Thinking about heading Down Under and hoping to keep something left in the bank account? Here are some helpful hints to get you planning started. First things first, how do you get there. Assuming you aren’t that strong of a swimmer or trying to reach it by canoe, you are going to need a flight. You can find cheap flights here. Use the interface to check various dates and arrival locations to maximize you travel dollars. Play around with dates and possibly the time of year if you have the flexibility. Popular holidays and travel seasons will cause less expensive seats to sell out early but if you want to make the most of your dollar, be flexible.

Photo Credit: Pierre Roudier

 One of the best ways to stretch your travel dollar is to replenish your bank account while you go. If you are lucky, the bank of Parents will regularly top you up but it isn’t likely to be a bottomless source of funds. Good news you may have opportunities to work and travel. Australia offers work and travel visas (Link: for a number of countries if you are under a certain age limit. This is typically either 30 or 35 years old depending on you home country and how well the governments get along. There are a number of jobs reserved for these visa programs. You will likely find employment in pubs or restaurants, seasonal farm work or helping out at your guesthouse or hostel.

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Another way to keep expenses under control is to consider alternative accommodations. If you have a house or apartment, consider joining a house exchange program and swap with someone in Australia. There are plenty of resources to bring you up to speed on what is involved and answer questions about things like insurance or using the car. In the same vein, house sitting opportunities abound. These usually require the house sitter to look after pets or gardens. If you are an animal lover or green thumb, this could be a great way to help offset your travel costs.

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Australia is a big place and if you want to see more than one place, transportation costs may be a big concern. Depending on the time available you may want to combine two expenses into one and look are renting a RV. This will give both transportation and a place to stay. It is a popular way to travel and there are many companies that will provide a fully outfitted camper. They can range from fun and funky to luxury cruisers. The bonus of taking to the road in a RV is self catering. Eating in restaurants for every meal can get tired quickly, hit the bank account fast and possibly through that bathing suit perfect diet you have been religiously following leading into the trip.