How We Travel Cheaply but Happily in Australia!
Many amazing countries and tourist destinations can be expensive. Anywhere can appear to be too costly to enjoy properly. But it's all down to choices, and making the right ones by your bank account.
If you know Taran and I, and have read about our thrifty ways here, here and here, then you would expect nothing less than the tightest of spending behaviours from us. But we don't equate our budget successes and failures with how much money has left our accounts, but on how we find creative and interesting ways of travelling cheaply.
HOW TO TRAVEL CHEAPLY, CREATIVELY AND HAPPILY in Australia:
PAY WITH CASH.
First and foremost always use cash for spending. Record each time you withdraw money, and try to withdraw the same amount each time. This helps you quickly and easily keep track of your spending. It also makes you spend it more responsibly, after all, you aren't always near a cash-point and using one other than your own bank's results in charges!
RESEARCH YOUR DESTINATION.
Don't book hostels or camp-sites at the last minute, you always end up over-paying. Read reviews and book a few days before arriving if possible. Sometimes the online price is cheaper (sites such as Hostelworld help you find out how hostels are rated in comparison to one another) but we often just call up. Before going to your next destination locate the nearest cheapest supermarkets using your maps app, and save them, so that you don't end up over-spending in local smaller grocery shops.
TAKE THE TRAIN.
Sometimes the rail links between major places, such as Sydney to Newcastle, work out the most cost effective when you make use of some of Australia's relatively cheap public transport. Using the app Fetch My Way, you can find out the cheapest transport methods and rail usually comes out on top. If you don't fancy the train or coach (which we have only used once) then you have plenty of other options...
If you are too scared to hitch-hike and like to be a bit more prepared prior to setting off on the road, Coseats, and other ride-share sites are sort of organized hitching. Advertise your journey or seek out people travelling the direction you are, text or phone them, chat, arrange pick-up and pay hardly anything towards the travel cost. We have done this and loved it. It was more comfortable, interesting and more importantly, a huge money-saving option.
OR OUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE... HITCH-HIKE
We now hitch-hike pretty much to the exclusion of everything else (apart from inter-city travel, which we do by train). We don't hold out a sign, we just find a safe pull-over spot for cars near the city/town exit, and look happy/a bit tired! It helps when you have huge backpacks, amps up the driver's sympathy! So far we have travelled about 700 miles (1160 kilometres) just by hitch hiking!!!
Where possible, camping, often available at coastal hostels up the East Coast, saves a heap of cash. For example, our recent camping at Melaleuca cost $16 each per night, that's $112 a week each versus $504 a week for a dorm cabin!! We had all the benefits of the hostel, such as the great kitchen, lounge and showers, but with the added bonus of knowing our tent was clean, tidy and bug-free, not something always guaranteed in a dorm. You also kind of get your own private room, much better than sharing with 14 other people in a shared dorm!
A perfect way to meet people from the place you are visiting whilst also saving on sleeping costs. This is not some easy or free option entirely however, you will be expected to be sociable, friendly, tidy and willing to contribute to some task or activity that goes some way to make your host happy.
You can visit the website or download the app on your phone, fully fill out the profile, make sure you get across your personality, use plenty of photos, and make the sofa world your oyster. Expect to sometimes sleep on floors, old mattresses, maybe your own tent, sometimes an actual bed if your lucky!
READ THE NEXT THRIFTY POST...
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!