Backpacking in Australia is not a exactly a budget friendly destination but it is an epic place and must not be missed. If you are careful with your money, you can make it go far and if you are on a working holiday visa, you can save some cash for future travels! Check out these tips for backpacking Australia on a budget!
1. Get a water bottle:
I have seen water sell for as much as $4 per bottle in Australia, a country where the water is perfectly safe to drink! You will save heaps of money just by purchasing a reusable water bottle like a Nalgene. Simple.
2. Cook your own food:
A cheap meal at a restaurant usually runs about $10 and I can’t seem to pass up a cold beer, so make that about $18. Do that once per day and it adds up to $126 per week or $504 per month! Eat out for two meals? Over $1000 a month! Save big by cooking your own meals and taking advantage of free breakfasts at most hostels.
Aldi is one of the cheapest and best grocery stores I have found but if I can’t find what I’m looking for there, I head to Coles. Don’t forget to sign up for the rewards cards, they might not seem useful, but if you are backpacking for a year, the points add up!
3. Get your Goon on:
It might not taste the best but Goon is damn cheap and if you are backpacking Australia, you will see it on day one! A 4 litre box of this fine wine “product” only cost about $10 and at 11.5% alcohol, it gets the job done. Take down some of this before heading out for the night and it will slash the amount you spend at the bars. Aldi’s liquor section also has some of the cheapest beer and liquor, check them out!
If you are traveling with a couple people, check out AirBnb for some awesome accommodations that can be cheaper than staying in hostels and especially hotels! AirBnB’s can also be a great way to get a local contact that can provide all sorts of helpful information, like the closest pub!
Use this code and get $25 discount on your first stay!
5. Work for accommodation:
The typical hostel in Sydney cost about $25-$30 per night but can stay for free if you work for a couple hours. Most of the work is cleaning the hostel for a couple hours per day, a few days per week. If you are planning to stay in one place for a while, this can really stretch your budget!
6. Go to the free parties:
Tourism is huge in Australia and every hostel and travel agent wants some of your money! So, to get your attention they have free parties, free food or free entry and drinks at a club. These deals are advertised all the time at hostels, take advantage of them! Sometimes the will also have giveaways that include tours or activities packages worth hundreds of dollars!
7. Check out the free things to do:
There are always heaps of free things to do for instance in Sydney, you can walk the Botanical Gardens, visit the Opera House or hang out on Bondi Beach. Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney also have free walking tours that are very informative and take you to some pretty cool places that you probably wouldn’t have found on your own!
8. Negotiate with travel agents:
Travel agents are making a nice commission off of you, especially when you book a big east coast tour. Always negotiate a price and if they won’t budge, move on to the next one, there is probably a competitor right next door. I was able to get $28 off of my diving trip just by telling the guy it was my birthday even though he said it was already at the “cheapest he could go”. It never hurts to ask! Even if they won’t drop the price, try to get them to add something to the package for free.
9. Check out alternative transportation:
Meet some people at the hostel and book a campervan or shout out to the Australia Backpacker Facebook page and find some travel mates! Share the cost of renting or buying a vehicle and skip the long boring bus rides. Campervan relocations are also a great way to get a vehicle at almost no cost! I took it even farther and rode my bike from Sydney to Brisbane. Although it took longer, I stayed in free camps and found some really amazing places along the way!
10. Get off the main roads and out of the big cities:
Prices drop as soon as you get away from the big cities and popular hangouts. Sure, they are popular for a reason but after seeing them, go check out some of the hidden gems.
Sign up for my Cheap Airfare Mailing list and get updates on the cheapest flights out of Australia! I search for the fares, find insane deals and send them directly to your email. Recently I found Sydney to Hanoi, Vietnam for $154 AUD RETURN! Don’t miss out!