How to Travel Australia on a Shoestring Budget
Whether you’re an international traveler, or somebody looking to explore their own backyard, Australia can prove a difficult challenge. Australia is more than just a country, it’s an entire continent, with vast distances between its cities. Because of this, it can be difficult to see it all, especially when it comes to traveling on a budget.
When traveling Australia on a shoestring budget, it’s best to decide upon a centralized location, where there are several things you’re interested in seeing. Trying to visit every location will see you spend most of your time traveling, rather than viewing the sites. Ultimately, it will be a waste of time and money.
Once you know what part of Australia you’re most interested in seeing, here’s what to do.
While accommodation can suck a lot out of your budget, if you know where to look, it can actually be quite cheap. Budget accommodation is definitely available throughout Australia.
If you’re a fan of sleeping under the stars, with minimal amenities, you’re sure to find extremely cheap accommodation. Australia has over 500 of the best national parks in the world, and one of the great things about many of them is that visitors can camp for free or a small fee in certain locations. Camping of course requires all the necessary gear, so coming prepared, or having a source for camping gear on your arrival is key. Alternatively, you can stay in a caravan park, which will cost more but will provide you with higher quality amenities.
If you’re without camping gear, your cheapest option could be to rent out space on a community sharing site, like Spacer. To be fair, it will likely be a simple empty room, but its value that’s hard to beat.
For something more complete, hostels can be a great budget option and can be found in most major cities throughout the country.
As we’ve discussed, Australia is a huge place and its cities are far between. Trying to visit every city will mean long road trips or lots of plane journeys, which will be time consuming or expensive. Even choosing one city, it’ll be best to explore its surroundings to make the most of your trip.
Australia’s natural wonders, outside of its major cities are a must-see. The best way to see these things without booking expensive tours is to hire a car and drive yourself. With GPS navigators, this can be fairly simple. On the other hand, public transport can be cost-effective, though at times it can be hard to reach your destination solely by public transport.
Additional Resource: Is it Expensive to Live in Boise Idaho?
Food and Drink
One of the most difficult things to do on a budget in Australia is eating and drinking out. The best way around this is to shop at the supermarkets and prepare your own food as much as you can. Here, you can get cheap, high-quality food.
Eating out, while expensive, is a must. Australia has great fresh produce that makes dining out a treat. Breakfast and lunch are generally cheaper than dinner and the best budget meals can be found at pubs, RSL’s and bowling clubs where they have lunch and dinner specials.
Drinking is very expensive and in places like Sydney and Melbourne, a drink in the town can cost upwards of $10. The best approach to drinking is to buy from a bottle shop or liquor store in bulk. Look out for restaurants that advertise BYO, or Bring Your Own. Usually, this is only wine and sometimes spirits but be sure to take advantage of this.
The variety of things to see and do on a budget offsets the expense of food and drinks in Australia. There’s so much natural beauty you can see for free. Throughout Australia, there’s national parks, botanical gardens, and endless beaches, all of which are free and can make up your whole day. Head to a supermarket, collect some picnic supplies, and enjoy a day on a beach or in a park enjoying the Aussie sun.
In most cities, there are museums and art galleries that can be entered for free, or reasonably cheap and are always hosting world-class exhibits.
While Australia can be expensive, with the right planning, an enjoyable holiday can definitely be enjoyed on a budget. Sleep basically, use sharing community sites like Spacer, be savvy with your food, and enjoy the natural wonders Australia is famous for.