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10 tips for backpacking Australia on a budget

Australia is a costly country. But with these insider ten tips for backpacking Australia on a budget, you will be correct.

First, get a job and save money on something other than partying. You may regret it when it comes to the time to take a tour of a beautiful island, but you are out of money. Uhm, too bad!

First, get a job and save money on something other than partying. You may regret it when it comes to the time to take a tour of a beautiful island, but you are out of money. Uhm, too bad!Koala Philipp Island - Victoria

Koala in Philipp Island – Victoria

But here is a list of 10 great tips to keep your money in your pocket.


    1. Accommodation: book a cheap hostel or shared accommodation. You want to spend only half of your income on rent. Cheap doesn’t mean bad. I stayed three months in a hostel in Perth for only $120 a week (in a six beds dorm), and my salary was about $800 a week. So I saved a lot! A cheap hostel sometimes means something other than the wrong hostel. For example, the one I lived in, Northbridge, was spotless and quiet when needed, and everyone was like a family.
    2. Free accommodation: many hostels propose an excellent deal to offer backpackers free housing. Indeed, You can work a few hours a day in exchange for a free bed to sleep in. However, hostels will ask you for a minimum stay of 1, 2, or 3 weeks depending on the place and will ask for cleaning, managing bookings, and other little work. Couchsurfing, Wwoofing, and helpX are also three other great alternatives. Of course, camping will be the best for you while road-tripping. I saved up more than $1000. 
    3. Food: avoid eating out. Check if your hostel has breakfast included, and cook as much as possible. If you decide to eat out, there are some cheap places like Pubs or in Asian neighbourhoods; for other areas, it could cost you around 15/$20. Also, some supermarkets, such as Coles, will offer significant discounts at night for some products due to date (bread and vegetables, for example).
    4. Free Food: If you work in a café or restaurant, you will probably get free food for over 5 hours. I saved up $10 to $30 a day. 
    5. Party: a pint of beer in Australia costs about $4/$5, and if you fancy real alcohol, you will need to get on time for happy hours. Also, some clubs/bars will ask for entrance fees, about $10/$15. Another option is to start drinking cheap bad wine called ‘Goon,’ a 4 litres box that costs 10/$12. Look at the ingredients, and you will realize Goone is everything but wine, but it tastes like it. Good luck with your hangover!
    6. Travel: Car sharing is the best; you only need to pay the fuel cost. Also, check Facebook groups to find a lift. Another point is that if you travel by bus, travel at night to save money on night’s accommodation.
    7. Cheap Tours: take the time to compare tours and try to make packages; negotiating will be easier. For example, I spent an entire afternoon in Cairns, going from one agency to another, checking prices, and talking with people. I finally got the cheapest tour on the Great Barrier Reef for less than $80, and we were only 15 people on the boat. I saved up about $50
    8. Free Tours: For the Whitsundays Islands, I went directly to the port and talked to people if they needed help on their boats. I got my tour for free in exchange for preparing meals for everyone and cleaning the boat. But I enjoyed my experience like any other person who paid for it. I saved up $350
    9. Wifi: Do you want to post your last picture on Facebook or Instagram, but need more data? Get a free spot at libraries, malls, tourist information centres, or McDonald’s. Some cities in Australia also have free wifi Spots in the streets, so check it out.
    10. Budget your week: I recommend planning a balance between your earning and your spending. It will help you see how much money you can save in a week. For example, I budget to save $400/$500 (based on a salary of $800 a week). So, it’s $1600/$2000 saved per month. Save up now to enjoy later on the road!

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria #iamabackpacker

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria

I struggled with managing my money when I arrived in Australia, and I would have been happy to know this list of ten tips for backpacking Australia on a budget. Indeed, I started with 3,000 euros (about 5,000AUD) and spent $700 the first week. However, I got a job in a café only a week after I arrived, which kept me financially on board for the next six months, and I think it helped me with the rest of my time in Australia.

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