Living in Australia has its perks but when it comes to traveling overseas, it also has its setbacks. Don’t be discouraged by a limited budget, there are still plenty of places for you to explore. Here’s a short guide to how you can see the world on 5k.
South-East Asia – Budget Travel
If you choose your location wisely, five thousand dollars can take you far. You can experience a highlight reel of South-East Asia and still have money left to buy a chocolate bar at the airport on your way home.
Budget Breakdown – 3 Months in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
Why go? It’s cheap compared to other exotic destinations within the same distance. You’ll find lower airfares and a strong Aussie dollar in your favour. Expect to get there and back for less than $1000.
Expect to find yourself outside your comfort zone, seeing culture and living a life nothing like your own. You’re also expected to haggle over prices which means your budget will stretch as far as your negotiation skills.
Top Travel Tip – Stay on the Ground. By avoiding flights and moving from region to region via bus or train you’ll keep transit costs low and extend your trip substantially.
Accommodation – A budget hotel room in Thailand will set you back around 300-600 Thai Baht, ($10-20) which can stretch a holiday far, with similar prices for Vietnam and Cambodia. To really scrimp you can even get dorm rooms in Cambodia for just $2 per day. You can also utilise couch surfing if you want to make new friends and save some extra cash.
Food and Drink –Food in Asia will barely put a dent in your budget with a large beer going for just 55 Baht ($1.90) and a meal at a restaurant in the region of 150 Baht ($5). The prices drop further in Cambodia and Vietnam with tantalising street food the equivalent of $1 or $2.
Unforgettable Activities – Visit Angkor Watt in Cambodia for the ultimate cultural experience. A three day pass goes for $40 and is well worth the money. The rate is about the same for elephant riding in Thailand’s Phuket which is another must-try experience.
NEW ZEALAND – Mid Range Travel
Not every travel destination involves losing part of your hard earned savings through currency exchange. On the contrary, New Zealand offers an incredible natural beauty. Did we mention your dollar is worth even more across the ditch?
Budget Breakdown – 2 months in New Zealand
Why go? With a strong dollar value and a short flight time of under 4 hours from Sydney to Christchurch, New Zealand has it all. Stunning scenery for the nature lovers, incredible culture for the history buffs and for the adrenaline junkies – it’s the home of Bungee Jumping. With current prices you can easily get a return ticket for well under $500.
Expect to see sweeping Mountains and pristine beaches, fascinating Maori culture and a welcoming, high quality approach to tourism in one of the safest nations on earth. Also, pack a jacket or two, it can get a little chilly.
Top Travel Tip: When spending time in the big cities like Auckland or Wellington, invest in a City Pass. This gives you access to multiple tourist attractions for a price that’s considerably cheaper than paying for everything individually. Auckland’s city pass will set you back just $125.
Accommodation: Prices to stay in New Zealand are similar to those in Australia, with hotel rooms going for around $90 per night on average. However you can sleep on the cheap in hostels, or for a true travel experience try renting a campervan and combine your transit and accommodation costs. Look around for specials but $500 for a month is a realistic and great value price.
Food and Drink: Meals and alcohol are similar to Australian prices too so expect a similar outlay as you would if you were visiting an Australian city. New Zealand tap water is potable though so you can find savings by drinking tap water and hitting up the local supermarkets for cheap local produce.
Unforgettable Activities: Bungee jumping in Queenstown is a little pricy at $195 upwards, but it is an experience that will live with you forever and well worth the investment. Dolphin cruising through the North Island’s ‘Bay of Islands’ is breath taking, and for just $105 it’s a great deal.
ICELAND – Splurge on Travel
It was once considered highly expensive to visit but Iceland is ready to be explored following its currency crash in 2008. While some costs can be high, knowing how to save money means you get to see this incredible country within your budget.
Budget Breakdown – 1 Month in Iceland
Why go? The flight to Iceland will come in around $1500 to $2000, but the Northern Lights and the chance to visit a country so far from your own world is too good to pass up. You can’t put a price on a life changing trip.
Expect to struggle with name pronunciations – like the volcano known as ‘Eyjafjallajökull’, but be overwhelmed by natural beauty.
Top Travel Tip: The best value news in Iceland is that the majority of tourist attractions are free! From waterfalls to volcanos, glaciers to the capital of Reykjavik, exploring the beauty of Iceland can be done for next to nothing!
Accommodation: Take advantage of the large number of guest houses in Iceland which offer the comfort and security of a hotel, at a far better price. You can also find prices drop around 30% in the off peak season, with a large number of guest houses offering further discounts if you bring your own sleeping bag and avoid using their sheets.
Food and Drink: Prices here tend to be expensive so if you want to stretch your budget further just prepare your own meals. It sounds simple yet many travellers get in the habit of eating out, as Iceland has very few national dishes you won’t be missing a thing to buy ingredients and prepare as you go.
Unforgettable Activities: The Northern Lights showcase Mother Nature at her very best, organise a tour to see them properly for around $75 to $100, with many operators offering a second trip free if you don’t catch a glimpse on your first try. Or, spend the day in the Blue Lagoon for around $70. This huge, therapeutic hot spring looks out of this world and is worth the time.
So the next time you’re looking to take a trip don’t be discouraged by your bank balance. Knowing just how far your money can take you is priceless, with the whole world ready to be seen when you know how far your dollar will go. If you need some assistance with your finances, the Easy Plan team may be able to help.