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Tips for Travelling Australia on Budget


Australia is a bucket-list destination for many, and for good reason! But, travelling around Australia can be pricey. With so many lavish tourist attractions on offer, a holiday can soon feel out of reach (and out of budget). To help you make the most of your travel around Australia on a budget, we’ve created a list of travel hacks that will help you see and do more without breaking the bank. Planning a vacation is all about balance; you’d be surprised at how much you can save by using just a few of these tips.

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The cheapest way to travel around Australia

Hiring a campervan for your trip is just one cost-effective way to travel around Australia. Forget expensive accommodation, and keep costs down by choosing this alternative travel method. Think of your camper as your hotel on wheels. Not only is it a thrifty way to travel, but it’s also the best way to travel around Australia, allowing you to really get off the beaten path.

When a country has magnificent views everywhere you look, you want to make the most of it. Hit the open road and soak up all the stunning scenery along the way. Enjoy the flexibility that comes with being your own tour guide. If you fall in love with a particular place, spend a bit longer there without the worry of missing your next hotel reservation.

Public transportation and backpacker hostels are another great way to save while sight seeing. You may wish to do a bit of both for longer trips.

6 tips for travelling Australia on a budget

1. Campervan Hacks 

Travelling in a campervan is a budget-friendly way to travel and explore new places. Once you’re on the road, there are even more campervan hacks you can do to keep costs down.

  • Know how to buy cheaper petrol - This hack could save you a lot of money when on the road. Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fill up your campervan tank. This will save you between $0.05 - $0.10 per litre and up to $0.15 for city-based areas. Avoid Friday and Saturdays and the start of holiday periods when prices will be unfairly hiked up. Also, check the bottom or back of receipts from supermarkets such as Coles, Safeway and Woolworths, as they often include fuel discount coupons.
  • Bring your own washing detergent - Laundry services in Australia can be quite expensive. So why not buy a small bottle of hand washing detergent so you can do some of the washes on the go.
  • Bring your own spices - Cooking in the campervan is fun and easy, but sometimes camping food can be a little on the bland side. But it doesn’t have to be! Put your favourite and common spices in Tic Tac containers to bring with you. This way it doesn’t take up much space and won’t spill on the drive.
  • Make your own mosquito repellent - Save money on expensive mosquito repellents and make your own. All you have to do is place bundles of sage next to your campervan or campfire to keep mosquitos away. If you still get bitten by one, apply some deodorant on the bite to stop the itching. It smells good too.

2. Take advantage of budget-friendly accommodation

Although hostels and campsites are great options, we’ve gathered some more ideas to save some money on accommodation:

  • Free Camping. Free camping or freedom camping is the ultimate outdoor experience. Enjoy the peace and quiet away from the crowds. This budget-friendly alternative to campsites will allow you to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. To see where in Australia you can freedom camp check out this article. When it comes to freedom camping, the general rule of thumb is, only do this in a self-contained vehicle and be sure you’re following local guidelines to avoid a fine.
  • thl Roadtrip App. Campermate is the most popular free camping and travel app that makes travelling in Australia easier than ever before. The app shows you everything that you need to know, from highly rated free campsites and unique travel trips from fellow travellers to petrol stations and free wifi points.
  • Stay in holiday parks. Take advantage of the central location and low cost of most holiday parks. You’ll be able to park up your camper and use the communal facilities on-site.

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3. Find cheap eats

Eating out at restaurants, pubs, and bars could quickly deplete your budget. Aside from preparing your own meals, here are a few ideas for finding cheap eats when you’re on your travels:

  • Stock up at supermarkets - Coles and Woolworths supermarkets often have specials on. Familiarise yourself with what food is in season, as fruit and vegetables will be significantly cheaper at this time. Then use them to prepare your own meals in your camper.
  • Have a BBQ - There are free public BBQs available in most parks and beaches around Australia and at shared campsites. Craving a steak? Chuck one on the BBQ instead of dining at an expensive restaurant.
  • Visit the local farmers markets - Stock up on the fresh, local produce from nearby markets and enjoy a few home-cooked meals whilst on the road.

4. Save money on drinks

When you’re visiting tourist attractions or Australia’s big cities, prices are usually hiked up. Keep costs down by saving money on drinks whilst travelling. Here are some tips:

  • Refill your water bottle for free - Be kinder to your wallet and the planet and refill your water bottle instead of buying bottles of water. You’ll be able to refill your bottle at any public bubbler (water fountain), and store it in your camper fridge.
  • Bottle shops are cheaper - Alcohol is quite expensive in Australia, so you need to know where to shop. Keep costs down and buy your alcohol in Bottle Shops like BWS, Liquorland and Dan Murphy’s.
  • Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting - Australia is full of great wine regions. But buying local wines can be expensive. Instead, enquire about complimentary wine tastings. Many vineyards do this with no obligation to purchase anything at the end of the tasting. Make a day of it and cycle from vineyard to vineyard.

5. Find free activities near you

You can still explore new cities and soak up the local culture, without breaking the bank. Research the best free things to do in the area you’re visiting to get the local tips. In general, you can’t go wrong with these tips:

  • Take advantage of the free walking tours - I’m Free Walking Tours in Sydney and Melbourne offer free guided city tours daily. These free walking tours are held by knowledgeable local guides who show you the sights and tell the local area’s history. If you enjoyed the tour, you could leave a tip.
  • Stroll around the parks - There are a lot of beautiful public parks around Australia which are free to enter. The urban parks are the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Enjoy a peaceful stroll or sit with a picnic.
  • Visit the local museums - Museums and galleries are usually free to enter in Australia. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the Aboriginal and Australian cultures. And, soak up the historically significant collections and marvel at the art exhibitions.
  • Get to know the local wildlife - Australia is brimming wildlife, and you can get up close and personal (within reason) for free. Catch a glimpse of Australia’s most famous animals for free at a local reserve.

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6. Immerse yourself in the great outdoors

Millions of tourists flock to Australia every year for the spectacular views and tropical climate. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a cent to soak up the incredible views that surround you. Immerse yourself in the great outdoors and make the most of the jaw-dropping scenery.

  • Explore the National Parks - Australia has over 500 National Parks, which are usually free to enter. It might even become the highlight of your trip. Find one near you.
  • Enjoy a coastal walk - Australia has plenty of spectacular coastal walks which lets you experience the city's surroundings without spending a cent.
  • Have a beach day - It’s no secret that Australia has some of the best beaches in the world. There are over 10,000 in total, and all major cities are coastal. Soaking up the sun, listening to the waves and watching the surfers is a cheap way to spend the day.

Ready For Your Next Adventure?

There you have it, our top tips on how to travel around Australia on a budget. You can travel just about anywhere in Australia on a budget. Take advantage of free activities and the cheaper alternatives for food and drinks. There’s no better feeling than a vacation that’s fast approaching. So why not book your Mighty camper today. Check out the latest Mighty camper deals here.

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