Backpacking Australia: Itinerary and Budgeting
Australia is a backpackers’ destination, thanks to its sunny weather, varied and attractive topography, and vibrant culture. Every year, hundreds of thousands of backpackers from all over the world flock to this nation of kangaroos to undergo an authentic backpacking experience. For those who are planning to backpack to Australia for the very first time, some prior planning and budgeting can surely yield the most fruitful rewards.
Before anything else, it is important to secure a visa from the Australian embassy. If the backpacking trip is intended to be sweet and small, then a tourist visa would suffice. However, for a longer stay in Australia, a working holiday visa is believed to be ideal. It spans anywhere between 12 and 24 months, and allows the visa holder to work in Australia while on the trip. This is especially beneficial for those on a tight budget, who would like to exchange their services for food and accommodation. Most often, the travel agency executives help the customers in securing visas.
Itinerary and Budgeting
Australia is a relatively affordable holidaying destination as compared to European and American haunts. Highly popular among backpackers, the nation offers several affordable food, accommodation and transportation options for the backpackers. It is recommended that the accommodation bookings are done in advance, keeping in mind the itinerary of the tour.
The most popular backpacking destinations in Australia are Melbourne, Cairns, Whitsundays, Byron Bay, Darwin, Surfers Paradise, Hunter Valley, Sydney, and Airlie Beach to name a few. The continent has many more interesting destinations; one can fly to Sydney first and then take the desired route.
Once the desired backpacking destinations have been chosen, it is advisable that the accommodation bookings are done well in advance online. Fortunately, Australia offers various hostels for backpackers that provide affordable food and accommodation for their guests. One can get a hotel room for as little as $20 per night and as much as $50 a night. Backpack Around is a handy website which lets you compare and search various hostel accommodations in Australia.
Food is cheaper in pubs, at $10-$15 per meal, as compared to high-street restaurants and luxuriant hotels and cafes. Aussie beer is national pride and can be easily found everywhere. For transportation convenience, rental cars, vans and minibuses are available at all times. One can also get a bus pass made.
It is possible to live off on $90-100 a day per person if the planning is done carefully. However, one must carry extra cash at all times. If possible, one should transfer the money to an Australian bank account in advance to avoid extra surcharges, which are levied on transactions made via credit cards. Wireless Internet can be easily availed in hostels and local cafes. Also, flight booking should be done by comparing the prices of various flights on international travel websites such as Momondo.co.uk – see their flights to Australia page.
Some Useful Tips
The best backpacking months in Australia are the summer months between November and March. Since Australian summers can be harsh applying sunscreen when outdoors is recommended. Citing convenience factors, one should pack just a few pairs of jeans and t-shirts and other essentials to keep the backpack as light as possible.
With some planning and budgeting, backpacking Australia can definitely become the most memorable experience of one’s lifetime!