As much as traveling to new places is a thrilling experience for most people, making it happen calls for meticulous planning backed up by a stash of disposable cash. Be it for fuel, accommodation or food, your finances are a significant determinant of both your stay and your experience in Australia.
To fully enjoy the beauty of a new place, ditch the tours, sail away from the safe harbor and purchase/rent a car. Then hit the road, solo.
With a little bit of research, you can make meaningful stops and extend your stay to as long as you want going around Australia on a road trip.
However, nothing will get you more prepared and help you enjoy all the beautiful scenery and spectacular wildlife that Australia has to offer than proper preparation and budgeting.
Here are some tips on how you can save an extra buck while on a trip to Australia.
Pay attention to your budget
The best thing about budgeting for a trip to a place like Australia is the accurate info of vital requirements such as food and accommodation (such as camping) that can be easily sourced from the internet.
After getting a rough idea of the amount of money you are likely spend, the next step is strict adherence to your budget. A majority of us have been advised to save from a young age, and if you’re reading this, then there is a chance that your ability to follow through has so far instilled a sense of discipline.
The same discipline is required when you visit this fantastic country and lay eyes on all the possible souvenirs you can carry back home. However, tempting they might be, calm the urge to make a purchase and stick to your budget to get an enjoyable experience.
The last thing you should do is splurge money on frivolous purchases when abroad.
Buy a Second-Hand Car
While transportation is key to enjoying a refreshing trip to Australia, there is no need to go overboard with expensive tours or purchasing a brand-new car. Second-hand cars on sale in the country are fully-functional and can save you the extra cost associated with a new purchase.
Make sure, however, that you buy a reliable second-hand car. One thing you wouldn’t want is for your car to break down in the middle of a remote area.
Considering insurance companies are very expensive in Australia especially after towing your vehicle for over 20 kilometers, reinforcements and proper repairs are needed immediately after purchasing the used car. It might be fit for the city or tarmacked roads, but can it handle a rough or muddy terrain?
Some of the most beautiful places in Australia are separated by towns located far from each other. As such, a breakdown is not only expensive but also dangerous. A used car will ensure that you save some extra coin, but full service guarantees an experience to remember.
So before embarking on your adventure, ensure that your tires have proper treads, carry a spare wheel or two, and check your oil.
Save on accommodation
One of the best ways to save up on accommodation is making reservations early. If you must sleep inside a hostel, ensure that you research about the accommodations located around the areas you intend to visit and make early reservations.
Look for the ones with a cancellation package in case traveling to the next destination does not happen as planned.
Additionally, you can also save up from costs you would’ve incurred when renting hotel rooms by looking for free stops and campsites. Australia contains a lot of these and most of them are located along the highway.
Most tourism offices in the country also hand out free guides with detailed locations for verified campsites and road stops. While not all of them are free, they are a less expensive option compared to hotels.
Map your route carefully
While meandering about will offer more scenes for your Australian trip, it goes against the ideals represented by the first two tips. You might see something wonderful, but if it’s hours off-course, it will only lead to further spending on food, accommodation, and fuel.
Not to mention, once you hit the dirt roads, it might be hard to get good internet reception. For a smooth experience, download Google Maps in advance (make sure you can access it offline) or better yet, bring a paper map with you. You can also download other travel apps that are available offline.
Lastly, always double-check the directions; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Plan what food to bring
Be sure to carry reusable ice packs for your favorite drinks as well as ready-to-eat snacks as you prepare for your journey. While bites are not a replacement for real food, they can save you some precious time at the gas station or food joints where you are required to wait in line. What’s more, the price of food in Australia especially in tourist-attracting areas is steep.
Apart from the snacks, you can also take advantage of the clean and free public barbecues located in almost every corner of the country. Pack some cooking gear and pass by the grocery store for some fresh food and you can enjoy cooking and eating with the ocean on your back.
Most of these public barbecues can be found in parks and beaches across the country.
Lastly, just like we advised on accommodation, you can look up pleasant places to eat while in Australia without putting a strain on your budget. However, you are not guaranteed to find all of them along your desired route.
Traveling to Australia may not be as inexpensive as in other countries but with these tips, you will hopefully cut down your costs as a solo traveler.