How to Budget for Your Trip to Australia – RatPack Travel



How to Budget for Your Trip to Australia

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You guys are always asking us before your trip ‘how much should I budget for Australia?’, ‘how much money should I bring?’, ‘what should my daily budget be?’… We hear ya! and we’re here to help with all the budgeting tips and tricks you’ll need so you wont have to worry about money when you’re away.

We’ll be sharing with you tips we’ve learnt from our travels and where you can save money on:

  • Your transport around Aussie
  • Getting the best deals on food and bevvies
  • Hostels and Accomodation
  • How you can save money on activities and tours

Ready to start figuring out your Aussie budget?…

All about the dollar....

Australia is known for being on the pricey side, which makes it very easy to underestimate your budget. When I was travelling around, I can put my hands up and say I did not go with enough money and all attempts at budgeting went out the window…my money went very quickly (typical flashpacker).

In hindsight, I wish I had left for Australia with a pre-planned budget in mind – so listen up so you don’t end up in the same boat as I did!

You have to be prepared for Australia’s high price tag, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be budget savvy and use our tips and tricks to make your cash stretch that little bit further…lets gooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Typical costs in Australia:

Hostels: Depends where you are – can vary from $20 to $40 a night

Transport: Stick to walking and use Greyhound coaches for travelling between locations (we can get you a sick deal on Greyhound passes) or rent a campervan for your accomodation and transport. 

Food: Average cost of a meal out $17-20

Drink: A beer will cost about $9, backpacker bars more like $5

Coffee: Around $5 or just $1 in 7/11

Avo on toast: Will set you back $10 to $18

Now, let’s see how I budgeted $50 a day…

How much should I bring to Australia?

This depends on how long you’re planning to stay and if you’re hoping to find work or not…but, as a guide:

Staying for half a year: £5-6k

A year with work: Around £8k

It's all about the pre-planning...

Getting a budget plan together BEFORE you go is essential.

  • Book all tours in advance – this way you can avoid tourist traps and last minute panic buying.
  • Put together a little budget diary to keep track of your day-to-day spending.
  • Get a travel money card to transfer over a daily budget – so you don’t over-spend.
  • Pre-book hostels when you can to avoid paying on arrival which can be more expensive.


Hostel prices really depend on where you are in the country.

For dorm rooms (more budget friendly and a great way to meet people), you’re looking at an average of:

  • $20 a night in backpackers hubs like Cairns and Brisbane.
  • and more like $40 a night in larger cities and fancy seaside areas. So Sydney, Byron, Noosa.

Budget tip: Try to make up for the more expensive hostels by booking in to a couple of lower priced dorms – even if it is in a 16 bed dorm…


You can save ALOT of dolla here!

When you’re in each place, try and walk as much as possible – this will avoid regular spending on public transport that really adds up.

Hire a campervan! This is your transport and accomodation all in one, whats not to love?

Budget tip: When travelling between destinations, use a Greyhound bus. There’s a load of travel combinations to choose from and it’s wayyyy cheaper than flying. The WHIMIT passes are epic and our favourite way to travel around Aussie…


There are tonnes of things you can do to avoid spending too much on food:

  • Check out own brand items in Coles and Woolies (they also have Aldi in Aus).
  • Make the most of the hostel kitchens and whip up your own meal, if you pitch in with a few others you’ll find its super cheap..
  • Hostel free food shelf – sounds questionable, but people leave some pretty decent things.
  • Look out for happy hours or food offers if you’re keen to eat out.
  • Check out backpacker bars for cheapness.
  • Sometimes hostels host group dinner evenings which are usually pretty cheap to join in with.

Budget tip: Try to stick to $20 a day if you’re grabbing food out or $60 for a big ol’ food shop.


If you’re looking to party, bottle-o’s are pretty good value if you are a beer, wine or goon drinker (bottle-o’s are liquor stores in Aus).

Goon is going to be your best friend if you’re looking for the cheapest option –  it’s basically just boxed wine that doesn’t taste too much like wine. 

Banter tip: My advice is to mix it with lemonade – tastes so much better.

Activities & tours

Tours – You’re in the right place if you’re keen to book on to a load of epic tours. We’ve got your East Coast roadie sorted – drop us a Whatsapp to book.

Activities – As for day to day activities, heading to the beach is free, hiking is free, national parks are free or just wander around the city and discover some cool places.

Time to get saving?

So there you have it! Those myths of Australia being expensive have well and truly been busted, and now you know exactly how much your trip will cost you. Of course you can be savvy and your budget is totally dependant on how lavish you like to travel, so if you know you like to party or shop, add a little bit more to your budget! 

  • Save as much as you can before you go, you won’t regret having too much money! 
  • Work out a rough weekly budget and try to stick to it. 
  • OF COURSE, chat to us and we’ll let you know exactly how we can save you money on your trips and transport, RatPack style…

Your discounted transport options...

Chat to our Team

We operate a 24/7 service across multiple time zones. Our RatPackers have all been there and done it! Get the ball rolling on your upcoming trip. Send over your rough travel plans (including your flight details / dates). If you are yet to book a flight and seeking advice – HIT US UP ↡

I hope my budgeting tips and tricks have given you everything you need to stretch that cash. Just remember to pre-plan, think before you spend and hit us up for all of our tour discounts! But most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself RatPack Style.

Yewwwwwwwwwwwwww Holly (RPT Blog Writer)

Stay Tuned for my next piece…


Cheapskate survival kit


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