How to Backpack in Australia on a Budget

Backpacking is not a rich man’s sport by any means; in fact, some of the “richest” backpacking experiences don’t involve any money at all. Cooking with new friends at a hostel, playing guitar around the campfire, learning new phrases from the locals, jumping in the ocean at night… this is backpacking! But Australia is not a cheap place, so it’s important to follow a few tips to make sure you can backpack here as long as possible on your budget!


Use Hostel Memberships

Australia has some of the best hostels out there, so it’s a great way to stay when backpacking here. Hostel memberships run around $25 a year, and they’ll shave off a few bucks off each night of your stay, which adds up over time. Don’t forget to purchase an Australia travel insurance plan just in case you lose any of your belongings on your trip.

Use Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a great organization that connects travelers looking for a place to sleep, with hosts who’ve got some space. It’s all based on an idea of friendly connection, so it’s much more than just a free place to stay. It’s meant to facilitate connections between travelers and locals, so if you couchsurf, make sure to show gratitude to your host- cook them a meal or take them out, and in exchange they’ll probably show you all around town.

Talk for Cheap

Bring your laptop and mobile device and take advantage of the free ways you can call home. Skype and Google Hangouts are entirely free as long as you have an internet connection. You can always jump on a hostel computer for free if you don’t travel with your laptop.

Eat Cheaply

Eating out can get very expensive in Australia, and it’s not exactly an exotic type of cuisine anyway. Save your cash and cook your own food instead. Pick up some staples at the grocery store and take advantage of the hostel kitchen. You’ll also be more likely to meet people if you’re hanging out in the communal area anyway! Make sure your hostel offers free breakfast as well.

Skip the Cabs

Cabs are expensive in Australia, so take a bus instead. Public transportation is pretty good in the major cities, and so much cheaper than cabbing it. You can take buses between cities as well for a pretty decent fare.


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