I was born way back in the early eighties when one Australian dollar got you a huge bag of chips from the local fish and chip shop, you could buy bags of lollies from the corner shop for as little as fifty cents and fuel didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
How times have changed for my beloved Australia and for the traveller looking to come and explore this land of wide open spaces. Being an adult I realise you’ve got to factor in things like “recessions” and “inflation” and all sorts of other big words that have an impact on ones economy but still… $5-$6 these days for the same bag of fried potato that once cost me $1, you’ve got to be having a laugh right?
It’s not all bad news for the modern-day traveller, that is unless you’re not from Australia. With such a booming and recession free economy Australians are perhaps the best positioned to set off and see the world. Just 10 years ago the good old Australian dollar would have got you 60 US Cents and just 38 pence to the pound. Quite simply Australia was the playground for many around the world to come and holiday.
Fast forward to today and its very much the reverse with the dollar buying 104 US Cents and a much friendlier 68 pence to the pound. The days of Brits coming to Australia and getting $3 dollars for just 1 pound are long over and it is now the aussies who reap the benefit as we flock to the UK and US in search of travel and even a bargain.
You just have to read this recent BBC News article which highlights the fact we are richer than ever or the latest report on the most expensive cities to live where Sydney ranks 3rd and Melbourne comes in equal 4th with Oslo in Norway, even Switzerland is ranked way down at 7th on the list.
If you’ve followed my blog here for any length of time you’d know I’ve been off and lived the expat life in London. I’ve travelled around Europe and to the US to see the world and experience what its like outside of my Australian bubble. During the planning stages of my trips I feared I’d never have enough money to live abroad and backpack around Europe. I researched, asked questions and saved my heart out to fund the trip.
The funny thing is now that I’ve returned home for a little while I’m realising that the most expensive trip I’ve ever made was the one back home. To help break things down for everyone take the below chart of average costs (converted to Australian Dollars) of everyday items your typical traveller might buy across the UK, US and Australia.
|United Kingdom||United States||Australia|
|Bottle of Coke||$1.75||$1.75||$3.50|
|Bottle of Water||$1.45||$1.75||$2.75|
|Beer||$3.70 (473ml)||$4.50 (375ml – 473ml)||$5.00 (285ml)|
|Subway Footlong Sandwich||$7.30||$6.50||9.00|
*Note: Prices are crowdsourced via social media and averaged out, some margin for error naturally exists.
On average you’re going to pay anywhere from 10% to %50 more for the items in Australia than what you’d normally pay back home. However if you happen to be an aussie setting off travelling with your Australian dollars everything just got 10% to 50% cheaper for you. Now not everything is going to be cheaper/expensive but there is a trend here which means travellers looking to arrive or leave Australia need to be conscious of as they plan ahead.
While Australians have the good end of the deal with our strong currency, travellers heading towards our shores can take note of these travel tips to try and make their money last longer.
- Summer means high season so arrive early in spring and beat the high season prices and airline ticket costs
- If here on a working holiday visa be sure to find work, once your earning the dollar things are far less painful
- I love the big cities just like you do but go explore our country towns, they are cheaper and more likely to have work
- And lastly bring twice as much money as you think you need
Have you travelled Australia recently, I’d love to hear how you found it and what you did to make your money last.