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FEATURE: So You’re Thinking of Coming to Oz? (Pt 2)

Following on from the Part one yesterday I continue with a few words of advice on planning your trip to Oz.

In Part 2 I’m going to be bantering about BUDGETTING, INSURANCE and BANK ACCOUNTS.

So lets get stuck in…


Your plans can also be dictated by your budget.

Make a list of trips/things you really want to do and find out how much it’ll all cost – that’s always a good starting point.

Obviously the length of your stay has an affect on how much money you’ll need.

Draw up a rough savings plan – how much do you already have, how much more can you save,  what are the big costs? If you can pay off some activities before you even fly out that’s always a big weight off your mind.

Remember to make sure that you budget in your flights, a rough guide for accommodation ($20-$30 per night for hostels is about the going rate – for places to stay check out our Hostel Reviews)

I’ve listed a few basic food essential costs to give you a rough living idea:

[HB = supermarket Home Brand]

Schooner of beer – $5-8

Crate of beer – $30-40 for 24 bottles

Pack of HB noodles – $3 for 4

Budget backpacker meal out (backpacker bar) – $5

Shampoo and Conditioner – $2-$6 per bottle

HB Bread – $2

Non HB Bread – up to $6!

Small block of cheese – $4

Litre of milk – $3

But of course another big spend is insurance.


Insurance if a tricky subject – but in my mind it’s a no brainer to make sure you’ve got it and it’s always best to shop around. But ultimately you get what you pay for.

You’ve only got to do a little research on the net to discover how much a simple broken arm can cost when there’s no NHS to cover it.

Get covered and make sure it deals with your needs.

Remember its always safer to have it and not need it than wish in hindsight that you had it.

Also make sure if you’re undertaking any specialist activities that you’re covered – bungee jumps, skydives and skiing, they all need special cover that you won’t find in budget packs.

Again I did my insurance through STA Travel – they gave great advice and didn’t pressure me at all. Have a chat with them to get an idea.

Bank Accounts and Tax

Even if your not on a WHV it may pay to set up an Aussie account to avoid extortionate bank charges. Even if your English bank doesn’t charge to take money out in Oz, the Oz ATM’s do!

And getting a tax file number before leaving means you avoid the emergency tax code which would take nearly 50% of your pay!

The easiest way I’ve found is to go through VisaFirst

For £50 they set you up with an Oz account with ANZ and sort out your tax file number. It’s quick, simple and well worth the money.

Another bonus of dealing with Visa First is they offer a quick, cheap and convenient way to transfer money to your account.

The basics of it is that for a £10 flat fee per transaction you can transfer ANY amount of money from ANY UK bank account into your Oz account – even before you’ve left the UK. It takes about 3 working days and you’ll receive an email when its cleared.

This is a great rate compared with the % system a lot of companies deal with, and it also means anyone can get money to you securely and quickly from their own accounts.

So there we have it – a quick guide and some handy hints to budgetting, insurance and bank accounts.

In the final – Part 3 – of this feature I’ll round it up by covering Backpacks and Travel Essentials