Tips for Saving $ 'Down-Under' : Part 1

It's an undeniable fact that Australia can be an expensive place in which to travel. Locals will tell you that it’s an expensive country to live too - even if you're a full-time employee. However, despite its posh culture, around 6 million tourists visit Australia every year - a large number considering the Australian population is only 23 million.

While Australia maybe different in terms of number of regulations, high cost-of-living, first world status, and levels of development, the land 'down-under' is still a wild and incredible place to make your vacation a memorable one.

In this article, we’ve listed a few ways to save money while travelling in Australia. With these easy ways at your fingertips, you can be rest assured that you can make the most of your time and money - esp. if you're on an 'extended' trip.

1. Cook your own food:

Food is something that you can’t avoid at least 3 times a day. Food prices here might seem extortionate compared to other countries, still there are ways you can save a few bucks. The easiest way is to buy groceries and cook at your convenience. Usually dinner is costlier than lunch.

Try restaurants that are located 'off-the-beaten-track' as restaurants in prime tourist locations can be pricey.

BTW, if you really want to splash, plan ahead, as on Tuesdays many restaurants, and cafes have special deals. You’ll get set meals for as little as $10 AUD. So, plan your evenings out on Tuesday to save money without missing out much.

2. Sign-up for a Gumtree account:

Everything from where to stay, giving or taking a lift, buying or selling items from surfboards to cars, you’ll need a Gumtree account. It really helps. As soon as you get to Australia, get an account and use it as a duct tape.

3. Try to shop at farmers-markets and save the receipts of supermarkets:

Due to lack of competition, supermarkets can be a bit expensive, but at farmers markets you can bag yourself a cheaper load of veggies. Almost all towns have markets full of independent traders who sell local harvest at least once a week. For example, Noosa Farmer’s Market, held every Sunday is a favorite and firm hit with residents and tourists alike. So, go on and bag a bargain helping the local community at the same time.

Moreover, if you shop at supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles, don't throw away the receipts. You’ll get a discount voucher for their requisite fuel or liquor supplier with every $30 spent. So, its worth holding onto the receipts to grab a deal.

4. Try to explore the national parks as much as possible:

Australia has hundreds of national parks and state forests across the country that offer an array of free activities like hiking, fishing, picnicking. Many national parks have basic and cheap camping facilities ranging from free to $20 per night. The camp sites can be booked through the state park authority by phone or online.

Our favorites include Cape Range National Park, Whitsundays National Park, Kakudu National Park, Carnarvon Gorge National Park, and Boodjamulla National Park. All you need is your own transport and a good number of provisions. Most of the campsites have cheap but top notch facilities like picnic areas, BBQ spots, drinking water and even showers.

[Our previous blog : Top 10 Marine Encounters 'Down-Under' : Part 2]

5. Use Travelcard for transportation:

In city transportation, cost can be saved by using travelcards. Travelcards are the cheapest way to travel in the city using public transport. In Sydney you can use tap-on/tap-off OpalCards, in Melbourne  it's called Myki, in Perth it’s the Smart Rider and in Brisbane its Translink, whatever city you visit, using these pre-paid travelcards can give you discounted rides.

5 more tips on saving money are coming on the next blog (PART 2) ... Visit Us again.

Jonathan Campbell

Aussie Trip Advisor, 12H Nob Hill, Roseland NJ 07068

Aussie Trip Advisor hand-craft Australian itineraries on a fee-for-service basis