Top 10 Money-Saving Tips for Travelling Australia on a Budget

Beaches, wildlife and never-ending sunshine – these are just a few things that attract tourists to Australia. Curious to know how you can travel Australia on a budget?

Enjoying a holiday doesn’t necessarily translate to breaking the bank. There are dozens of simple ways in which you can end up saving money, even on an international trip.

So, if you’re planning to travel to Australia, here are 10 money-saving tips you’ll thank us for later.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

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Top 10 Money-Saving Tips For Travelling Australia on a Budget

Visiting Australia doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you’re looking for a holiday filled with adventure or some rest and relaxation, there are plenty of ways to travel Australia on a budget.

With a little planning and research, and the help of our 10 tips for how to travel to australia on a budget, you can easily enjoy the best of what Australia has to offer without spending too much.

A sunset view over the Sydney Opera House to the suburbs beyond.

1. Pick A Cheap Time To Travel

If you haven’t booked your flight tickets yet, hold on! Whilst Australia is one of the best countries to visit in January (summertime Down Under), it is also one of the most expensive months to visit. I recommend you stay clear of visiting from November to April.

If you’re looking to save some money on your travels, consider travelling during off-peak season. How about planning your trip somewhere between May and August? You can expect fewer crowds, better deals and more discounts.

2. Choose More Affordable Options in Australia

When travelling, consider exploring alternative options for accommodation to save money. For example, instead of splurging on expensive 5-star accommodation in Sydney, why not try more affordable alternatives?

Platforms like Airbnb and Stayz offer a wide range of beautiful places to stay at a fraction of the cost. 

Additionally, budget accommodation or backpacker-style options can also provide comfortable and budget-friendly stays. 

And lastly, accommodation gets cheaper the further away from the most popular attractions you stay. Why not stay a bit further out and save money by catching the bus to the local attractions?

A road in the outback with a kangaroo sign

3. Take Advantage of Free Activities

Australia is full of free activities, and you should take advantage of them! You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy tours or expensive attractions. 

My suggestion is to visit some of the gorgeous beaches, National Parks, check out some of the glorious views, join free walking tours or take a stroll through around a city. All of these activities can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

Enjoying the beautiful sights in Australia don’t have to cost a cent if you don’t want it to. Natural beauty is completely free, and Australia is full of it! 

4. Travel Light

Australia is an expansive country, and if you plan on exploring multiple states, it’s likely you’ll need to take domestic flights. 

However, many of these airlines only permit carry-on luggage, and checked bags can be prohibitively expensive—especially when traveling with your family as a group. These costs can quickly accumulate. 

To save money, consider packing light and see if you can manage with just carry-on luggage. It’s a smart way to optimise your travel experience without breaking the bank.

4. Research Cheapest Flights

Travelling to Australia can sometimes be a heavy blow to one’s savings. Luckily, there are ways to make it more budget-friendly for you. 

Dedicate sufficient time to researching the most affordable flight options to Australia. I highly recommend comparing different arrival destinations. 

For instance, if your main goal is to visit Queensland, flying into Gold Coast might prove cheaper than flying into Brisbane. 

Alternatively, starting your journey from Perth and then using domestic airlines to get to the other states could also be a cost-effective choice.

I know it is a pain to spend the time to research, but if you are on a budget it will most likely pay off financially for you.

An aerial view along the beach and high-rise buildings on the Gold Coast

5. Hire a Car

Taxis and even Ubers can be quite expensive in Australia, so I suggest considering alternatives. Hiring a car might be a more cost-effective option. 

By booking at least 6 months in advance, traveling in the low-season and opting for the smallest car, you can save money. 

Additionally, consolidating your day trips on the itinerary allows you to rent a car for fewer days instead of the entire trip. 

If you’re traveling with a group, why not consider a Campervan? Not only does it help save costs, but it also adds an extra element of adventure to your journey.

6. Make Your Own Food

While you can always opt for cheap, fast food joints in Australia, you’ll find yourself feeling full, bloated, and sluggish. Plus, how long can you really survive on pizzas and burgers? 

Dining at sit-down restaurants can be quite costly, hence it’s worth considering preparing your own meals.

Look for hotels offering kitchenettes or choose an Airbnb rental with a full kitchen, providing convenience for cooking your own delicious creations.

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef

7. Look for Discounted Or Packaged Entries To Attractions

This is one of the most fruitful ways you can save money on your trip to Australia. In fact, Australia is known to have a multitude of beautiful museums, theme parks and attractions to visit.

There are various discounted options for tourists, families, and group travellers. Keep your eyes open for these coupons and take advantage of them whenever possible.

A great site to grab cheaper tickets from is Groupon and Scoopon or research the Entertainment App which has all sorts of offers on food, accommodation, car hire and activities.

8. Buy Your Alcohol from the Bottleshop

Alcohol, particularly cocktails, can be quite pricey in Australia when purchased from hotel bars or restaurants. However, significant savings can be made by buying alcohol from a bottleshop like Dan Murphy’s or BWS. 

If you wish to enjoy alcohol at a restaurant, consider finding a venue that permits patrons to bring their own alcohol, allowing for substantial cost savings.

10. Pay with a $0 International Transaction Free Credit Card

One of the most valuable money-saving tips we can provide is to thoroughly research credit cards before your trip to Australia. Look for a card that has $0 international transaction fees. 

Many credit cards impose substantial fees for converting currency, so avoiding these cards can lead to significant savings. 

If you’re unable to find a suitable credit card or you’re pressed for time, another excellent option is to use Wise to open an Australian currency account. 

By doing this, you can take advantage of interbank rates, which are much more favourable compared to rates offered by currency exchange bureaus.

Additionally, Australia has a vast network of ATMs scattered throughout the country, ensuring convenient access to cash no matter where your travels take you.

The Australian flag in front of two tall glass skyscrapers

Final Words on How to Travel Around Australia on a Budget

The bottom line is that it is possible to travel around Australia in a budget-friendly way. Our money-saving tips will help you make the most of your travel without any compromises.

Most of these tips are easy to follow and don’t require much sacrifice on your end.

Try to look for free activities, such as visiting beaches or museums, choosing budget accommodation and cooking your own meals instead of eating out. 

As long as you travel smart, you can end up saving money even on international travels and have just as much fun.

Now it’s time to start planning your trip. Read these next
Free Things to Do in Sydney
23 Free Things to Do in Melbourne
Canberra on the Cheap

TRAVEL PLANNING ESSENTIALS

Find flights – I always use Skyscanner as my starting point when searching for flights. One search will give many options including airlines I may not have thought of. This means I can find the best possible flights to suit my needs

Book accommodation – my go to is always Booking.com for the best places to stay. It’s not just hotels anymore, but hostels, apartments, B&Bs and more. I love that the bookings are usually cancellable, and that I can book now and pay later.

Hire a rental carRentalCars.com is my go to here. It allows me to do just one search and it finds cars from many of the different supplies, so no checking multiple websites to compare.

Get travel insurance – you would have heard by now that saying “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. If we’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years it should be how essential travel insurance is. I use CoverMore for my insurance.

Pick up an eSIM – I tried an eSIM on my last trip and it was fantastic. I set it up before I went so it was ready as soon as I landed, and I still had access to my home number for emergencies. Get your own eSIM at Airalo.

Book activities, tours & attractions – I use a few different websites for this. Viator and Get Your Guide tend to be the first places I look. In Asia, Klook often has more options, and in Australia it’s Experience Oz.

Manage your money – the best way to manage your different currencies is with an account from Wise. You can hold money in many different currencies, and use them with the ATM card or from your phone.

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