I have a sister traveling to Australia for a semester of college in Sydney. None of the family are very experienced travelers and I want her to have a good time and not run into too much trouble when she goes. I have read something about having to have power converters, and a few other things that some people run into when traveling to Australia. I would love any advice possible that would make her trip an easier one.
Yes, you need a different plug (the prongs are similar to those in the USA, but tilted, rather than parallel) - for which you can buy adaptors at any radioshack for a couple of bucks - and, depending on the specific equipment, a transformer to convert the voltage. A lot of electrical appliances will have adaptors which can take 240 volt already, but just as many won't, and, expecting 110v, will basically fry if you plug them in.
Other general advice:
- After a month or two she'll develop insatiable cravings for various kinds of the most ordinary food from the USA, which simply can't be found in Australia. Sending a care package with these is a good idea.
- If she'll do digital photography: backups! The easiest solution is probably burning all photos to two cds at internet cafes (all internet cafes in Sydney should have facilities for this available), mailing one home, and keeping the other with her.
- Rolling clothes means more will fit.
- For Sydney specifically, right next to the university is a neighbourhood called Glebe. Everyone there always seems to be smiling. A good place to go to and sit at a cafe at if she's ever feeling down.
- Sunscreen! Always use it! Due to the hole in the ozone layer, during the summer she'd burn to a crisp in no time flat, including through a white t-shirt or on a cloudy day! (A hat is a good idea, too.)
- Always keep a second wallet with some emergency money and a form of ID separate from the main wallet. (I've never needed it, personally, but it's good policy.)
- It takes a while to adjust to the left side of the road thing. Note that it's not just driving, but also the general policy of walking on sidewalks and stairs (although in Sydney there's enough tourists who don't know this that it becomes kinda back and forth).
Hey there helpful sister!
The previous post pretty much said it all, I just thought i'd add that the power adapters can be found in most of the electrical stores IN THE AIRPORT.
I found that if you go looking for the adapter in your home country they are more expensive than if you pick one up at the airport.. And yes.. they should be no more than a couple of dollars. Dont get sucked into buying a pack of four.. you only need one!
Also if you're thinking about getting a battery recharger for a digital camera or whatever, make sure you get one that can take both voltages. Then you can use it back home too!
The public transport in sydney is the best in Australia, when i went there i bought a travel pass that allowed me to take any form of transport (bus, train, monorail, ferry) All on one pass.. and it worked out cheaper than paying for them all individually. If she's going to be travelling using public transport a lot and getting around the city when she 1st gets there it may not be a bad idea to pick one up, google 'public transport sydney' and you're away.
If this is the 1st time she's travelled.. i've always found it really settling to go the tourist information centre almost immediately.. You get maps, stuff to do, where NOT to go and all the rest, so if she's not meeting up with friends immediately that may be a good idea.
Apart from that just have fun eh?? Dont forget we're australian.. just ask ANYONE and they'll help out!
Good luck! If you think of coming to adelaide let me know!
You can tell if the electronic device will need a voltage converter, by looking on the back of the device or somewhere that has different power details. If somewhere in the writing it mentions 110-240 then you won't need a voltage converter but will just need the power point adapter. If your sisters device just mentions 110, or some other number less than 240, then you'll need a voltage converter or else you'll burn out your device to make it useless. It'd probably be a good idea to get the power point changer before she leaves, because it might be difficult to get one that's designed for inserting in Australian power points in Australia and if you could they'd probably be far more pricey than if you bought one at your local cheap electronics store.