Traveling to Australia is everybody’s dream. A breathtaking and diverse natural landscape, long road trips surrounded by nothing but nature, the cutest wildlife, dynamic cosmopolitan cities are only some of the reasons why travelers from all over the world want to visit the Land Down Under.
Who wants to travel on a shoestring, however, is often scared by the high cost of a trip to Australia. Is Oz really expensive? Is it possible to visit the country without breaking the bank? Read on and start packing!
How to save on long-term travel in Australia
Australia is huge, so if you can, plan a long trip, it might sound paradoxical but you can save more than on a shorter holiday. Here are some tips that will help you save money when travelling long-term around Australia.
Plan in advance
The airfare to Australia can be expensive, but if you plan in advance you can find good deals even for long-haul flights. There are several comparison sites that can show you the different options, airlines, and prices. To save further, you can consider travelling to Australia in the low season, namely from March to October/November.
Buy a car
Buying a second-hand car is more cost-efficient than using the local transport daily or even than renting a car. Australia is huge, so if you are planning a road trip to enjoy the nature of the different regions, having your own car will save you the money of flights, taxis, buses, and rentals.
Fuel in Australia is expensive, but in some areas less than others, so before going enquire what are the regions where you will pay less and also if there are some days of the week when it’s cheaper or some promotions. To save more on fuel, you might want to use the car only on extra-urban streets and park it when in the city as traffic can be heavy and you might get stuck more than once, making you turn off and on the engine too often.
Since you are going to be driving a long road in Australia, you will want to follow some of the most common fuel-saving tips such as keeping pretty much the same speed, packing light not to put on extra weight on the car, not overusing the air conditioning, and making sure the air pressure of your tires is set to standard.
Rent a flat
If you are on a long trip, you might want to enjoy Australian big cities for more than just a couple of days and maybe make them your base for day trips to the surrounding countryside. In this case, renting an apartment is way more cost-efficient than booking a hotel room. If you have your own apartment you can also make your own food and buy the ingredients you need at the local market or grocery store instead of heading to the restaurant every day. This way, alongside saving big money, you can also keep your healthy diet and lifestyle by making yourself fruit and veggie smoothies with a portable travel blender.
When you are in the wild, consider a farm-stay to experience Australia with a local family and also to work on a farm, a great opportunity to delve deeper into the local lifestyle.
Enjoy the nature
The nature in Australia is incredibly diverse and thankfully free to enjoy. With some 50,000 km of coastline, a stroll or a day out on the beach is relaxing and cheap as the beach is free of charge and you can bring your own food.
Australia has also many parks with free entrance, inside the cities or not too far from them. Among the most popular, you can stroll along St Kilda right outside Melbourne, a sandy beach flanked with a tree-lined boulevard, up to St Kilda Pier to have the chance to spot some penguins, Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens, or in Sydney, where you can take the scenic Bondi-Coogee Walk and enjoy the free exhibition Sculpture by the Sea.
Camping in Australia is also very popular as it’s a great way to enjoy its nature while resting after a long drive. Many campsites are free of charge or very cheap, as well as some parks where you can enjoy the Southern Lights.
In Australian cities, you will find that many museums are free of charge. In Western Australia, museums are generally free and there is a fee only when they host a temporary exhibition, same goes for the capital, Canberra, where only some places require a fee to enter, such as the lovely Cockington Green Gardens. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, too, is free of charge, while in Sydney, except the Museum of Contemporary Art, many museums have the entrance fee of 12 AUD. Worth a stop in Sydney is also the Queen Victoria Building, formerly a concert hall and now a shopping mall, one of the top historic landmarks in Australia.
Find the right restaurants
I know, we all like fancy restaurants and gourmet food, but if you are on a budget, you should consider other options, and in all honesty, they are not so hard to spot. In Australia, you will find many affordable and delicious eateries serving international cuisine or that offer takeaway alternatives, and the food courts inside shopping malls that provide a good range of meals at very affordable prices.