6 Steps To Getting Your Australian Working Holiday Visa

1. SAVE SAVE SAVE

The first step into making it happen is to save money! I find that if you are totally comitted to doing something, you will find a way to make it happen. It took me a year to save up enough money to make this trip happen and every day I was constantly thinking about how to save as much as possible whic still surviving. This is quite hard for some people to do so here are some top tips:

-Stop buying new things. Clothes, technology, shoes, homewear. Unless it is essential you don’t need to buy it. Think of how many nights that money you want to spend on a new dress (which you will wear twice) will get you.

-Cancel memberships you don’t need/use. Gym, netflix, phone.

-Stop eating out. This includes the starbucks and subways. I know it will be hard. But everything adds up. You might save Β£30 a week not buying coffee and all the little luxuries you might want. Get a flask and make your own coffee and pack lunch for the day.

-Have nights in instead of nights out. Have a lads night with a crate of beer and playing FIFA or have a girls film night with a bottle of wine and facemasks. You will save a lot of money and actually get to speak to your friends instead of having shout over the music and drink watered down drinks.

2. Visa + Passport

Getting your visa sorted will make sure you are going to be there in the next 12 months. This should be the first thing you do just to make sure you are eligible to travel in that country. Oh yeah and make sure your passport is valid or you wont be going  a n y w h e r e.

Check out the Australian Immigration WHV page here.

3. Book a flight

Once you book this there is no going back. So do this once you feel confident you will have enough money when the time comes. Search around and try and get the best deals possible. Google flights and kayak are both good comparison sites to use. I booked my flight about 4 months before I left which gave me a good amount of time to get everything organized.

Have a look at Google Flights and Kayak for flight price comparision.

4. Travel insurance

I hated buying travel insurance, but it is necessary. Look around for one that will suit your needs the best and compare different companies. I looked at about 10 different companies, reading what each of them covers before settling on one. Make sure to pick the right level of cover for the activities you are going to be doing.

A lot of travellers use World Nomads however I am with True Traveller.

5. Prepare for take off.

Buy anything you might need, a few new clothes or a suitcase. Make a packing list and try and fit everything in your bags. The lighter your bags are, the more comfortable you will be, particularly if you are taking a backpack. The size will all depend on how long your trip is. The most common size to take is between 55-70 litres so go and try them on in the shops before making a purchase. With a suitcase some people manage with a cabin size for short trips, I have a 55 litre suitcase and this is the perfect size for me. Remember to unlock your phone and get some local currency.

6. Book your first few nights accommodation.

Book somewhere with a good reputation and somewhere you can find easily or who will pick you up from the airport. I spent my first week in Sydney at Bounce hostel which is easy to find when you first arrive. Book about 3-4 nights to start with and you can always add on more nights if you want to stay for longer.

Top Tips For Saving Money While Backpacking

You work so hard to save up for a trip away so you want to do everything to make that money last as long as possible and spend it wisely. My three highest expenses whilst travelling are food, accommodation and transport. The majority of your budget will go towards paying for these three things and they are pretty boring, so you will want to spend as little as possible on these so you can do all the exciting stuff.  So here are my top tips for saving money!

ACCOMMODATION

Work for accommodation – This is fairly straight forward. Ask around at the hostel you are currently staying at and send some emails to hostels in your next place to see if they have positions. Most hostels want you to be currently staying there before they will hire you, but I always email to check that they offer WFA before booking a few nights there. There are a bunch of jobs you might do from working in reception, bar work, cleaning or running activities. In exchange for free accommodation you will normally work up to 20 hours per week, and many people also get a second part-time job to fit around the hostel work.

Couchsurfing – Having gained popularity in the last few years, couchsurfing is just that – you stay in a locals house either in a spare room, a couch or a mattress on the floor for free. This is great if you are only staying a few days and the host might show you around the area or help you plan your stay. Some people cook for the host or bring a little something to say thank you but most are just happy to help a traveller out.

Camping + campervans – This is a great option if you like the outdoors and want to get into those more unexplored parts of a country. Camp sites are typically half the price of a hostel so can save you a lot of money over the course of a year as well as many free camp areas. There are added costs that come with having a vehicle, insurance, breakdown cover, fuel etc. but if there is a small group travelling together, these costs are going to work out fairly economical. It is a big purchase to start with but you will get a good portion of it back when you sell it at the end of your trip. And also think of the never ending road trip!

House + pet sitting – People want their homes and pets to be taken care of when they are on holiday and so allow people to stay in their homes, free of charge, to look after their property and pets. Some last for a few days but some can last a few months which is a great option if you plan on finding work in the local area. Keeping the house clean, bringing in the post, doing some gardening and caring for the pets as all common things you will do. Look at Trusted House Sitters and House Carers for opportunities.

FOOD

Cook in the hostel – Again, another simple thing to save money. Bulk buy ingredients for a few days and keep it simple. Club together with a few mates and make a big meal and split the cost. Take advantage of free/cheap food night in your hostel as well, a lot of time there will be BBQs or pizza nights ran each week. This is also a great way to meet fellow travellers and get some great food at the same time.

Eat out at lunch– Evening meals are always more expensive compared to other times of the day so if I am going to eat out, I will try to arrange for a lunch or afternoon as most of the time the restaurants are quieter and they have lunch time menus with great deals on.

TRANSPORT

Bus + train passes – These are a great option if you are backpacking and travelling over a large area with lots of stops. Often very flexible and good value for money, these passes can last for months with multiple stops and multiple different route options to suit your trip. Check out the greyhound buses if you are in Australia, the Naked bus pass for New Zealand, Eurail passes for Europe and National Express for the UK.

Set up price alerts – Everyone knows the price of flights fluctuates massively over the weeks running up to departure, so to snag the best price set up daily price alerts. This will send you an email if the price increases or decrease for a specific flight. I always use Google Flights to find the cheapest time of month to fly and then set up price alerts with SkyScanner to get the best price over the next few days.

Book well in advanceΒ – If you already have an itinerary planned you can go ahead and book your transport weeks to months in advance to really save some money. Last minute deals can also save you some money but that option is not very flexible. Take advantage of January sales and offers for flights as there can often be Β£100 or more off your flight.

What other tips and tricks do you have for saving money while backpacking?