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What are popular budget destinations in Australia?

Australian Destinations On A Budget

Catharine Hamm (Travel Editor, LA Times) gives expert video advice on: What are popular budget destinations in Australia?; What are popular Australian budget destinations for families?; What are popular Australian budget destinations for singles? and more...

Australia is an interesting case because the dollar generally tends to be a little bit stronger. You can get a little bit more for your money even in places like Sydney and Melbourne which are urban areas that are fairly pricey. It can be fairly pricey. Knowing how to spend your money and where to spend your money can make those places affordable as well. Places like the Great Barrier Reef up in the northern part of the country, which is just off the coast of Australia, also make terrific vacation destinations and can be done on a budget.

When we talk about travel to Australia, when we're talking about travelling with families, the answer may be a little different because the biggest problem of getting to Australia is actually the airfare. Knowing when to go and how to snag those airfares is important because at height of the season, airfare to Australia is usually $1600 dollars a person. Your choice really is, if there's a family of four, to pay $6400 dollars for airplane tickets, or to go during off-season when sometimes you can snag fares for $999. That makes a huge difference for a family of four. You should also consider frequent flyer points, and some vital things such as hotels. You have to really see how much you spent on hotels. You have to watch the airfare on Australia as it makes a huge difference on a family, not so much for a single, not so much for a couple, but definitely for a family.

A single traveller to Australia actually has something going for him or her. That is that he or she is paying for only one air fare. The biggest issue with going to Australia or any really far away destination is the air fare. So the important thing is that you make sure that you go at a time when the air fare is reasonable. Generally, in the off season it drops to less than a thousand dollars. But you have some flexibility, because you are not spending a huge amount of your vacation budget. So that makes Sydney and Melbourne very much accessible. That makes journeys to places like Ayers Rock very much affordable, because you have not spent a good part of your vacation budget on getting to the destination.

You'll need to watch the price of the air fare. Air fare to Australia can, for two people, can cost an estimated $3,200 to 3,500 just for a coach ticket. So, it's a good idea to keep in mind to go at a time when the air fares are lower. This may be in the off season, or alternatively consider using frequent flyer programs to free up your funds so that you can actually spend on your hotels, other destinations, or some really incredible cuisine. Melbourne has some amazing restaurants or you can perhaps take a side trip to the Gold Coast, or to Tasmania, which is another incoming destination. And have that money set aside and not invested in air fare, to do the things that you really want to do.

What Australian cites should I avoid if I am on a budget?

I don't think that there are really any Australian cities that you should avoid. I think really, if you do, you really cheat yourself out of some fantastic destinations. So in terms of budget, we just look for ways to make them affordable. Australia is a huge continent, it has some amazing urban areas, and if you are going to take the time, and spend the money, make sure you find a way to see the places you want to see.