Who told you Australia was expensive? Someone that didn’t do it on the cheap like me…
I’ve heard from loads of people that have gone backpacking in the land down under that it is a dear or expensive place to travel. These people really must be living a luxury lifestyle if that’s their impression of the land down under. Australia has to have been one of the cheapest places I have ever travelled and worked in, I earned tons of money when I was living there, enough to take four months off work. Young and inexperienced backpackers must be doing things wrong if they find it expensive. Maybe they are perhaps ill-informed, badly prepared or just spending their cash in the wrong way. I’ve concocted 12 sure fire reasons, all from personal experience on how to live cheaply in Australia.
1. Sleeping – OK, yes, hostels are great, but you have to take a break from them. Don’t be spending your entire time in hostels getting drunk! Camping is by far the best option for living and travelling cheaply in the land down under. You can find a cheap tent for $15 – 20 and in some places you will be able to camp out for free. Make your cheap tent your home for the next few months as you “backpack” and camp your way round Australia. Lots of campsites have toilets and showers too, and some of them are even close to places where you can get part time and temporary seasonal or harvest jobs.
2. Eating – If you insist on eating out – then head to pubs that do $10 steaks and such offers. They often throw in a beer or a soft drink for this. One of the tricks I used while in Australia is monitoring pubs that did cheap big meals and the times they apply. I found that most of them are lunchtime specials. In which case, it’s hardly a big deal to transfer your main meal of the day from dinner to lunch. Eat cereals and toast for breakfast. Don’t be afraid to venture into Hungry Jacks or McDonalds for a cheap breakfast either. Hungry Jacks also offer unlimited refills – take your flask in. They’re not going to chase out paying customers. And McDonalds has free wi-fi. If all else fails stick to vegemite sandwiches! Top notch!
3. Transport – Don’t be getting flights around Australia! I lived there for a couple of years and I never used an internal flight. Use the bus company Greyhound and book them early, even better idea is to hook up with others, get a car and off you go on a road trip – you have a car now which you should equip for sleeping in and stay on or near campsites with it. Cut your costs by sharing petrol and sharing lifts to work. Also if you are getting a Greyhound bus get it at night so that you save money on accommodation. These are simple and obvious things by the way but often neglected by travellers. Other good places to look are hostel notice boards and local travel websites. Gumtree and Facebook can also be useful.
4. Get some kind of a Working Visa – I don’t understand travellers that are able to get a working holiday visa for Australia but yet they don’t buy it. The number of travellers I met in the land down under that say things like “we only plan to stay for a few months so we’re not planning to work” and then they follow it with “this place is expensive”, so why didn’t you get some kind of a working visa then?! Do it – even by working for a week or two in Australia can earn you over 1000 Australian Dollars.
5. Entrance Fees – Again it sounds obvious but don’t be paying entry into places – there are loads of FREE things to see and do in Australia. Hiking for one, some amazing landscapes to see, beaches (completely free), fancy dress parties (make your own costumes for free), museums are often also free entry (including the amazing War Memorial in Canberra), as is walking across Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you want to see Koalas and Kangaroos – these can all be done for free. Kennet River on the Great Ocean Road is a decent spot for Koala watching at sunrise. Kangaroos and wallabies are hard to miss.
6. Money saving coupons, tokens and vouchers – Seriously these types of coupons are everywhere and most travellers miss them. Try picking up leaflets and magazines in bars, travel agents, bus stations, airports etc and you will be extremely surprised to hear that they often contain money off and free entry vouchers. Sometimes you even get a free beer – head to the bar to get your free beer then leave!
7. Woolworths and Coles value brands – i remember meeting a couple of English girls moaning about the price of everything in Australia while drinking Del Monte orange juice for breakfast along with Kellogg’s Cornflakes! If you can’t take yourself down a rung or two for a few weeks or months by buying the value brands, then you honestly have no ground to stand on moaning about the price of things!
8. Nightclubs after 10pm – did you really go to Australia just to attend expensive nightclubs? I certainly didn’t! You’ll notice that after 9 or 10 pm (especially on weekends) the prices of drinks go up. Seriously to all those backpackers in Australia – get yourself a carryout, a box of goon and some tinnies and sit with your new found friends.
9. Don’t Spend Too Much Time On the Internet – Facebook is great and all that but seriously you didn’t go to Australia just to tell other people where you are and what you’re doing. So stop moaning about the price of the internet – yes it costs a lot so don’t pay it – simple. Here’s a few alternatives (if you have brought a laptop with you) – eat at McDonalds and use their free wi-fi, buy a coffee in an internet cafe that has wi-fi (at least you have a coffee for your money), stay in a hostel that has free wi-fi. If you don’t have a laptop – borrow from travel buddies if you really need to get online. And a long term cheaper option is to buy a USB stick which acts as a wireless internet modem – this is only recommended if you plan on staying in Australia for a while.
10. Hold back on booking things early. Plans in Australia always change so don’t be booking tours or hostels in other towns or cities that you expect to be in in a few weeks time. You might change your plans and have already paid a deposit. Go with a free spirit and enjoy it!
