OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide
Money Management for the Backpacker in Australia

Money Management for the Backpacker 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.

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Australian Bank Accounts Explained - Backpackers Guide

Australian Bank Accounts Explained - Backpackers Guide

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.

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Currency Conversion Guide for Backpackers in Australia

Currency Conversion Guide for Backpackers in Australia

Knowing how to convert currencies will be a definite advantage to backpackers in Australia and all over the world. This calculation is a simple but very useful tool which will help you compare costs in Australia.

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The Backpacker's Budget for Australia - Cost Of living In Australia - PART 1

The Backpacker's Budget for Australia - Cost Of living In Australia - PART 1

Budgeting for backpacking in Australia is all about getting the most out of your trip with the funds you have available. In this article we outline 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.

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Cash Supply for Backpacking Around Australia

Cash Supply for Backpacking Around Australia

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.

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A Guide to Travellers Cheques for Backpackers in Australia

A Guide to Travellers Cheques for Backpackers in Australia

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.

Travellers cheques have no expiry date so you can hold on to them for as long as you want and they will still be valid. There are lots of 'issuers' (banks or companies) you can buy your travellers cheques from, so shop around for the best deal because they can vary quite a lot (learn about exchange rates, in the Currency Conversion Guide for Backpackers in Australia article).

How do travellers cheques actually work?

Essentially, when you buy a backpackers cheque, you're lending the issuer (American Express, Travelex etc...) an interest free loan until you 'encash' your cheques. The good thing with travellers cheques is that your cheques are insured against loss or theft and can be replaced quite quickly. So they can be a secure option to include in your contingency plan if you need access to money in an emergency (see section Contingency Funds - Savings when you need them - Backpacking Australia – PART 1).

They are usually provided in sets of 5 or 10 in denominations of $20, $50 or $100 (i.e, if you order $250AUD you will probably be given 5x $50AUD cheques). When you're in Australia, they can be encashed in a lots of locations (i.e, post offices, banks, beuro de change shop fronts etc...). You can find the closest 'payee' (the shop that changes your cheques into cash) through the issuers website.

When you get your travellers cheques they will come with a receipt containing a unique reference for each cheque which will be used to claim a refund if they are lost or stolen.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia Don't keep the reference receipt in the same place as your cheques! You can always leave a written record of them with your Appointed Person or make scans of the recipt which you can save to your USB Flash Drive.

Also when you receive your travellers cheques, sign them straight away. This ensures that the cheques can only be encashed by you. Be aware that there are usually two spaces for signatures on the cheque, one for protection as mentioned before and another for when you actually encash the cheque, so make sure you sign the correct one.

What are the charges on travellers cheques?

You can get travellers cheques which have a 0% commission (i.e, no charges to buy them), but you will most likely be charged by the payee when you encash them. These rates do vary but generally it's around 1-2% of the amount you wish to exchange.

How do I encash my travellers cheques in Australia?

To encash your travellers cheques you need to visit a local payee (i.e, post office, bank, beuro de change shop front etc...). then date and countersign the cheque(s) in the payee's presence. You will need to take some identification with you which will prove that the signature is actually yours. A passport or driving license is ideal, just remember to sign it in the presence of the payee and NOT BEFORE (The payee needs to see you write your signature for security).

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia When you know where you will be staying, do an internet search for the closest locations where you can find a payee to change you cheques into cash and write them down inside your personal organiser (see section Keeping A Personal Organiser While Backpacking Around Australia.

The airport will usually be the first opportunity but are most likely to be overly expensive. Make sure you get some of the payee's locations in town so you will know where to encash your cheques when you need to.

What if my travellers cheques are lost or stolen?

In the event of lost or stolen travellers cheques you must report it to both the police and the issuer without hesitation! When you report the loss or theft to the issuer remember to have the receipt (unique references) ready, this will help to make the refund process more efficient.

When you report it to the police take any and all information of the officer who is in charge of your case (name, station address, contact phone number... etc) and ask them for the crime number as well.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia A crime number is a reference code the police use to retrieve your case and acts as proof to the issuer that you have definately reported it to the police. Be polite but insist that you're provided with the crime number before you leave.
Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Electronic Funds Transfer - Transferring Money to Australia

Electronic Funds Transfer - Transferring Money to Australia

If you're on a Working Holiday Visa or are travelling for extended periods the largest part of your holiday funds will be paid into your Australian bank account. Learn how to transfer money to Australia.

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Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Contingency Funds - Savings when you need them - Backpacking Australia – PART 1

Contingency Funds - Savings when you need them - Backpacking Australia – PART 1

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.

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Contingency Funds backpacking Australia

Contingency Funds while backpacking in Australia

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.

Staying In Touch - Backpacking Australia

Staying In Touch - Communications For Backpacking Around Australia

It's always a good idea to know as many ways of contacting people as possible when you're on your travels. Learn the best ways of keeping in contact while backpacking around Australia.

Driving Documents - Taking Your Driving License With You - Backpacking Guide

If you have a driving license and you intend to drive during your trip you will need to take it with you. If you won't be driving in Australia remember it's still a good solid form of identification to take for proof.

Appointed Person - Help from home - Managing Life in Australia And At Home

When you go to Australia it's important to have somebody you can trust at home to help you out when you need to get things done. Read our guide about choosing an appointed person before you go.

Using Mobile Phones & Backpacking Around Australia

A mobile phone is a necessity for anybody spending time in Australia. Even if you're only staying for a short period it's still highly advisable to get an Australian SIM card and compatible mobile phone.

About OzUltra Backpacking »

The OzUltra Backpacking Australia Guide has been complied by a small team of seasoned backpackers who love Australia and share this guide freely for all future backpackers heading to Australia.

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