While traveling abroad is all about trying new things and living “in the moment”, it’s still important that you keep one foot firmly on the ground. You can definitely go skydiving, snorkeling, and play with koalas, but you kind of need to remember how you’re paying for all this! As well as staying safe and healthy, your personal finances should be something you keep an eye on. Because, let’s face it, no one wants to make that phone call home to the family telling them you spent your last dollar and kind of need help.
Australia offers so much to see and do, and once you realize this you’ll want to have the funds to be able to do all of it; this might include paying out for travel costs to head out to the Outback, or take part in certain activities like swimming with sharks or parasailing, the costs for which can mount up. Here are a few insider tips for keeping that cash in your pocket while studying in Australia.
‘BYOB’ or ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’ is not the only acronym you’ll become familiar with in Australia. BBQs are a popular social gathering combining many Australian favorites– meat, alcohol, sports, the outdoors…. so, chances are, you’ll be invited to a few BBQs once you start meeting some of the locals. If it’s ‘BYOB’ (or simply ‘BYO’, ‘Bring Your Own’), do so as a social courtesy to the host. This rule also applies to restaurants. Check beforehand if a restaurant you have a reservation for allows you to bring your own alcohol, because believe us, you’ll definitely want to bring your own if you can instead of paying the hiked-up prices for drinks there.
Learn to love sushi
Sushi can be expensive in big cities all over the world, especially given the portion sizes (seriously – who only eats one roll). Because of their “dainty” nature, many decide to go with other cuisine options when it comes to getting more for your buck, like a cheap burger. However in Australia, sushi is cheaper than you would expect. Though many sushi spots are restaurant chains like Sushi Sushi or Yoyogi, they’re still of good quality and they won’t have you break the bank for a night out!
Let the internet help you plan your night
Stuck looking for a great place to grab a drink or food which also happens to be cheap? Like any large city, it can be a little overwhelming with so many choices. How do you know what’s good? Whose opinion can you trust if you don’t know any locals? And more importantly, where’s cheap? Consult sites and apps like Urban Spoon and The Happiest Hour are excellent for recommendations for local places from fellow diners and patrons, with reviews and notifications about deals and discounts.
Check out free music nights
If you’re looking for a night of live music, many pubs and bars have live acts– and free entry. You never know where these fresh, young acts will go in the future! There are multiple different types of music showcased throughout the area. Follow some local bands, bars, and venues on social media so you’ll be notified a few weeks in advance of upcoming acts. Who knows? Maybe you can be at a little private show of the next Keith Urban or Iggy Azalea!
Embrace the coffee culture
You might be surprised to learn that in a country as hot as Australia, coffee is still taken very seriously. Baristas in cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne aren’t afraid to experiment with new flavours, so when you need a pick-me-up, try a new type of coffee rather than an energy drink. And in Australia, you won’t have to pay astronomical prices for a good quality coffee — goodbye overpriced boring vanilla latte and hello cheaper and more interesting new flavors. Just a tip— if you’re paying more than $3.50 for a cup, you’re being overcharged.
How do you plan on saving money when studying abroad in Australia? Leave your tips in the comments.
Photo sources: Nicki Mannix via Flickr, leGuik via Flickr, imwearingcons via Flickr, UrbanSpoon, Orangedrummaboy via Flickr, ultrakml via Flickr