How to Travel To Australia on a Budget
Traveling to Australia is a pricey proposition the airfare alone could bust your budget, and the sheer length of the flight encourages most visitors to stretch their visit for well over a week.
One of the biggest expenses of any Australia trip is the airfare to get there. As you hunt for bargains, don’t forget about Virgin Australia, which began service between the U.S. and Australia a few years ago.
Airfare is typically most expensive between December and February, which is summer in Australia and the most popular time to visit places like Sydney and Melbourne. You’ll likely find lower fares during the shoulder seasons( spring and fall).
Australia is enormous nearly the size of the continental U.S. You wouldn’t try to see the entire U.S. in two weeks, so don’t attempt to do it in Australia either. If you have limited time for your trip, fix your sights on one or two regions and explore them thoroughly, you’ll have a more relaxing experience, and save both time and money on transportation.
- Buy a discount card:
You can purchase an adventure Card for popular tourist destinations like Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania. The cards include free entry to many area attractions, as well as special offers and discounts, for a single price. These cards may save you money if you’re doing a lot of sightseeing in a short period of time.
International exchange rates are constantly fluctuating, and they’re not always in your favor. The best way to control costs and stick to your budget is to prepay for your hotels, airfare and tour packages in advance preferably in your own currency so that last minute fluctuations don’t send your budget ballooning.
You’ll get the best exchange rates by using your credit card or withdrawing money from an ATM, that’s because you’ll be exchanging money at bank rates, which tend to be 2 to 5 percent better than the rates exchange charges. ATMs can be found just about everywhere in Australia except the most remote towns and villages, and credit cards are accepted at many stores and restaurants. But beware of fees most banks will charge you to withdraw money at a foreign ATM or make a purchase in a foreign currency. One exception is Capital One, which doesn’t charge its American cardholders a fee for foreign purchases.
If you purchase $300 AUD or more in goods from a single retailer, you are eligible for a refund of the goods and services tax, that you paid on those items. You must get an original tax invoice from the store where you made the purchase and present it when you depart Australia.
domestic flights. You should take a bus. If you have got time to spare or if you’re focusing your travels on a relatively small region. Hopping on a bus to your next city may be your specials, sometimes up to 50% off.
- Take the train:
One of the most relaxing and scenic ways to explore Australia is by rail. Check out the offerings from Rail Australia, which include a number of rail passes that could save you money on train trips around the country.
- Travel for free:
A number of Australian cities have made select public transportation routes free to the public. For example, Brisbane has free service on several bus routes in the city center, while Perth offers free transit on buses and trains within a certain city zone. Sydney also offers several free shuttles.
- Travel at a discount:
Keep an eye out for public transportation discount cards such as Sydney’s Opal card, which offers discounts and a cap on your maximum daily fare, no matter how many times you use the transit system. If you’ll be relying heavily on public transportation, these passes can save you money over individually priced tickets.
- Find cheapest Food:
Skip the touristy restaurants and follow the locals to places where you can find great food at a great value. Thai food is cheap, plentiful and popular in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, as is takeaway sushi. Department store food halls are also a good bet for quick, inexpensive meals. In smaller towns along the coast, look for little joints offering the ubiquitous fish and chips.