So, you want to travel in Australia? With its crazy climate, gorgeous beaches, bustling cities and laidback lifestyle, it’s no surprise that Australia is one of the most popular travel destinations for younger backpackers. However the one thing Australia isn’t is cheap and once you’ve scraped out the money for the expensive airfare, chances are you don’t have much cash left. There’s no need to fret though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to travel in Australia if you have no money.
Work and travel
Doing an Australian Working Holiday is one of the best ways to travel in Australia. A working Holiday (visa subclass 417) is something that 18- 30-year-olds from participating countries are eligible for. Eligible countries include: the US, Canada, The UK and many European countries, to name a few.
The visa allows you to work with few restrictions for up to a year in Australia so a working holiday is a fantastic way to travel long-term, without spending too much money. Most people tend to a mixture of travelling and working for a bit in one place. Popular work destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and doing rural farm work, however, there are endless possibilities when it comes to working.
The only initial expense is the cost of the visa. However as soon as you’ve got your visa granted, you’re good to work right away and the best thing is that the wages in Australia are so crazily good, most people actually come back with more money than they started with.
Rent a room
One of biggest drain on your finances in Australia will be accommodation, with hostel prices being pretty steep, especially compared to regions like Asia. One of the best ways to save money is by renting a room if you plan to stay in one place for at least a couple of months. You can find these on sites like flatmates or via specific flatshare Facebook groups. Staying in one of these will cut your accommodation costs by half, if not more, and will it offer you a more authentic taste of Ozzie life.
Cook Your Own Food
Those smoothie bowls may have looked good on your Insta, but dining out every day is going to seriously eat into you refunds. I can’t emphasise enough how much money cooking your own food will save you. Almost every hostel and share house will have a kitchen and cooking means that there’s no need to spend any more on food in Australia then you would at home. Of course, eat out when you really fancy it, but keep it for an occasional treat rather than a daily habit.
Get a car (or a campervan)
Australia is made for road tripping and getting a car or a campervan is not only one of the most fun and convenient ways to see the country, but it’s also one of the cheapest ways to travel in Australia too.
There are loads of affordable car rental companies to choose from or you could even opt to buy a car and sell it off after to get some money back. Whether you fancy driving the East Coast, West Coast or a just a bit in between, getting your own transport will considerably cut travel cost, especially if you’re splitting it between a few of you. Added perks include getting to stop off wherever you want along the way and saving on accommodation by sleeping in your vehicle and making use of the many cheap campsites available.
Prioritise your tours
While the Barrier Reef, Whitsundays and Fraser Island are undoubtedly on everyone’s Australia bucket list, it is tours like these that will considerably drain your finances. If you’re short on money then think about which tours are most important to you. A skydive might sound great but is it better to leave that for another trip and visit the outback instead? If you have your heart set on a few things then it’s worth making a trip to one of the backpacker travel agencies such as Peter Pans or Happy Travels, who often offer a discount if you book a few tours together in one go.
Buy your own booze
Alongside food, drinking and going out is the other area where most people tend to lose a lot of money. Obviously, good nights out are all part of the fun, just don’t buy your drinks in the club. Heading to the nearest bottle O and splitting a bottle of wine (or a box of goon- a backpacker essential) will save you a crazy amount of money.
Volunteer or work for accommodation
If you don’t want to commit to an entire working holiday then a good way to save money in Australia is through volunteering. There are so many opportunities to volunteer and work for accommodation throughout the country. These could include anything from working in a hostel to helping out on a farm. Volunteering offers the chance to save your money while enjoying new and often very rewarding experiences. Find volunteer opportunities online on Workaway.
There you have it, that’s how you can travel in Australia if you have no money so, don’t let a lack of funds hold you back. Australia is one beautiful, diverse and fascinating country to explore and it’s so much fun to explore as a backpacker. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to head down under.