Australia can be a pretty expensive place to visit. However, there are a few ways around this, if you’re willing to make a few sacrifices. Follow our 8 step guide to saving cash so you can maximize your holiday and save some serious dough.
Step 1: You’ll need a van to live out of. We have heaps of tips on how to live in your vehicle here. Once you have a van and are living out of it you can kiss rent and expenses good buy. Also, you’ll want to prepare to live in a van so pack very lightly and bring only the essentials. We’ve put together a list of van must haves here.
Step 2: You’ll obviously need a job to bring in some dollaridos. If you’re planning on heading to Australia check out our crash course for obtain a work holiday visa. If you’re able to get work in Oz you’ll be very happy with your wage and your paychecks. If your living in a vehicle and working you will start to see the money pile up.
Step 3: Food and dining can be expensive in Australia. Although it will be difficult you’ll want to resist all urges to eat out at expensive Australian cafes and restaurants. Woolworths and Coles will become your most frequently visited businesses. Make sure you utilize the plethora of BBQs at any park in Australia and enjoy the luxury of dining at the beach. This is one of our favorite Aussie rituals. Outdoor cooking facilities in this country are luxurious and each one equally unique, some even have sinks, and boiling hot water dispensers. BBQs at the beach beat a $30 meal at a restaurant any day.
Step 4: The price of booze in this country is outrageous. If you like to have an adult beverage here or there be prepared to shell out $16-$25 for a 6 pack and $45-$65 for a 24 pack. We basically gave up drinking in Australia apart form knockoffs (Shift Drinks) after work. Boxed wine aka “goon” is your best bet for cheap grog running form $10-$20 per box, we were never a fan of goon, we thought it was complete shit… Which it is. Also drinks out at a bar are easily $10+ so be prepared to drop some serious cash if you want to get on the piss. *HOT TIP* Any time you visit Coles/Woolworths (grocery store chains) look at your receipt, there are alway booze deals on it which are usually $10-$13 dollar six packs, which is an amazing deal in this country.
Step 5: The good thing about living in your vehicle is that you won’t have any room for additional “things”. We tend to buy a lot of things we don't need when we live in a house our an apartment. But once you’re in your van you can’t buy any unnecessary crap because you simply don't have room for it. You’ll find this to be one of the best parts of vanlife. Say goodbye to buyers remorse. Simplify your life and spend your hard earned money on experiences and not things. You’ll discover this to be one of the most rewarding parts of vanlife and you’ll find yourself to be much better off mentally and financially.
Step 6: Once you’re on the road we found that we could really stretch our dollar if we would stay in one area for a few days. If you have stocked up at the grocery store and have the essentials you need to get buy for 4-5 days, you'll notice that you spend significantly less than if you are traveling and going to the store every day. We all know that we go to the store for 5 items and come out spending $50 without even knowing it. So stock up and move slow and enjoy the Aussie lifestyle.
Step 7: Fuel aka Petrol can fluctuate so much in a week in Australia. If you see cheap petrol, fill up. Gas prices can go up 20 cents per liter in one day. Also, hold on to your Coles and Woolworths receipts they always have fuel offers at participating petrol stations where you can save up to 8 cents per liter.
Step 8: Spend time outside with nature. Go on a hike, hang out at the beach, go for a surf, or just enjoy the outdoors. It’s free and it’s the best and most authentic way of traveling. Check out a few of our guides for traveling Australia cheap on this page.
Step 9: Live and die by your budget. This should be actually be step one. Sticking to the budget is our most important rule. What we do is set a weekly budget and pull out that budget in cash from the ATM. Having cash helps you track how much you're spending. If you're blowing through your budget way too easy, set a more attainable budget. We found that around $400 per week for the two of us was enough. If you're going through cash too fast, revert to Step 6.