6 Top Tips for backpacking Australia in 2018
It is a well known fact that Australia is unlike anywhere else in the world; with the intense climate, dangerous wildlife, and the crazy people that choose to live in such a place. But once you go to Australia you’ll really understand why people never want to leave. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagined. The active, outdoors approach to life is infectious and you’ll find yourself doing things you never thought you’d do such as skydiving out a plane, or bungee-jumping off of a cliff.
Here are 6 useful tips and tricks to help you on your way
1. Plan, roughly
There are two types of travelers: those that plan everything, and those that plan nothing. Neither of these are wrong, but I’ve found that the best travel experiences need both planning and spontaneity. It’s easy to underestimate how long it will take you to travel such a vast country and spending longer than planned along the Great Ocean Road – fun as that may be – will mean that you might have to sacrifice exploring the Blue Mountains, or visiting the Uluru.
Now it’s time to be realistic. Spending money while abroad is extremely easy but saving money isn’t as hard as you might think. If you have a student or hostel card you will often be granted a substantial discount – but you have to ask for it. And it’s not just accomodation, tours, stores, and even grocery stores may offer discounts. Another insanely easy trick that is often looked over, buy reusable items; or, instead of buying a bottle of water everyday, buy a stainless steel bottle and fill it up as you go. Sometimes it’s the little savings that mean a lot, especially if it helps protect our world.
Always make sure that you have enough money to support yourself in case something unexpected occurs. It is always always more comforting to have a surplus saved up rather than a limited amount.
3. Travelling in and around Australia
The quickest and easiest way to get around Australia is to fly. But flying is expensive and also environmentally unfriendly. Taking a bus is one of the cheapest forms of transport and allows you to see a lot more of the country. Gaze out of the window and see the mesmerizing landscapes change from blue tinged mountains, to kangaroos bounding along the rust-coloured bush.
There are many buses that offer hop-on-hop-off travel passes such as Loka or Greyhound busses.
Other cheap and Eco-friendly ways of travelling are: trains, car sharing – goget is the largest car sharing service in Australia with 1300+ vehicles , hitchhiking, or if you find yourself in Alice Springs, why not travel in style and see the vast outback desert from the air in a hot air balloon?
Figuring out where you’re going to stay ahead of time can be a bit of a bore but it is so worth it. You’ll be able to relax more during your holiday as there’s one less thing to worry about. Another great benefit of booking early is that you’ll find that hotels, hostels, Airbnb, campsites – where ever you want to stay – will be that much cheaper and this will really help with the budgeting.
But let’s not forget our friend spontaneity. I’m not saying book every aspect of your travels because that’s unrealistic and sometimes unwanted. Booking can gives necessary structure to certain parts of your travels but isn’t needed for everywhere. For places such as the big cities, it might be best to book to reduce costs and to effectively time manage in a more expensive area. But, for the more rural areas, I personally find it best to leave my plans as open as possible. This not only allows a lot more freedom to spend as much time as you want exploring the area, but also gives you the opportunity to spend a night under the stars biving or hanging out in a hammock.
5. Work to pay your way
If you’re travelling for a long time, you either have to save before hand and carefully plan out exactly how much you will spend where, or you can find some part time work. Now stay with me, I know that work while travelling doesn’t seem exciting. And you’d be right; it’s not nearly as exciting as safari tours, or whitewater rafting, or rock climbing, or exploring the night life Australia has to offer.
But, it’s not nearly as dull and dreadful as you might originally think. Not only does work give you money to spend doing all the previously mentioned activities and the time of your life, it also allows for you to meet people that you most probably wouldn’t have before. Australians are known to be open and friendly and that doesn’t change in a work environment. If you get a job as a waiter, you’ll discover some amazing people. The stories and lives you’ll discover from staff and customers alike can be some of the most memorable from your entire trip.
6.‘ Dangerous’ Animals
Now, one big misconception about Australia that often holds people back from visiting is the wildlife. It is not nearly as dangerous as you think, if you act sensibly that is. If you run around a snake poking at it with a stick or seperate a joey (baby kangaroo) from its parents, then there’s not much I can do for you. That animal would be perfectly justified in attacking you because you caused a threat. But, thankfully, animals won’t attack without a reason. So treat animals with respect and be mindful of your surroundings.
The risks are actually very low: more people die each year from bee stings than from encounters with snakes, sharks, dingoes, saltwater crocodiles or jellyfish. Spider bites are rarely fatal thanks to the availability of anti-venom. That said, do take simple precautions: redback spiders, for example, hide in sheltered places so always check under toilet seats, especially in outside lavatories.