price. Jetstar is one of the best Australian airlines that offers good value discounted flights every week. Sign up for the Friday Frenzy and get email alerts with the best deals. Flight deals are released 3-4 months ahead, so plan your online search accordingly.
- Save on accommodation by staying in hostels. The YHA hostels are really goo value with great facilities, offering double rooms for less than 100 AUD/night. I wrote a complete guide to hostel accommodation.
- Consider alternative ways to expensive hotels in Australia by renting a room or an apartment through Airbnb (use this link and get 35 AUD off your first booking). In Australia you will find heaps of great locations for 70-100 AUD/night and the benefits of staying with the locals are unmatched.
- Camping in Australia may be not your thing, however being Australia a great destination for camping, you could try it out. For short road trips you are better off with hiring a car and staying in cabins, or built-in tents. I would recommend hiring a camper van on long-term travel only and make use of wikicamps app to locate the best suited campsites. There are many basic campsites for a small fee and some are free. A great chain for camping lovers are the BIG 4 campsites.
- Eating out in Australia doesn't have to be expensive if you know where to dine out. In cities like Melbourne and Sydney there are food halls and street markets where you can eat for 10-15 Dollars. In rural areas I would recommend the RSL clubs or Bowling Clubs, they have good meals for reasonable prices. I have written a post about the best places to eat in Australia.
- Internet and Mobile phone in Australia is outrageously expensive! For Internet I would recommend the 4G Wi-fi von Telstra, plans start from 30 Dollars/3 GB for one month, the 50 Dollars gives you 5 GB to use over unlimited time. Make use of the free wi-fi in cities, Melbourne State Library has the best wi-fi in Australia, but everywhere in public places you can use free wi-fi. Telstra offers the best coverage but it is the most expensive for mobile plans too. Lebara is another great option if you want to use it for international calls too, for 2-3 cent/min you can phone nearly everywhere in the world. Check out this page for more info on the best travel apps for Australia.
- Want to create your own itinerary without the hassle of wading through tons of information on the internet? I have created a compact guide book that will help you create your own Australia itinerary within a few days by choosing the right places to visti and things to do. Here you can read about how this guide book will help you plan your trip to Australia.
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Australia Itinerary Travel Book
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Update: This post was last updated in January 2018