Traveling to Australia can be an expensive deal. If you plan to travel with family, then your cost factor is higher. With high airfares, travel costs and other expenses, a week in Australia could have you shooting way over your initial budget. However, it may not be as tough as you think. Here are 15 great money-saving methods that’ll help you travel cheaply while in Australia.
Plan Your Trip
1. Australia is almost the same size as the continental U.S. It’s not logical to want to see the whole of the US in a week or so; therefore, don’t attempt to see all of Australia on a short trip. It’ll take many months to explore Australia fully. Limit your trip to one or two main regions and take the time to explore them thoroughly. You’ll have an enjoyable, relaxing experience without trying to cram too many things into too short a period.
2. Opt for a cruise in Australia to see the major spots on your calendar. Several reputable cruise lines such as Princess Cruise and P&O Cruises offer exciting trips to major Australian cities and tourist delights. Consider an affordable cruise line and book your tickets off-season.
Take Advantage Of Free Delights
3. Australia has several museums and other tourist attractions that offer free admission. Take advantage of these on your trip to save on money. Notable examples are the Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens and Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
4. Buy a SmartVisit discount card that allows free entry to attractions in popular tourist destinations such as Melbourne, Tasmania and Sydney. You can also enjoy special offers and discounts. If you want to see many sights in a short period, these cards can save you a lot of money.
Lock In Your Exchange Rate
5. Prepay for your hotel accommodation, tour packages and airfare to lock in the exchange rate. By prepaying for most large expenditures, you won’t have to suffer the vagaries of fluctuating exchange rates that can send your budget ballooning.
6. Withdraw money from the ATM using your credit card to avoid the exchange counter. When you withdraw money directly, you’ll get a 2 to 5 percent interbank rate advantage over regular exchange rates.
Save Money On Shopping
7. Negotiate for the best deal you can get for any shopping you do. Buy your souvenirs from flea markets and crafts people’s fairs to save money.
8. Buy all your souvenirs at a single retailer to take advantage of the Goods and Services Tax refund that you get if you purchase goods worth $300 AUD or more. To get the refund, present your original purchase invoice at the customs desk when you depart Australia.
9. Travel to distant cities within Australia using discount airlines. You can purchase affordably priced tickets for domestic flights from Regional Express (REX), Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Virgin Blue airways.
10. Use a bus to get from city to city, as this will be the cheapest option. Greyhound Australia offers a discounts and special offers to visitors. If you’re lucky, you might even get a 50 percent off on bus fare. If you want to travel longer distances, obtain a bus pass.
11. You can see most of scenic Australia by exploring it via rail. Rail Australia offers a number of discount rail passes that can save you serious money on train travel.
12.Use free inter-city travel facilities whenever possible. Transport to select tourist attraction spots is free to the public in cities such as Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth and so on.
13.Buy discount travel cards such as Sydney’s FerryTen and TravelTen tickets. You can get 10 bus or ferry rides for each ticket, which is a great deal of savings. If you are going to use public transportation a lot, buying discount travel cards are cheaper than paying for individual tickets.
14.Don’t fall for packaged tours. For example, a sightseeing cruise of Sydney harbor delights will cost you $29 AUD. You can enjoy the same views from a public ferry by paying only $10.40 AUD. Think independently and save money.
Save On Food Expenses
15.Skip the expensive breakfast at your hotel and buy fresh bread at the local bakery instead. Buy noodle soup packets, packed salads and other ready eatables from the supermarket and reduce dependency on restaurants. There’s an added advantage to this; you can claim your Goods and Services Tax refund for grocery purchases at the same retailer over 300 AUD.
16.Find cheap food at ethnic restaurants, at department store food halls and little food joints along the coasts. Give large restaurants a miss and see how much you save.
Save On Lodging Expenses
17. Eschew hotels and stay at a farm or at a Homestay. A Homestay allows you to interact with locals, adding an extra bit of culture to your trip.
18. Opt for a vacation rental over a hotel if traveling with family. You’ll get more space for less money, and get a kitchen where you can cook your own meals instead of eating out.
19. Australian hostels are a good option for economic lodging. Hostels in Australia are not just for young backpackers, but comfortable and relatively cheap accommodations for travelers.
20. If you live in Australia, you can swap your home for the home of a friend who lives at your port of call. This is probably the cheapest possible accommodation. You might also be able to use your accommodation exchange partner’s car, which will save you money on transportation.
21. Camp outdoors and enjoy the cheapest, most gratifying stay of all. Australia offers some of the world’s best-maintained caravan parks and campgrounds. You can rent an RV for less money than you would pay for a hotel stay, plus gain the freedom to drive around the country. An RV is suitable if you have family traveling with you as well. You can park your RV in scenic open grounds and enjoy Australia’s flora and fauna to the fullest.
Please check other tips on Australia travel on www.travelotrips.com
This post was submitted by Teena Celis.