Travel on a Budget Australia

sydney city viewEveryone has sticker shock when they get to Australia. They see how much things cost, and their jaws drop. Heck, even Australians get sticker shock, and they live there. Travelers go through their budget quickly because no one ever expects the country to cost as much as it does. When I first traveled to Australia a few years ago, I grossly underestimated how much I needed. It cost me double what I thought because of a strong Australian dollar and poor planning. This time around I was better prepared, but I still overspent because I wasn’t prepared for such dramatic inflation.

Moreover, Australia’s strong dollar means you don’t even get any advantage when exchanging money. It’s virtually on par with the American dollar, and the weak euro and pound have even given Europeans less value for their money.

While I was in Australia this year, I spent $3, 400 USD in 33 days. That total includes all my day-to-day expenses, flights, transport, tours, and anything I bought. Averaging roughly 0 dollars a day, it would have been a lot more had I not been able to stay with friends and get discounted tours. I ate a lot at expensive restaurants, flew a few places, and spent a lot of money using the Internet on my phone. If it wasn’t for my friends and the discounts I got, I would have spent about 0 USD per day.

sailing in the whitsundaysWhen you travel Australia, your typical costs tend to look like this:

  • In northern Queensland, you can find hostel prices for about $20 per night. On the west coast, it’s about $24, but from Noosa down to Melbourne (the densely populated east coast), expect to pay $27–35 per night. The smaller the dorm, the higher the cost. Private rooms are $65–100 per night.
  • Food: Your average meal in Australia will run you about $15–20. A good meal at a nice restaurant will run you about $40. Even McDonald’s is expensive—a value meal is about $8.
  • Drinking: For a country of drinkers, they make it very difficult to do. Beers cost around $8. Happy hours and backpacker bars tend to have cheap drinks, and you can usually find a pint of something for $4–5.
  • Tours: Tours in Australia are a lot cheaper than tours in New Zealand, and there’s also a lot less of them to spend your money on. A typical multi-day tour will cost around $200. Most day trips can be found for $100.
  • Transportation: You can find cheap transportation in Australia if you look hard enough. But outside of the heavily populated and highly competitive east coast, it’s not always that easy. Because of limited competition, flying is very expensive except on the west coast. It’s often cheaper to fly than get a bus out there. If you can get a deal on a tourist bus, that can be cheaper than either Greyhound or flying. On the east coast, Greyhound offers many good-value passes. I’d take them over any other transportation. The Cairns to Melbourne pass is $485.
Resources:
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See also:
Tutorial: No Makeup Makeup - on a Budget (Australia)
Tutorial: No Makeup Makeup - on a Budget (Australia)
Friends of Australia: Kurt Fearnley on a budget experience
Friends of Australia: Kurt Fearnley on a budget experience
How to travel on a budget | ASB
How to travel on a budget | ASB
Travel Guide Hawaii: How To Traveling To Hawaii Cheapest: A Complete Guide to Travel To Hawaii Cheapest | Hawaii On the Cheap: How to See the Sights Without Breaking the Bank
eBooks (Michael Stonebridge)
Snob on a Budget: Travel
Snob on a Budget: Travel
On A Budget: Travel and Honduras
On A Budget: Travel and Honduras
TRAVELLING TO AUSTRALIA ON A BUDGET - DAY ONE
TRAVELLING TO AUSTRALIA ON A BUDGET - DAY ONE
Popular Q&A
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What is 'Travel Nurse' in French?

a nurse is "un infirmier" (masc.) or "une infirmière" (fem.)
People looking for temporary positions are called "remplaçant" (masc.) or "remplaçante" (fem.)
Traveling nurses (those in the profession who take on positions for short-term assignments) are called in French "un infirmier remplaçant / une infirmière remplaçante".

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