From the Sydney Opera House to kangaroos and koalas; Bondi Beach; Perth’s Botanical Garden; and everything in between, it’s no wonder that Australia is usually on everyone’s bucket list. So what’s holding people back from visiting their dream destination? One of the most common excuses is that Australia is expensive - but it doesn’t have to be! Check out some of our favorite tips and tricks to save money without sacrificing fun. Before you get started, a useful tip is to use a trip planner to map out your trip and streamline your planning process.
1 - Getting Around Australia For Less
Australia is a huge country, and getting from one side to the other can quickly destroy your travel budget. The first money-saving tip is to research and book tickets on budget airlines such as Tiger Airways, Virgin Australia, and Jetstar. A round-trip ticket from Sydney to Melbourne normally costs $170+, but you can get discount tickets through Tiger Air for less than $60.
Low-cost carriers like those mentioned above are no-frills, which means they cut costs by charging for meals, seat selection, and extra baggage. If you plan in advance by packing light and eating beforehand (or making your own snacks!) you can save hundreds of dollars.
TIP: Sign up for airline email notifications so you’ll know when there’s a sale, like Tigerair Tuesday or Jetstar’s Flash Friday.
2 - Fun Activities for Cheap
They say the best things in life are free, and activities in Australia are no exception. There are plenty of beaches, parks, and events that cost little to nothing! If you’re in Melbourne, take either the City Circle Tram or City Tourist Shuttle - both are free and will take to you to the city’s popular tourist spots. Royal Park and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art are also excellent places to explore on a budget. If you’re planning on going to many tourist attractions at once, also look into buying an iVenture Card. It’s popular in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania, and gives you free entry to attractions, as well as discounts and bonuses.
3 - Accommodation
Between the top 5 most popular cities in Australia, there are thousands of accommodation options - hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, resorts, and more. It helps to create a budget (say, no more than $75/night for accommodation) and stick to it.
4 - Food
One of the first things that really stood out to me on my trip to Sydney was how expensive food was. $10 AUD salads, $7 AUD coffee, dinner at an average restaurant for $30 AUD+ - if I didn’t figure something out quickly, I would have spent most of my budget just on food! Thankfully I asked one of my local friends, and he mentioned visiting the local supermarkets, like Woolworths or Coles, to stock up on cheap but delicious food. I could get a similar restaurant-quality salad or sandwich for half the price (and usually a larger portion) at the supermarket!
5 - Use Crowdsourcing to Your Advantage
Some of the best budget-saving tips aren’t always the most obvious. Thankfully, Australians are a friendly bunch and try to go out of their way to help travelers. If you’re on a budget, one of my top tips is to ask locals about their favorite restaurant/cafe/park/hangout bar/anything else you can think of. Most of the time you’ll get something that you can’t find in guidebooks and it’ll be tried and tested by someone already. Who knows, maybe you’ll also make a new Aussie friend!
That’s it! Have you been to Australia? If not, which cities do you want to visit? Let us know in the comments!