Identified as a country, continent and island, Australia is a truly fascinating place. Its diverse people and geography, and rich culture and history make it one of the most intriguing and fun locations of the world. The warm climate and numerous attractions and activities make it an ideal destination for many travelers. However, the extremely high cost of traveling the region can be a turn off.

Compared to other exotic destinations like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam among others in Southeast Asia, the cost of traveling is a lot more. For example, the price of food and drink, accommodations, and activities is nearly seven times as much as that in Laos. So it can be quite a struggle for those who are accustomed to backpacking on a budget. Although visiting Australia on the cheap is difficult, it can be accomplished

Budgeting and Planning

It seems as though everything – hotels, transportation, food, alcohol and even cigarettes – is priced excessively high in the Outback. With that in mind, any extra money you can make and save up will be very beneficial. In fact, it may help to go through all your old possessions and try to sell some of it. On some websites, you can even sell a PlayStation 3 and other unwanted electronics like phones, computers and CDs for quite a bit of money.

Transportation

As with many flights, the earlier you book, the better. Purchasing your tickets in advance will give you a much cheaper rate than if you wait until the last minute. Once you’re down under, it’s easy to get around major cities like Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne on the public transport. However, one of the easiest ways to travel, especially if you’re with a group of people, is to rent a car. You can share the cost and you can easily get to other destinations without having to rely on someone else.

Accommodations

This is the time to tap into your social network. Reach out to friends and acquaintances to see if you can stay at their place. Couchsurfing is another option and one of the easiest ways to save money and make new friends. In all the cities, there are some hostels, cabins and B&B’s that offer cheap rates. The really adventurous traveler may opt to lodge at one of the many campsites throughout the region. They are extremely popular on the eastern shores of Melbourne and Sydney.

Dining

If you avoid tourist locations and high end restaurants, you can save a lot on food. Shop at local grocery stores and markets and prepare your own meals. Beware though, groceries can be expensive. When staying in a hostel, make sure you take advantage of their cooking facilities instead of eating out, while checking out their meal deals when booking your room. Free meals deals are in abundance and can save you a lot of money! Drinks and alcohol are costly. The average pint in Sydney is £3.43 compared to the £.61 it costs in Cambodia. Alternatively, drinking tap water is a safe and free.

Attractions

In general, taking guided tours will cost you a lot. So, it’s better to try to do as much on your own as possible. If you have to take a tour, shop around for the best price. Planning in advance is key to your Australian budget, so don’t let it get away from you!