Money saving tips for travel down under

We all know the Aussie dollar is high right now and the cost of living is going up but that doesn’t mean you should put your travel holiday of a lifetime on hold!

In fact this is one of the best times to go because it’s not as crowded as usual and with the winter season approaching it’s far more enjoyable for those not used to hot climates. And we’re keen to help you out so here’s some tips:

Book with VIP Backpackers
Become a VIP member and you instantly get a saving on your accommodation and tours. You also get a mobile SIM pack and 500km free travel with any Greyhound kilometre travel pass. Plus we frequently advertise good deals on our website so keep in touch with us and we’ll score you the deals!

Here’s a summary of member benefits for great savings:
QBE: Travel Insurance 40% Off
Greyhound: 15% bonus kms on kilometre passes! 10% off other tickets,
Adventure Tours Australia: up to 10% OFF selected tours,
Oz Experience: 5% OFF select national passes,
Mojo Surf: $10 OFF 5 day surf adventure,
Reef Encounters: 10% OFF,
Heading Bush: 5% OFF,
Bunyip Tours: 10% OFF Great Ocean Road Tour,
Mountain Designs: 10% OFF, 5% OFF (make getting an Australian income tax refund fast and easy!)
VIP: %1 OFF accommodation 1200 hostels worldwide,
Great Southern Railway: Up to 55% off,
Premier Coaches: 10% OFF,
Way Outback Desert Safaries: $30 OFF,
Traveller’s Autobarn: $49 OFF

Avoid the big cities
Yeah we know Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are way cool but they are expensive so maybe, and we’re sorry to say, knock one off the schedule and head somewhere else. The east coast is also more expensive than places further inland and we have plenty of accommodation options across the country to choose from.

Go camping out west
There are a lot of free camping sites in Australia but unfortunately not along the east coast. If you’re prepared to travel to rural areas then this is a good way to travel around and not pay for your accommodation. Some of these sites may limit the number of nights you can stay, ask a donation and request you keep them in good condition – but we know you will do all those things!!

Buy from supermarkets
Eating out constantly is expensive, so either eat in Asian diners (always cheaper) or look out for pub specials or stick to the supermarkets. Do note that in the inner city, where some hostels are, these supermarkets can be more expensive so ask your friendly receptionist for the best ones.

Most cities have fun weekend markets where you can top up your fresh fruit and veges far cheaper than in the supermarket. And the other option is volunteer in community gardens and you’ll be given fresh stuff too!

Get a car
Renting a car can be expensive over a long period so either travel with other people and share the costs or consider buying one yourself. You can then advertise where you want to go and for other people to share the costs and sell it at the end so you don’t lose out too much.

Pack it with camping gear and you can sleep and eat out the back of it as you overland around Australia. Sweet!

Don’t get a taxi or a car, go Greyhound
Taxis are real expensive in Australia so avoid them unless you absolutely are stuck. And if you don’t fancy driving all those kilometres yourself then go for a bus pass. VIP Backpackers offer 10% off Greyhound travel or 500km free with the purchase of a pass, plus we have superb deals on Oz Experience travel passes so consider them instead for an easy jaunt around the country!!

Travel with a friend
It’s always cheaper sharing costs with a friend be that transport, accommodation, car rental and the like. If you can’t head over to Australia with someone then hook up with people once you travel. It’s easy and you never know where you might end up!

Work and travel
If you’re earning Aussie dollars things don’t seem quite as expensive now do they?! Get a working holiday visa and work and travel your way around the great land.

There are plenty of working options here from bars to cafes to fruit picking and even cattle/sheep station work for a true experience of Aussie living. See our list of ideas here to get you underway. Some hostels also offer some employment options, for example Surfside Bondi Beach in Sydney.


Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There will be a blog every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at


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