The seasons can affect the timing of your travel plans. This section will cover some of the more fundamental aspects of Australia's geography and other helpful tips for travelling.
Whatever plans you have made for backpacking in Australia you will need to take some cash with you. The amount you take will depend on what you have managed to do in the planning phase (i.e, prebooked accommodation, shuttle, opened an Australian bank account, etc...). Learn how much cash you will need to take to Australia to see you through the first 2 weeks.
Anything can happen when you're backpacking around Australia and if something goes wrong, having a contingency fund will enable you to act quickly when you need to get things sorted out. In the case of an emergency (i.e, your money gets lost or stolen) or even if you simply over spend and just wind up broke, you will need access to money, accommodation, food, transport & identification documents to get everything back on track.
Travellers cheques can be used to safely transport your money to Australia where they can be 'encashed' at some stage during your trip. They can be ordered in a shop front (bank, post office, etc...) or online which are delivered to you in the post.Learn how to use travellers cheques and why they are good for backpacking in Australia.
When you're planning a backpacking trip to Australia, knowing how to sensibly manage your money is one of the most important aspects. You will need to know how to open an Australian bank account, transfer money, proctect yourself in a financial emergency and of course, how to budget for your trip (i.e, cost of living in Australia). Learn everything you need to know about managing money for backpacking in Australia.
An Australian bank account can be opened before you go which you can then transfer funds into in advance for when you arrive or alternatively you can open an account when you get there. Both options for opening a new Australian bank account are covered in this article as well as some helpful ideas about how to choose the right account for you.
Knowing how to convert currencies will be a definite advantage to backpackers in Australia and all over the world. The maths is simple but very useful to anyone backpacking around Australia. It will help you work out the costs involved when it comes to budgeting your trip and understanding the value of money in a foreign country (if you're budgeting for your trip, see section Backpacker's Budget).
Foreign exchange rates are the comparative value of each nations currency which is based on the economical status at a specific time. As technical as this sounds, all it means is how much value one type of currency has compared to another (i.e, £GPB - $AUD, $USD - €EUR, etc...).
The exchange rates change on a daily basis, so it's a good idea to check them occasionally to stay up to date with the current rates that affect you. Of course the rates changing over time is according to the economy but they can also differ greatly depending on the source.
For example, if a you wanted to buy some Australian dollars to take with you, you would have to find somewhere to purchase the money. There is no shortage of sources for you to choose from, foreign currency can be purchased on the internet, at the bank, in the travel agents, at the airports, in the post office etc...
So you could walk down your local high street, go into a bank and buy some Australian dollars only to visit the post office next door and find a much better rate. This is because companies who convert currency set the rates they offer to make a profit out of the exchange. So staying up to date with the rates different companies are offering (choosing to buy when your currency is 'strong') is a necessity to gain the best value for your money.
Another contributing factor can be a charge which is added on top for the 'service'. This means as well as profiting from the rates they provide, they can also have a 'standard fee' which they will charge if you use them.
Usually this kind of thing takes place in airports or by opportunists taking advantage of certain situations. Unfortunately the banks fall into this bracket and don't usually offer very decent rates. This also applies to electronic funds transfer and drawing money out on a credit/debit card from an A.T.M (you usually get charged a percentage around 3% per transaction) as they are out to profit any way they can.
There are however companies who do change money without any excess fees. So research and compare all the options available and keep your eye on the rates.
To calculate the foreign exchange rates you first need to know the most current rates available. The rates are shown in all sorts of places and can vary a lot depending on your source but for these examples the rates used are provided by the XE PCA.
On the left is the amount to be converted $1AUD and next to that on the right is a menu where you can select your own currency by clicking the down arrow (default is set in $USD). The $AUD - $USD will be used for the ease of this example, all you have to do now is click 'Go!' (scroll right) and it will provide you with the latest rates according to XE.
Once you have the currency rates you wish to convert, you can then apply the maths and calculate the relative cost of anything in $AUD compared to your own currency.
The maths is simple and can be done using a calculator when you're backpacking around and need to check the cost of something compared to your native currency. Most mobile phones have a calculator function these days or if you put together a Personal Organiser you will have your mini calculator.
So the simple maths equasion looks like this...
If you wanted to find out how much the equivalent price of one nights accommodation will cost, priced at $17AUD. And the rates with XE the result was $1AUD = $0.933475USD, we can see that 1 Australian dollar is equal to 93 American cents.
Using the equation above it will look like this...
If you were out shopping for a tent which was priced at $159.95AUD and wanted to know the converted price in ¥JPY (Yen, Japanese currency) which currently stood at a rate of ¥87.5471JPY to the Australian dollar. It would look like this...
There are lots of ferries dotted around Australia. There are river boats/ferries and CityCats. Some take vehicles across small river crossing points and others which cross from Melbourne to Tasmania.
For calling international numbers (i.e, contacting people at home) a phone card/ticket will often provide you with the best rates. Learn how to call home with low calling costs when you need to.
Setting up an Australian bank account (A.B.A) is going to be an absolute necessity for spending time in Australia. Learn how to get setup before you go and which banks are best for backpacking in Australia.
Learn how to budget for backpacking around Australia including getting up to date prices for accommodation, transport, essential shopping items and day-to-day living expenses so you can budget your trip with confidence before you go.
When you're travelling to Australia you will need to take an up to date original bank statement with you. It will be helpful to prove funds and identification when you wish to open an Australian Bank Account.
Travel safety is always affected by a range of factors including your location, the people that surround you in each given moment and the activities you decide to take part in. Stay safe, read our guide.
There are some jobs in Australia which require you to attend a basic introductory course. These courses are usually quite short and are meant to give you the necessary certificates needed to start work.