As someone who have just moved to Australia and found out a few life saving tips the hard way, I’m going to share them with all you eager travellers!
- A “Go Card” is your best friend here. With a go card you are immediately able to use the local transport with no hassle. Costing $10 to buy and then however much you want to top it up, it is an actual must have, and one of the first things you should head out to get.
- If you’re in the New South Wales area these cards will be called “Opal”cards. Same concept, same uses, different area.
- Research into the exchange rate, become familiar with the currency. If you half the price of what you’re looking at and add a dollar (providing it’s in dollars), if you would pay that price in the UK, then it’s about the same.
- Find your local traveller/ information centre. In Brisbane it is situated Queen Street Mall, 167 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000. If you’re in the area I highly suggest going and checking it out! They’re super helpful, and you can pick up things like bus timetables, ferry timetables and attraction leaflets etc.
- Go and find your local library and become a member. You get computer and printer access (printing out job resumes etc) and unlimited book access! Again great for you lone travellers, as there are normally chunky sections on travel and tourism!
- Going outside is very necessary, even if you don’t have a reason to be outside, it is a prime time to connect and make friends, and friends are what you need! Contacts and people in the area! Get on the ferry or bus, find a coffee shop and spend some time enjoying the environment!
- Sign up for Medicare as soon as you can. Even if you have insurance, you don’t want to leave it too late and have a last minute rush! Your health and the consequences of not having cover for it will not be your top priority once you start job hunting. A good note to remember is you should read the small print, you’re only eligible with Medicare in public hospitals. You can sign up by printing out the correct form found on their website (find their website HERE).
- Buy the strongest possible factor sun cream you can and always carry it with you. I don’t feel I have to explain this one.
- ALWAYS. Always. Carry. A. Bottle. Of. Water. With. You. Again, I think this one speaks for itself.
- Make an appointment at your local bank branch, be it Commonwealth or what, to open an Australian bank account. Once you start earning money you’ll thank me (and yourself), seeing as Australian businesses can’t put money into your foreign one. A note to make here is whilst you are still in your home country have a parent or guardian signed as an account holder, so they can have complete access to your account come any financial complications! Banks you could sign up for in Australia include, Commonwealth, HSBC, NAB and Suncorp.
- Sign up to Flybuys. Use your Flybuyers card in shops like Target, Coles and Kmart to collect points and get money off vouchers in the long run. It is even possible to use these points towards future flights and hotels!
- Get a good local area and transport app, we carry our phones around like they are our children, so as long as you have a Wifi or Data connection you will be able to navigate back home with ease!
- Make frequent use of the City Cats! Coming and going every twenty ish minutes and running until 10pm these are actual life savers! Grab a map from your closest travel centre.
- Go to the supermarket and grab a $2 Australian sim. Not only will this make it easy for employers to contact you, you will be able to sign up for more shopping memberships etc and save more money!
- Read into your Visa details, find out and know your rights. If you’re on a 12 month working holiday Visa you can only stay with one employer for six months.
- Get to know your working rights as well. You can find these on the Australian Government website here.
- Be careful and watch your money until you have a stable income. Plan meals and expenditure, if you don’t need it – don’t buy it. Again, this is hard but will save you money in the long run!
This is my go-to list of things I wish I had been told about. So from me to you, fellow travellers and wanderers. Have fun and travel safe!
Let me know your top tips in the comments!