4 Tips for Visiting Australia on a Budget


Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Katie Dundas

Founder & Owner of: The Accidental Australian

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Travel Writer

The incredible continent of Australia should be high on any millionaire (or backpacker’s) list of places to visit. However, if you fall more on the backpacker end of the scale, and less on the millionaire’s, you’ll find Australia can be an expensive place to visit.
But, fear not, there are a few tricks of the trade that can save you some money on your adventures:

1. Ask for a discount. Yes, it sounds like a trick, but this can actually work, especially if you are looking to travel in the off-season. On my recent trip to Victoria, I had previously seen the tour I was interested in on sale for a much lower rate; however that price hadn’t been extended to the weekend I was looking to travel.

As luck would have it, turns out many people aren’t looking to travel the Great Ocean Road in the middle of a very cold and wet winter, and the tour operator would rather sell the trips at a lower profit margin than not sell them at all. The other obvious selling point of travelling in the winter, besides saving some money, is that the attractions you are looking to see will be far less crowded, fewer tourists with tripods pushing in front of you to photograph their 6 crying children, shorter queues for ice cream cones, etc. etc. There’s always the possibility that you won’t get a discount just by asking, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

2. Skyscanner. This is one of my favourite travel sites for finding cheap flights, both Australia and worldwide. In fact, I almost hate mentioning it, in case the rest of the world discovers its awesomeness and it somehow becomes less effective for me. Unlike some of the American flight search engines, it doesn’t exclude certain (low-cost) airlines from its search results, and it doesn’t charge booking fees, as WebJet and other Australian search engines do. Before I came to Aus, I booked a London to Bangkok trip, and saved the equivalent of about $200, plus flew with a better airline than I had budgeted for.

3. Get paid (sort of) to caravan. Campervan (RV) rental companies often need to move their cars quickly between rental locations, depending on demand. If you are cool with last minute planning, you can often rent a campervan for $5/day, as well as get reimbursed for fuel along the way. (Google Standby Relocs or Drive Now) You need to put up a bond, which gets returned as long as you don’t wrap their caravan around a telephone pole, and you are limited in the number of days you have to make the trip (although sometimes you can purchase extra days for the full rental fee).

I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it sounds like a great way to (frugally) do an Australian road trip, especially when you look at the daily rate for rentals. You can always drop the car off, spend a few days sightseeing, then get a flight back, or even pick up another caravan and keep going. If I was unemployed, this is where I would be right now.

4. Sign up to Travelzoo Australia and airline mailing lists. Get the current travel specials in your inbox. Tiger and Jetstar, the two Australian budget airlines, often do Friday afternoon mailings, with super cheap flights, the catch being they are limited to the first few hundred seats sold.

As with all the budget airlines, you’ll pay extra for checked luggage, but carry-on is free. Don’t let the system beat you- pack light and wear your heaviest clothes on the plane. Nothing wrong with doubling up on tops or sweaters to keep under the weight limit, then taking them off once you get past security (not that I’ve done this…)
Also, I’ve noticed that while travelling domestic, security controls allow liquids to go through, unlike at home. (While chugging a water bottle before I went through security, a guard gave me an exasperated look, rolled his eyes, and told me I didn’t need to throw away the water. No doubt he had done this numerous times, probably to every American he encountered.) But, that means you can take shampoo, soap, etc. in your carry on and not create an international incident. I’d probably still leave the fireworks at home though.

How do you save money when travelling? Feel free to comment in the post below!

Article Credits: Katie Dundas

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor

(For Travel Bloggers & More)
  1. aparupac 3 years ago

    A great post! Will come back to this while travelling my trip to Australia next summer.
    If you like travel related articles, do take a look at my blog!

  2. Anita 3 years ago

    I have always wanted to do the caravan back loading thing, such a good idea. Imagine just taking 6 months off and doing that all over Oz? So cool! Thanks for the inspo!

    • Author
      Katie 3 years ago

      Yes, it’s an awesome way to travel for really cheaply, as long as you’re flexible with dates!

      • Anita 3 years ago

        Yes that is the thing…hence why I havent done it yet. But its defo a long range plan!

  3. Evangelina07 3 years ago

    Cool tips. I use skyscanner all the time, have found flights that were not advertised anywhere else. ??

  4. A Flash Packers Guide 3 years ago

    Book in advance! Cook rather than eat out and travel at off peak times

  5. earthsmagicalplaces 3 years ago

    Great tips thankyou 🙂

  6. Carl Versus Life 3 years ago

    Darling Harbour has a bowling alley that was selling prosecco for $3 a glass. It’s a bowling alley, yes, but take the drink outside and you’ve got beautiful views and a wonderful people watching spot. Didn’t even realise it was a bowling alley til we left haha

  7. Dacian 3 years ago

    Very nice pointers! Australia is one of my dream destinations. Also SkyScanner is so useful in general! Thanks!

  8. nextvacationstore 3 years ago

    Reblogged this on Travel To Inspire.

  9. ittakestwo2017 3 years ago

    Brilliant! And some good tips as well!

  10. Serendipity. 3 years ago

    Great advice, thanks for sharing! We are planning to travel to Australia for a year or so from August and this has made me even more excited! 🙂 x

  11. farahnazirah 3 years ago

    thank you!

  12. adal2com????? 3 years ago

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  14. Dacian 3 years ago

    Great post!

  15. chasingchelseae 3 years ago

    I’ve always wanted to go here!

  16. Becca Gouldbourne 3 years ago

    I’m arriving in Austrlia in August and this has really helped- thank you!

  17. A Flash Packers Guide 3 years ago

    Book in advance! Use points scheme for discounts on sites like Agoda. Travel in off peak times, cook your own meals.

  18. miss_ananya 3 years ago

    These are such great tips! I would love to go to Australia someday. Thanks for cutting my costs!

  19. Love this! I’m currently sitting in Auckland waiting to board my flight to Sydney! Thanks for sharing!

  20. JustAnotherTraveller 3 years ago

    Thank you for this! I’m hopping to plan a budget trip to Aussie next year. I’ll be sure to use these tips!

  21. Marika Lomax 3 years ago

    So helpful! Things I’d have never ever thought about, thank you!

  22. Valent Lau 3 years ago

    Public transport adds up quickly in Sydney. Plan trips stop you aren’t on a bus all the time

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