The idea of backpacking around a new country is often something that appeals to a lot of people. It gives you the opportunity to take in new cultures, gain new life experiences and meet new people. It can open your horizons and potentially make you more attractive to future employers as backpacking is often, but not solely, a recreation that done by those either leaving school or university. There are a number of places that you can go backpacking around the World but without doubt one of the most popular is Australia.
Why choose Australia?
There are a great number of reasons why you may chose Australia but perhaps the most obvious are the language and the climate not to mention the fantastic scenery and things to do. Australia is such a vast country that there are many things to experience from surfing on the Gold Coast, visiting the Outback and Ayre’s (Uluru) Rock as well as great city adventures such as Sydney and Melbourne. There so many things and there will be certainly be a little bit of something for everyone.
What do I need to consider?
You have decided to embark on your once in lifetime experience and that Australia is the place to do it but you now need to think practically about what you need to consider and what you need to do to make this dream become reality and to gain the most out of the experience. Here are just 10 tips that you help you along the way.
1. Money and Banking
This is going to your holiday of a lifetime and a life changing experience so the last thing that you want to do is run out of money in the first few weeks. The best tip here is if you think it will be enough, it won’t be so take more! Also make sure that you access to more money through a credit card should you find yourself in ‘sticky’ situation. Try and get a fee-free credit card as well as this will save you a lot of money in the long run!
2. Travel and Health Insurance
It can’t be stressed how important this is. Medical bills can run into thousands of dollars and just a simple trip to a GP can approach AUS$100 which can be a big chunk out of your money. Seek advice before you travel but insurance should be classed as an essential item in the same way as your passport and tickets.
3. Understand Your Visa
OK you have loved your experience so much that you want to stay longer. Check that you can and you are eligible before committing too much – not everyone is entitled to extend their stay. Speak with a reputable immigration lawyer who can advise you on this and allow plenty of time.
4. Wear Sunscreen
This may sound like an obvious one but the sun in Australia is strong, very strong and the number of incidences of skin cancer reflects this. Slap it on and keep adding more. There really is nothing worse than getting seriously burnt on your first few days that means that you can’t explore.
5. Take Buses rather than Taxis
Buses in Australia and plentiful and cheap and after all you want to save money wherever you can so that you can experience everything that you want to experience. Also, taxis in some major cities such as Sydney have a 20% surcharge if you are travelling after 10pm.
6. Consider Driving
If there are a few of you travelling and you want to see as much of Australia as you possibly can consider buying a car or van. If you split the costs between you it can work out far cheaper as well as giving you the freedom to get to more out of the way destinations.
7. Go to Lesser Known Destinations
You have come for the experience right? If this is the case why not get off the beaten track and find out what else Australia has to offer – there really is far more than you might expect so take the time to do some research, speak to locals and look on internet forums!
8. Talk to Locals
It again seems obvious but who knows Australia better than an Australian? Talk to the locals, they are generally a friendly bunch who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction and advise you what to and what not to see. Who knows, you may even make some new friends along the way as well!
The internet is an important thing in all our lives and you will no doubt want constant access to it throughout your trip. Find out what options and deals are available to you at the time of travel and make sure that they have coverage in ALL the areas that you are planning to visit.
Most importantly you should enjoy the experience. There will certainly be times on your adventure when you are homesick or have a bad experience but remember that is part of the whole adventure and bad things happen at home too. This is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life so make sure that you make the most of it!
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