Top Money-Saving Tips To Keep In Mind When Visiting Australia
For anyone visiting Australia, there are certain expectations. Stunning beaches. Kangaroos. The Sydney Opera House. These days, though, there is also the expectation that the price of your visit is on the higher end of the holiday scale.
And not just for flights. Australia can be an expensive place once you are here spending Australian dollars. But it need not be. Just as you plan ahead by securing the best value credit card with complimentary travel insurance before your trip, with a little forward thinking you can enjoy this incredible place without blowing your budget. Not convinced? Well, here are the top money-saving tips to keep in mind when visiting Australia.
Of course, this is sound advice no matter where in the world you plan to visit. For Australia, though, it’s particularly important. Unless you’re visiting from New Zealand or Bali or somewhere in the South Pacific, there’s a strong chance you’ll have at least one long flight on your hands. And long flights aren’t cheap.
The earlier you start planning the better. Download a few flight apps and set up notifications for flights to cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Also, consider flying during off peak seasons. The flights are almost always cheaper and you won’t have to contend with the frenzied spectacle that is the school holidays.
This ties in with your early planning. Because while you’ve no doubt considered the distance getting to Australia, once you are there you must continue to do so. Remember, Australia is both a country and a continent. For reference, it’s worth noting that—in terms of landmass—you can fit the entire European continent inside Australia. With room to spare.
Which means you need to be strategic with your itinerary. If you’re only planning to visit Australia for a short amount of time, try to limit the amount of travel between destinations. There’s nothing to gain from trying to visit a bunch of places scattered across Australia if you’re only here for a week. Instead, choose a particular region and focus on enjoying as much of that as possible. That way, you’ll get a richer experience without spending excess hours—or even days—in transit.
The value of this suggestion will likely depend on how long you intend to visit Australia. If it’s a brief trip, it mightn’t offer much value. However, if you plan to explore Australia for an extended period of time, then you have much to gain from opening a Gumtree account. This free online marketplace is a great place to buy, sell, and swap just about anything. From buying a van so that you and your travel buddies can drive up the east coast to selling a surfboard you don’t feel like carting back across the world, Gumtree is ideal for anyone who needs particular things for their visit but doesn’t want to pay full price.
If you can, set up your account before you visit Australia. That way, you can browse what is currently on offer but also get a feel for the rhythm of the marketplace and the ways people communicate there. If you don’t feel like opening an account, though, Facebook marketplace is also a handy place to explore.
Again, this suggestion might hinge on the length of your trip. Either way, shopping at the local markets is a wonderful thing to do, regardless of how long you are staying. Not only is it one of the best ways to mingle with the locals and get a feel for their community, it’s also one of the best ways to sample local delicacies. Which, for anyone who considers themselves a foodie, is one of the driving reasons behind visiting a new country.
The local markets are where you’ll find the cheapest, freshest, in-season produce. Which, if you plan to make a lot of your own meals, is perfect. Just be sure to eat whatever you buy as soon as you can; local farmers don’t cultivate their fruit and vegetables the way the large supermarket chains do, which means their produce won’t have the same shelf life. It’ll just taste much, much better.
That said, if you do shop at the supermarkets in Australia, save your receipts. Most supermarkets have their own petrol stations and liquor stores, and the receipts will often have discounts for both fuel and alcohol.
Much like the local markets, visiting the local RSL (Returned and Services League), Surf Life Saving, or Bowling Club is another fun way to properly mingle with the locals. These membership clubs (non-local visitors are welcome) supply a number of things for the local community. Cheap, hearty meals, live entertainment, and in the case of the Surf Club, often a stunning view of the ocean.
These clubs also have one of the quintessential ‘Aussie’ activities: the raffle. For a small fee (often to raise money for a particular charity or cause), you enter a draw to win prizes, most of which centre around food and drink. This is when you’ll see the locals at their most social, which is always a fun thing. And, if you’re lucky, you might walk away with a nice bottle of wine or a tray of meat to cook on the BBQ. How very Aussie.
The great thing about visiting Australia—or anywhere in the world, for that matter—is that you will pick up ways to save money as you travel. From talking with the locals to talking with other visitors, everyone will have a tip they’ve come across that will help make your visit a little more gentle on your bank account. The trick is to keep an open mind without letting your frugal habits interrupt your fun.