You’ve seen the fireworks in Sydney on TV, you’ve seen countless blogs on Melbourne and you’ve ogled over Chris Hemsworth for way too long and now you know, that you definitely want to go to Australia on a working holiday.
So, what next?
Our 5-stage plan below will help you make your Australian dream into a reality.
Stage One : The Money Side
Price Up Visa, Flight & Insurance
Set A Savings Target
We recommend landing with $4,000-$5,000 in your bank and so does the Australian Government. Add this to the above and you’ll have a savings target figure. Saving can be hard but don’t worry we have tips in this blog HERE.
Identify When You Can Realistically Go
After taking everything above in to consideration, work out how long it will take you to hit this savings target and then you can get a date in mind. Exciting stuff!
Stage Two: Be Inspired
Excite & Inspire Yourself
When you’re saving you’re often working as many hours as possible as well as cutting back on the treats and the nights out so you need a new exciting pastime and watching vlogs and reading blogs about your upcoming adventure is the best possible thing to do. There’s so many but we personally recommend Backpacking Bananas, TravelFreak, Benn_TK, Backpacker Banter, Jones Around The World and Welcome to Travel, specifically the AskTravel series!
Choose A Starting City
Australia has several great starting cities with international airports but whenever you fly to a new country to travel we recommend starting at the top or the bottom of the main backpacking trail. In Australia that main trail is the East Coast so we recommend flying in to either Melbourne or Cairns. Melbourne has a larger airport so flights are generally cheaper to start there and is one of the coolest cities in the world.
Stage Three: The Essential Purchases
Organise The Appropriate Visa
Whatever your situation, you’ll need to organise the appropriate visa for your situation. The place to find out what visa is best suited for you is through the Australian Government website. There are two work and travel visas: the working holiday (417) and the work and holiday visa (462) and the difference is simply the country you come from.
If you’re from:
- Republic of Cyprus
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
- Republic of Ireland
- Republic of Korea
- United Kingdom
If you’re from:
- China, People’s Republic of
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Slovak Republic
- United States of America
Book A Flight
This is it, you’ve decided when you’re going and where you’re going to start your adventure, it’s time to book a flight, it’s all getting very real!
Look At Organising Your First Week
You can’t be this organised for a year in advance then land at the airport with nothing planned can you? We recommend organising your first 7-14 days and then arranging the rest on the ground. If landing in Melbourne then Welcome to Travel: Melbourne is perfect. With an airport pickup, 7n accommodation, surfing, kangaroo feeding, wine tasting and all the admin (tax, bank, phone) set up all within a group atmosphere, it really does make for a great and easy start!
Buy Your Suitcase / Backpack
Ooooh it’s the age old backpacking question, suitcase or bag, suitcase or bag, the biggest first world issue of travelling. If you’re going to spend a lot of your time in cities or doing little travel trips then we’d say suitcase plus a rucksack you can take on 2/3 day road trips/getaways.
If you’re going to be road tripping and hiking, backpack every time!
Stage Four: The Practical To Do's
Get Your Driving License In English
Australia’s a stunning country to drive so be prepared to! If you’re from a country where English is your first language then you’re fine. If not, then check your license says DRIVING LICENSE in English somewhere. If it doesn’t you’ll need to organise an international driving license to bring with you.
Unlock Your Phone
This really is the simplest thing to organise but that’s why so many people forget to do it! You don’t want to land here, get a local sim and have the hassle of it not working. To avoid that it’s simple, go to your network provider, explain you’re going to Australia and ask them to unlock the phone, easy!
Organise $150 - $300 In Australian Dollar
Once getting to Australia we’d recommend transferring your money from your home bank to your new Australian account using this link. Before then though you’ll need some cash so get some exchanged at your local post office or Bureau de Change. We recommend $150-$300.
Scan Important Documents & Print Them Too
At some point you may need a copy of your driving license or passport for a job interview, course application or even a flight. E-mail these things so you have them in your inbox forever. We’re talking driving license, passport, visa, National Insurance Number / Social Security (UK / USA), ID Card, Insurance policy number/documents.
Tell Your Bank You're Going To Australia
Stage Five: Party, Pack & Transport
Organise & Have A Massive Leaving Party
You’re leaving and people may want to celebrate that…only joking! In all seriousness though, you need a good ol’ going away party. There’s no better drunken emotional ‘I love you, you’re a great friend’ like the one at a leaving party, that and the ‘I’m going to really miss you’ to the person you never even see. By the time you get back people may have moved away, had children (and don’t come out anymore) or…you might not come back? You have to have one!
Pack! We've Made It Simple For You
In terms of clothes Australia is easy, it’s pretty similar to most Western cultures. You can literally bring what you’d normally wear at home plus some more Summer clothes, that easy! Aside from that I’d make sure you have:
- Printed documents
- $300 in cash
- Flip Flops (soon to be called thongs)
- Electrical Adaptor
- Unlocked Phone
- Neck pillow and eye mask for plane sleep
- Spare USB charging cable for when you lose yours
Leave things like shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen etc until your arrival- we’ve got all that stuff here and it takes away the worry of it bursting all over your bag during the flight.
Organise Transport To The Airport
Again, a bit like the phone, people forget this too. How are you getting to the airport? Do you need another flight? Do you need the train then a transfer? Can you get the train directly to the terminal or are you lucky enough to have a relative taking you? Check it all out and organise so you have enough time before your flight.