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Australia - Sept 2015 (Starter Packs??)

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Australia - Sept 2015 (Starter Packs??)

1. Posted by JamHop (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y

Hello Ladies and Gents,

Looking for some helpful advice or suggestions for two nooby travellers from York.

Me and a pal have recently been granted our Visa's and booked our flights into Sydney airport, touching down on 20th Sept 2015.

What next?

We have been contemplating a "Starter Pack", specifically one from STA Travel. Does anyone have any previous experience with anything similar, and was the experience good or bad? Any advice is greatly appreciated

James.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 1y

My feeling about these things - as someone who did everything independently - is that they're rather superfluous, and seem to prey on feelings of insecurity from first time travellers rather than actually offering useful services. Most of what such a pack offers, you can do yourself without any hassle at all; a lot of the remainder is plain unnecessary. (Very generalized; I'm not aware of what specifically is in this particular "pack".)
If there's things offered which you think might be hard to do yourself, it's probably worth asking here to see if that's actually the case. Same if you just don't know how to go about certain things; we'd be more than happy to give you pointers on how to get a tax file number, open a bank account, etc.

All that said, people who do end up getting help with these services tend to be positive about it, since the people behind it are actually helpful. The most negative thing I've seen about them from people with personal experience was that in retrospect it wasn't worth the money.

3. Posted by Adz2012 (Budding Member 62 posts) 1y

Hi James, hope your travel plans are coming on nicely!

I went to Australia in 2012 and had the time of my life! So much so, I plan to get a sponsorship in the next year or two.

To answer your question, in contrast to Sander above, I did one of these 'starter pack's'. The one I went with is called 'Ultimate Oz'.

The package was around £500 and included the following...

5 nights of accommodation
bank account set up for you
Australian phone number
medicare
1 years mailbox service (very useful)
job advise (questionable)
and a weeks worth of activities

My experience is as follows -

I arrived on the Monday morning, very tired but very psyched to be there. I got to the hostel around half 9 in the morning and the group was scheduled to meet around 11 in the reception for our orientation day. All we done was walked around the city to get our bearings and had lunch, follow by a group talk at the office for the coming week etc etc. that evening we had drinks and food at the hostel bar. most of us were very tired and turned in early.

Tuesday involved a 4 hour Sydney harbour boat cruise which was great fun! More drinks and such in the evening.

Wednesday we headed out of the city to 'Base Camp' near Port Stephens (about 3 hours north of Sydney). We stayed here for 3 days/2 nights, and had an absolute blast! We went sandboarding, forest walking a dolphin cruise and lots of general exploring and drinking :)

We returned to Sydney Friday evening and on Saturday we done the Coogee to Bondi beach walk (which I have done many times since, its that good!) Saturday night was our big party night out / pub crawl which was a lot of fun.

Sunday was primarily nursing hangovers but once we were up, we returned to the office to start discussing our next move.

This was basically the company trying to sell us lots of tours and such. Take this how you want, I understand they are a business and this is a way to make their money. A lot of people will say this is all they do, but they do actually provide job advise and such, you just have to get past their selling.

Now £500 is a lot of money, but I could afford it at the time and do not regret it one bit. I was travelling on my own and the whole idea was very daunting. So this starter pack really helped. I spoke to around 10/11 people (out of 34) that where on the same week as me. So when I arrived, I already knew people.

All in all, this was a fantastic way to start my travels and I have amazing memories to show for it.

Hope this helps you out and feel free to message me if you have any other questions.

4. Posted by drinkeroftea (Budding Member 25 posts) 1y

Quoting JamHop

Hello Ladies and Gents,

Looking for some helpful advice or suggestions for two nooby travellers from York.

Me and a pal have recently been granted our Visa's and booked our flights into Sydney airport, touching down on 20th Sept 2015.

What next?

We have been contemplating a "Starter Pack", specifically one from STA Travel. Does anyone have any previous experience with anything similar, and was the experience good or bad? Any advice is greatly appreciated

James.

Hi James,

I too will be starting my travelling experience in September! I have my visa sorted, not looked at flights yet. I was wondering about the starter pack myself, especially as I will be all alone. I will be watching this thread with interest!

Who did you fly with?

Thanks,

C x

5. Posted by JamHop (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y

Thanks all for the helpful answers,

I think we are going to try the basic STA Travel Starter Pack, for the sake of £200 to get everything done for you and a few nights stay on arrival, its probably going to make things a lot easier for us!

I am flying with Singapore Airlines, got myself an excellent deal on SkyScanner!

James.

6. Posted by Adz2012 (Budding Member 62 posts) 1y

Singapore airlines are fantastic, good choice!

7. Posted by Ahun7er (Budding Member 12 posts) 1y

Hi Guys,

Im travelling alone from heathrow to sydney leaving on 30th September, and i am booked onto the BUNAC for my first week, i figured they make things quite simple and a good way to initially meet people,

Anyone else going out the same time?

Excited is an understatement though!!