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Family Travel to Australia – Money Saving Tips

Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Australia is an expensive country. Even prices in Hawaii seemed cheap to us compared to Aussie prices.

Here are 7 tips for saving money when you’re traveling to Australia with kids.

1. Self-cater.

Restaurant prices in much of Australia are crazy. Sales tax is included in the listed prices but there still doesn’t account for why a plate of pasta costs $30 in a small city on the Aussie coast. There’s no need to tip on top of prices at least!

Supermarkets are also incredibly expensive but at least better than eating out. Try thinking of some inexpensive meals your children will like that you can prepare for them in hotel rooms. Pack lunch and snacks when you go out, and refill your water bottle rather than purchasing drinks to keep hydrated.

Beachside fish and chips and falafel sandwiches are two cheaper meal options. I also love the Hare Krishna indian restaurants for when you need high quality food at cheap prices. You’ll find them in the cities e.g., in Melbourne or Brisbane.

2. Prepare for $5.50 USD per gallon for gas.

If you’re planning a self-drive holiday in Australia, travel shorter distances so you’re not spending a fortune on gas. Gas prices are priced in litres. There are approximate 4 litres per gallon, so $1.50 per litre is approx $6 AUD per gallon.

One way to save money on gas is to save your supermarket receipt (Woolworths or Coles). If you spend over a certain amount, you’ll get a discount coupon printed with your receipt. This will give you a certain number of cents off per litre when you buy gas. The more you spend at the supermarket, the higher the discount you’ll get.

3. Camping.

If you’re going to self-drive, you might consider taking camping gear and staying at camp grounds for some nights of your trip. Our friends Caz and Craig from Y Travel Blog are currently doing just this. They’re making their way around the whole of Australia. Their epic trip will last more than a year.

Wallaby, Australia
Wallaby, Australia

4. Buy your beach supplies at home.

Things like sun block and insect repellent are expensive in Australia. Buy them at home and pack them. Camping gear is extremely expensive.

5. Avoid cabs.

Even a short cab ride with cost your a fortune in Australia. In some ways these excessive costs are unavoidable because things like shuttle and airport busses tend to also be extremely pricey. Airport train prices tend to be not too bad where this option is available. Consider your getting to the airport costs when you’re calculating the prices of flights vs. other getting around options.

6. Stay in apartments.

If camping is not your idea of fun when planning a family holiday to Australia, look for weekly apartment options. These allow for the aforementioned self-catering. Some apartment buildings will even have swimming pools and barbecues (grills) for guest use, which will allow you to enjoy a taste of the classic, outdoor living Aussie lifestyle. Australia tends to be fairly good at safety issues like fencing pools.

The good news…..

The sunshine and the beaches are free!

Photo credit for Great Ocean Rd: adib.wahab via photopin cc

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