Keeping Costs Down Down Under: 
Budget-Friendly Travel in Australia

Australia is one of the most beautiful and naturally abundant places on earth. It’s also huge and can be very expensive, so if you’re short on vacation time, chances are you won’t get to every location on your list. However, if you’ve got a month or so to spare, take your time and do it slowly, which is the best way to see a foreign country. There are more than enough travel hacks that’ll help you make the most of Australia on a budget.

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Exploring by Car

Airline travel in Australia has long been prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there’s more competition now and a few cheap domestic flights (for example, check out WebJet) to get from one major city to another. However, if you’re going to Australia to see kangaroos, koala bears, and all that beautiful coastline, driving is the best way to go. Fuel costs can be high depending on where you are, but your chances to save on gas are better if you stick to the coast. Also, buying a vehicle will probably be cheaper than renting, so check out the local deals for an inexpensive but reliable ride, and be prepared to sell it a few weeks later. 

Read also: Should You Choose Australia West or East Coast For A Family Road Trip



If, like many people, you’re headed to Australia to see its exotic flora and fauna, why spend a lot of money on hotels? Why not take the opportunity to do some camping? Australia has a ton of camping parks, and many of them are free or very inexpensive. The town of Gregory in Queensland is a perfect example of a popular but affordable camping destination. Be sure to check out your itinerary’s camping opportunities online. If you love being outdoors and are okay with not having a full bathroom within reach, you’ll enjoy camping, getting to know Australians, and seeing a beautiful country at ground level. Caravan parks are also a good deal, with prices in the $35 to $60 range; they have amenities and are ideal for families. If this piques your interest, check out Big4 and Top Tourist Parks for more information. 

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Australia’s hostels are plentiful, clean, and cheap, and are usually a draw for the younger set. However, this can be a great option for families if you don’t mind settling in among strangers. YHA Hostels have family rooms and tend to be higher quality than other hostels. If you’d like to stay in an affordable location with an incredible view of Sydney Harbour, don’t miss Sydney Harbour YHA – The Rocks. You’ll have views of the world-famous Sydney Opera House from the rooftop. Airbnb and low-cost hotel chains like Travelodge and Ibis hotels are also cost-conscious options.



Eating out in Australia can be pricey, so plan on doing some grocery shopping during your journey. Woolworths and Coles are the leading grocery chains, while IGA and Foodworks are less costly alternatives in many parts of the country. If you’re determined to have the restaurant experience, opt for breakfast or lunch, which will save you plenty over an overpriced (but delicious) dinner out. You’ll find inexpensive food and drink at bowls clubs or surf clubs in many of Australia’s smaller towns. And, like the US, there are plenty of places where you can grab some affordable take-out or jump into a pub for a sandwich before getting back on the road.


Sun and Surf

One of the great iconic images of life in Australia is tanned surfers riding the waves at one of the country’s many stunning beaches. Every coastal state has a wealth of beautiful sandy beaches, though be advised that some of the popular public beaches can get pretty crowded.  


Staying Unplugged

It may seem obvious, but it bears mentioning that for this type of vacation, it pays to stay unplugged. Limiting cell phone use can help you avoid sticker shock when you return from home, and it ensures you’re more focused on your vacation. Of course, with this type of vacation, the last thing you should be doing is working. Not only does this add unnecessary stress, but it hampers your ability to be fully present and make the most of an amazing experience. Take our advice: leave work at home

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Read also: 7 Ways To Practice Self Care While Traveling



On a final note…

Australia is a very outdoors-oriented culture, and it can be a great place to travel if you’re into outdoor adventures, many of which are free or inexpensive. So, save the cities for a later trip, and enjoy the best of what Australia has to offer, all while saving money.



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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.

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