Are you leaving for Australia soon and looking for some great tips and tricks to save money? After spending more than a year and a half traveling on the road and living in Australia for over 7 years, here are some of our work and travel tips for Australia. Of course, you will find all these recommendations in the Australia Backpackers Guide.
How to save money
Tip # 1 – Supermarket Discounts
In all supermarkets, there is a section dedicated to products that are about to go past their expiry dates. These items are sold at bargain prices! You can find discounts on all kinds of products.
It is often wise to compare prices of certain products that are pre-packaged with ones sold loose at the deli. Loose cheeses and meat are often cheaper.
In most towns, you find big farmers’ markets that often take place on the weekend (inquire at Information Centers). Buying fresh produce there will save you up to 50%.
Tip # 2 – Second Hand Shops (Op Shops)
If you need to renew your wardrobe without breaking the bank, second hand shops, such as Red Cross, Vinnies, and Salvos, offer very good deals (T-Shirts from $2 and kitsch clothes).
You also find dishes, camping accessories, and books, all at low prices.
Tip # 3 – Fuel Discounts
When you shop at one of the country’s leading hypermarkets (Coles, Woolworth, IGA), you get a voucher for a fuel discount of 4 to 8 cents per liter on your shopping receipt. This offer is valid in participating petrol stations and is equivalent to 2-4 $ of savings per fuel tank … Not bad!
Tip # 4 – Book your flight ticket
To find a cheap flight tickets to Australia, you can choose from different alternatives. Firstly, you book your flight with a travel agent. Secondly, you use one of the flight comparison websites. Thirdly, you book directly on the official website of the airline. Since all three options have their advantages, we recommend you to compare the rates for each option. Learn about useful websites and get tips to find the cheapest flight possible in our article 8 Tips to Booking a Cheap Flight Ticket to Australia
Tip # 5 – Dumpster Diving
Dumpster Diving is a practice of reclaiming discarded food from supermarket bins. Many food items thrown away daily by major Australian food stores are still consumable and could certainly be a delight to your stomach!
Tip # 6 – Rent a cheap van
Renting a motorhome or a van in Australia can be quite expensive. But there are a few things you can do to make it a bit cheaper. Vehicle prices are not fixed, it is possible to find good deals throughout the year. The easiest way is to travel off-season and to book well in advance. But there are obviously other little tricks you can do…
More info: How to rent a cheap campervan in Australia
Accommodation in Australia
Tip # 7 – CouchSurfing
Becoming increasingly common, CouchSurfing is a good way to get free accommodation when you arrive in a new country. It’s also great for meeting people, getting tips from locals, and having a great experience!
The concept is simple, you stay on a host’s sofa, spare bed, or guest room, free of charge! This kind of accommodation is rather intended to be short-term, for 1, 2 or 3 nights, and meals are not provided!
To benefit from this great platform, you just need to become a member of the community by registering on Couchsurfing (it’s free and fast)! You fill out your profile and add information about yourself. You can then search for prospective hosts in the destination area. If a host seems nice to you, all you have to do is send him or her a message and wait for the answer!
Tip # 8 – Airbnb
The platform Airbnb offers travelers to be hosted in a homestay. Rates are generally more expensive than in a hostel but lower than in a hotel. So if you want to meet locals or avoid the liveliness of a backpacker hostel, we recommend you to look at the ads on their website.
Tip # 9 – Find a good hostel in Australia
In order to find a good youth hostel in Australia and to compare rates, we recommend using a hostel booking website like HostelWorld.
Working in Australia
Tip # 10 – Pass the RSA Course
If you are planning to work in a bar or restaurant in Australia, you will need to get your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol). This certificate proves your competency in the legislation and rules on alcohol consumption. You need this certificate to work in any Australian establishment licensed to serve alcohol.
More info: RSA Certificate in Australia
Tip # 11 – Get Your White Card
For those who have experience in the construction industry, there are many job opportunities in Australia. Construction jobs in Australia are also very well paid! However, you have to pass a short exam in order for you to obtain the “White Card”. This test takes a few hours online (you can start and pause the test several times). You also have to answer a few oral exam questions on the phone.
More info: How to Get Your White Card in Australia
Tip # 12 – Wwoofing in Australia
Wwoofing in Australia is a good way to meet locals, speak English, and save money. This platform allows travelers to work for locals in exchange for free accommodation and food. To get started, go to their website, sign up, create a profile, and search for hosts in Australia.
Tip # 12 – HelpX in Australia
HelpX is also a very popular platform for backpackers in Australia. The concept is basically the same as Wwoofing, except that everything is done online. The advantage is that you can read reviews and comments of other travelers on different hosts.
Tip # 13 – Fruit Picking in Australia
To find a job you can go directly to the farms and ask them if they need staff. However, it can take up a lot of your time and makes you spend a lot on petrol (provided you have a vehicle). Otherwise, you can use the 500 farm contacts we listed in the free Backpackers Guide. You can also try to find ads on the Internet, but you will notice that they are usually gone very quickly and there are a lot of scams! Some hostels offer to find work for their guests, but you have to be patient.