30 June

Backpacking Melbourne on a budget – RatPack Style

Melbourne is the perfect place start or end your East Coast Roadie. With so much going on, it's easy to get carried away with spending (believe me) - but you've gotta make that money last. RatPacker Holly lets you in on her money saving tips to make the most out of this AWESOME city...


As a brit I feel as though our instinct is to arrive in Oz when on a working holiday visa and magnetise to what we know… this is often a CITY. Although Melbourne is absolutely INCREDIBLE (which we will come on to more in a mo…) I can not stress enough how important it was for me to travel first before settling down. I managed to stretch my budget when I first arrived so I could travel first and then ‘semi settle’ afterwards…

I’m so GLAD I did it this way round as I experienced the East Coast and then found Melbourne. If you are a real sun lover – I would say time your visit to Melbourne so you experience the city in the summer months (November to Mach). Arriving in the summer the city is bustling with events and buskers that hit every other street corner. The vibe is COOL. 

Let’s be honest though if you can’t save cash when working here OR make your budget stretch further then it makes it difficult to splash the cash on the fun events and festivals that hit the city…


Here are our RatPack top tips on making your CASH stretch further…


Volunteer at Events

As far as cities and events GO Melbourne really does have it ALL – I mean in the month of March even the F1 comes to town. We get it though, unless you are ‘Balling’ – trying to pack your Google Calendar with every event is going to set the budget back. However EVERY event requires volunteers – take advantage of this and get your request in to volunteer in return for a HOT ticket.



Great Ocean Road - 3 day 2 night - Starting in Melbourne

Free Food in Hostels

When booking your accommodation, keep an eye out for hostels that offer meals. They’re usually a fraction of the price you’d pay eating out and are a great way to mingle and meet people. 


Go one step further and start to LOVE that Hostel Free Shelf – for those that haven’t experienced hostel life yet any food that gets left by guests  goes on the FREE shelf. Our very own RatPacker Sammy is a PRO at this game – his famous Tuna, Pesto Pasta from the free shelf is a winner!




Top Deck ‐ Outback Adventure ‐ Melbourne to Darwin

Great Ocean Road via Camper

Rent a campervan from us – we get 10% off ANY direct online rate so this can save you CASH when wanting to experience the Great Ocean Road – our advice take at least 5 days to do – take your time and cruise. 




Shop for ‘Specials’

Towards the end of the day, big supermarkets tend to have a load of stock on offer if it’s going out of date – SNAP IT UP. This might sound alien to you now (sat at home with the fridge full) – but when you start travelling kiss goodbye to the thought of Tesco’s Finest / M&S food. Getting the ‘almost out of date’ food is a good way to enhance your cooking skills and whip up a mix and match dish out of nothing.



Best joints to eat out in Melbourne…

Cheap when eating out:

Asian Beer Cafe – a load of drinks specials to choose from
Centro Espresso Caffe – $5 sarnies and wraps (so delish)
Doughnut Time – free doughnut if it’s your birthday
Sushi Hub – mega cheap $2 sushi rolls
Want coffee? – 7/11 sell for only $1 – go sit on a bench and enjoy

Can’t skrimp on coffee… like our wannabe CEO staff member Mikey – then look no further than this joint – Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters < the owner is the Godfather of the Coffee scene.



Inner City:

There is a free tram zone in the inner city circle which pretty much takes you to all of the main sightseeing areas. So, you wont need a Myki Card if you are not planning to travel much further.

Heading North? Book your Greyhound hop on hop off bus pass with us and save 10% off the online direct price – simply select your bus pass from the ones below and upon check out use the code – RatPack10


Greyhound Bus Pass - Melbourne to Cairns, Hop-On / Hop-Off, 3 Month


There are tonnes of hostels to choose from, all slap bang in the city centre. I found that they were not as cheap as hostels on the East coast, but will definitely be cheaper than a hotel – just shop around abit instead of booking the first place you find.

When I stayed in Melbourne, I was based at Flinders Hostel which is ideal if you’re looking for a party hard, goon drinking, sociable hostel but not so ideal if you’re looking for somewhere a little more laid back. Saying that, as I said, you’re spoilt for choice in Melbourne, so it’s easy to find a hostel that suits you.


Free city jams...

Federation Square – an artsy hub in the heart of the city
Penguin Spotting at St Kilda- head here at sunset
Graffiti Walk – head to Hosier Street
Cheap eats – take a walk down Degraves Street
State Library of Victoria – a stunning building, great for photos
Window Shopping in CBD – there are a load of outlet stores to wander around
Birrarung Marr Park – take a picnic and sunbathe
Queen Victoria Market – wander around on an evening
St Kilda Beach – who doesn’t love a sunbathe
Fitzroy – bohemian suburb


What to avoid...

Melbourne Museum – it is a while out from the city centre and you have to pay $20 to go in!
Don’t risk not paying when you leave the free tram zone – wardens patrol the trams and make you pay a fine if you get caught without a ticket.


I hope my tips and tricks encourage you to become a little more travel savvy when visiting this EPIC city. Just remember to set yourself a daily budget to avoid worrying about how much money you’ve spent and most importantly, enjoy yourself RatPack Style. Yewwwwwwwwwwwwww Holly (RPT Blog Writer) - Stay Tuned for my next piece…

Ready to visit Melbourne?

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