Have you ever been so starstruck by an inexpensive airfare to an ‘expensive’ country that you click buy only to realize you’ve now got to figure out how to afford the trip? When a set of flights to Australia hit rock bottom prices recently my girlfriend found herself in just this position. So how can you save money while travelling in Australia??
How-To Save Money In Australia
When you think about budget travel Australia isn’t going to be the first country to come to mind. In fact I’ll be it wont be in the top 10 or even 25. Australia simply isn’t well known for being a budget friendly destination. However, with a few simple tips you can really make your dollars stretch as you explore the land down under:
1) Fly with a Discount Carrier
Australia is by no means a small country, and unless you’ve got months to visit you likely wont see all of it. Getting around by car and train can be a challenge and so many discount airlines have popped up to address the needs of locals and tourists alike.
Check with outfits like Jetstar and Tiger Airlines for inexpensive domestic fares. As with any discount airline be sure to read the terms and conditions of your fare. Most make their money by charging exorbitant fees for overweight or checked luggage.
Even further use our 7 Simple Steps to find inexpensive airfare in Australia HERE!
2) Take The Trains
I know I just said that getting around Australia by train can be difficult. And I honestly believe that much of their rail system is overpriced and underwhelming. But, there are cases where it makes sense to travel by rail in Australia. Case in point the route between Melbourne to Sydney can usually be booked quite inexpensively via NSW Train Link.
If you have the luxury of time then this 12 hour train journey can be an experience worth putting on your bucket list, if not, refer to point #1 and fly! Don’t forget to bring your travel camera, the train passes some beautiful sights!
3) Hostels Over Hotels
If you’ve been used to getting your own private rooms for $20/night like in South East Asia you’re in for a rude awakening! Hotel rooms in Australia are not cheap! In fact I’d consider them budget busters in all but a few cases. Hostels on the other hand, are prevalent in even some of the smallest towns and offer a cheap, clean place to lay your head for the night.
If you’re really craving your own space for a few nights find the best prices online with sites like Booking.com or Hotels.com.
4) Go On A Roadtrip
In my mind there’s no better way to experience what a new country has to offer than a road trip. In Australia that road trip would have to be along the stunning ‘Great Ocean Road’ in the country’s south, one of the “best scenic road trips in the world“.
While not cheap, when you compare the costs of renting a camper with those of renting a car and getting a hotel each day you’ll likely be saving money.
If you’re planning on being in country for an extended period consider buying a used camper van or caravan trailer and then selling it when you leave. You’ll need to tie up some cash for thisoption but you’ll likely sell the camper for what you paid for it even after months of use! Gumtree (the Australian version of Kijiji) has some great campers available here.
Because of the prevalence of camper van rentals in Australia, the vast majority of them being one way, theres another opportunity to save some money. Known as camper van relocations, many rental companies are desperate enough to move their vehicles from one city to another that they will offer rentals for as low as $1. This can be a fantastic opportunity to travel cheaply in Australia if you’ve got the flexibility to make it work!
A quick Google search for “Australia Campervan Relocation” should reveal your options.
5) Rent A Place
If you’re planning to stick around any one area for more than a week consider subletting an apartment. Many Australians have taken to posting their homes on Gumtree’s real estate section to make a few dollars when they’re out of town travelling or simply looking to cut their bills.
In Melbourne I was able to find a single room in a shared home available for less than AUD$200/month! It certainty doesn’t take many nights in a hotel to justify renting a place in order to save money in Australia!
6) Use AirBNB
Air BNB has become prevalent across Australia in the last few years. No matter what partof the country you want to visit there are options listed on AirBNB. I really love this option, you tend to end up living like a local and getting a real feel for a place.
I find when I stay at an AirBNB I end up much more connected to the locals and get a more authentic experience in the end.
7) Skip Eating Out
It should come as no surprise that eating out at restaurants and drinking in bars can be a huge blow to your budget. By regularly hitting the grocery store and cooking your own meals you’ll be able to stretch your dollar further.
Ordering wine instead of cocktails is another dramatic money saver in Australia. While a cocktail can cost up to $20 the country’s award winning wines are available nearly as cheap as beer. If you want to go all out, some of australia’s restaurants are BYOB. You simply pay a small corkage fee and can bring and drink your own alcohol.
8) Explore The National Parks
Australia has an immense network of national parks. Over 500 stretch across the country, from While you’ll have to pay to enter or camp in the national parks those fees will pale in comparison to the epic views and experiences you’re likely to enjoy.
From the world renown Ayers Rock(or Uluru) in the outback to the blue mountains near Sydney, Australia’s national parks drip dramatic scenery and call to be explored. Outside Magazine has called Australia’s national parks
The Take Away
Saving money in Australia while travelling is far from impossible. No, Australia will never be the cheapest country for backpackers & travellers, but if you’re still under 30s can apply for the working holiday visa tomake your trip a little easier. And those like me who have missed the boat can take these small steps to make sure our dream trip doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
Have you visited Australia? Got a few cost-saving tips to share with us and our readers?? Drop a comment down below and tell us all about it! We’d love to hear from you!