Getting to Australia is not the easiest or shortest trip for most and often the plane flight alone will eat into a large part of your holiday budget. So what about when you get there? Well Australia is expensive. So for those of you on a budget, planning a few things in advance and knowing what to expect is important to keeping the costs down. I recently visited Perth and even with some budget planning, I was surprised to find how expensive it was. But you can visit Perth on a budget and here are my top tips for doing so!
1. TAKE BUSES
Ok this sounds obvious, but buses are a lot cheaper than taxis or Uber here and they also have a two hour window that you can use your ticket to take another journey. So for AUD 5 you can go from the airport to Cottesloe, the pretty beach area of Perth instead of an estimated AUD 45 – 65 in an Uber. The buses are clean, on time, easy to navigate and if like us you are the last person on the bus, the driver may even take you beyond the designated bus stop and drop you right outside your accommodation!
2. STAY IN HOSTELS
Hostels in Australia are generally a great option for those on a budget. We booked two nights at the Ocean Beach Backpackers which is literally 100 yards from the beach! You can go for a shared dorm room, or like us take a private room for around AUD 60 a night. The hostel was great, and if you are not one for noisy hostels they have an 11pm policy where they close the communal drinking areas. On Thursdays they have a BBQ, with amazing burgers for AUD 4 – I promise that’s the cheapest meal you will buy in Perth!
3. GO TO THE MARKET
Restaurants in general are expensive in Perth and you will typically find that a main course will be AUD 25+ and often more likely to be AUD 30+. Coming over from Bali we were a little shocked by the prices, so we opted to pick up some essentials in the supermarket and cook for ourselves. In fact, we ended up eating in the place with the best view, right on the beach, a picnic and wine at sunset!
There are some BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage) in Perth and this is a great way to keep the costs of eating out down. Head to your local bottle shop to pick up some wine and then corkage is around AUD 3-5 which significantly reduces the restaurant bill. We found an amazing BYOB Italian in CBD (Central Business District) called Franco Forte, which is down a small shopping gangway so you may initially question the location, but the queue alone will confirm how great this place is!
5. GO IN A GROUP
Everything drops in price in a group and that is certainly the case in Perth and the surrounding areas. Hiring a car or place to stay is better if it’s a shared cost. For part of our trip we met friends and shared the cost or an Air BNB and whilst over on Rottnest Island, we wished we had friends with us as our cabin had room for six people!
6. LOOK FOR DEALS
We spoke with a few locals and even they said they rarely ate out and typically barbequed at home. They suggested checking deal websites for activities, tours and restaurants, something we hadn’t thought of, but sites like Groupon often offer two for one deals that you can take advantage of. In addition, on the ferry ride over to Rottnest Island (which you must go to) I noticed an offer for 25% off the ferry ticket cost, which is quite appreciated when the tickets and admission total AUD 85 pp.
7. GET A SIM CARD
If you are flying in you can pick up a SIM card at Vodafone or Optus just after you exit baggage claim. For a weeks stay a AUD 15 pre-paid card provides 500 MB data (plus calls) per day. This is a lot cheaper than some hostels charge for use of WIFI in the common areas and will be enough for you to jump on the internet for planning your activities and the important task of updating your social media!
I hope this article helped you with some ideas for how to budget in Australia. Please share you own ideas with our readers in the comments below.