11. Washing Clothes – Wear the same clothes again and again and hand wash them in sinks. I did this often in Australia. If you desperately need to use a washing machine – get a few cotton buds on sticks and place them into the coin slots in the laundry machines to get free laundry. Most of you reading will probably know this trick. A well known “secret” of travellers.
12. Fake student ID – Again things become cheaper when you pull out a student card. Nobody really cares if its fake or not. Give it a risk and save some dollars.
Honestly, folks this might sound like a bit of a rant and in many ways it is, BUT I just really want to let people know that Australia is a magnificent country and a great place to go. And it’s cheap if you know what you’re doing!! Those are just a few of my tips – there are tons more ways to save money.
Get out there and see Australia – what are you waiting for?
For more resourceful advice on doing Australia on the cheap check out Jonny Blair’s resourceful travel, work and lifestyle website Dont Stop Living.. Free reprint available from: Australia: Expensive? You’re kidding, right!!.
Backpacker travel insurance is needed today more than ever. This is because more and more people are travelling to all areas of the world. Along with the beaten path that lot’s of tourists go to, people are visiting more remote places and it seems that everywhere in the world is travelled to by somebody.
When going away for these sort of trips it is important to have cover that is adequate for whatever adventure is being planned. Many companies are in this business and they need to know what sort of activities will be taking place. Cover needs to be there for what is expected and what is not. People will not know what is in store for them completely.
The first thing people need to think is what will they want to do while they are away. Normal activities should always be covered but some people will want to do something a bit different so they need to keep this in mind when filling in an insurance form. Anything health related needs to be planned for.
The companies require lot’s of information so they can give an adequate and correct quote for each person. They take into consideration any risk taking activities and evaluate the cover based on this. If you are going to do something particularly dangerous then they may offer separate specialist cover.
The person needs to tell the company all they know before they go because if they don’t and a problem occurs then their insurance may not stretch to this and the policy may not be valid. They know that you do not know everything that you are likely to encounter but it is best to tell them all you know.
The basic policy would cover things like, lost passports, medical cover for emergencies, stolen property and luggage problems. All the policies should tell you what you are covered for so you know what you are getting. If you are not sure them just ask the company for more clarity.
When backpacker travel insurance in got then it is a good tip to make copies of the policy and leave one at home and email one to yourself. This way if you loose the documents on route you will have copies so it won’t be that much a a problem. A little bit of planning goes a long way.
Finding the right insurance policy can make or break your backpacking travels. Find out more about backpackers travel insurance to make sure you’re Finding the best deal available.
Wealth management means different things to different people, as does retirement. For some, it is IRAs and bank-manged stocks or funds. These are common types of investments. And for the vast majority of people whose life is restricted to suburbia, international investments, tax havens and offshore accounts are nothing but words. The thought of being able to make international business deals alongside multi-million dollar corporations seems like a joke.
If you are someone who enjoys international travel than the reality is your to grasp, and there’s no joke about it. In the modern age you can access a wide array of connections in all corners of the globe via the Internet, which means researching tax havens and making international investments are easily accessible. For this reason more and more expats are choosing to explore early retirement via living and investing in other countries, which is hard to grasp for some people who have been taught that only trouble exists outside of the borders.
Although it might sound like a fantasy at first, the reality is that retiring early is something that anyone can do. The U.S. is continuing to see costs that are three and four times more than most of the rest of the world, which means the average individual has a salary that can’t even cover their basic costs. The only choice is to start borrowing money from the bank and credit card companies to pay the bills, which means instead of saving money you are actually sinking further and further into debt.
This is where you can really see the power of expat living, because these entrepreneurs are going beyond the boundaries. Rather than relying on broken banking systems and failing governments, expats are choosing to make international investments in places like Chile or Brazil where economies are booming, jobs are plentiful and yet despite all of this the costs of living are three to four times less than in the United States. By taking control of your destiny you’ll find that the world is full of opportunities…you just have to get out there and grab them.
It’s so simple that even a child can understand the numbers. The average, ordinary salary of 25k a year after taxes in the U.S. will only cover your bare-bones basics, but in a country like Mexico where you only need 15k a year for an upper middle class life and suddenly you can start putting 15k a year back in your savings. Plus, whereas a house in the U.S. costs 225k for a 3-bedroom place, you can pick one up in countries like Chile for around 35 to 50k. It’s these types of numbers that allow expats the early retirement most people only dream of.
All of this is possible on a median salary. Imagine what you can do with $50,000 a year or $100,000 a year. The options to retire skyrocket the more money you make. When your cost of living is almost nothing and medical tourism gives you free health care on top of being able to completely control your income through intelligent living decisions, you will finally be able to see that light that so many other expats have already seen: you don’t have to be a millionaire CEO to utilize international investment opportunities to your advantage. All you need is an average, everyday median salary and you can be one of the elite who are retiring long before the age of 65.
Exploring an adventure abroad as an expat is something not everyone is cut out to do. There are many benefits, but also many pitfalls you have to learn to navigate to fully take advantage of being an expat abroad.