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1. Posted by spreadwings2k13 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 8 Dec '12 15:17

Hi everyone, basically i don't know where to start other than i want to go travelling and see abit of the world (don't no if over 1 year or not).

I've chosen Australia as the place to do it as seems very popular and English speaking may be helpfull as never done this sort of thing before!

By December the 21st i will just have enough for my flight to Oz and a week Ultimate Oz Experince (not 100% sure if doing it just know ill have enough).

I know if I don't book it I wont end up going and it will never happen it has to be now or never!! Obviosly I will have to work pretty much soon as i get there to get my funds up.

Just wonderd if any one can give me an insite to a typical day in a backpackers life e.g you wake up in hostel then what?

How long do you stay in 1 particular area for?

Is there times of being bored as i really don't want to mope about and be bored (complete oppasite of whole reason for doing this) do you site see all day long?

Also if i was to not do the Ultimate Oz Experince which would leave me a bit more money and just backpacked how long would say £500 last me (don't no what that is out there) , and where is a good starting destination to arrive Sydney seems to keep poppin up so im guessing thats a popular choice,

Sorry for essay just like to get things a bit clearer in my head!! Thanks :)

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4366 posts) 8 Dec '12 16:26

To start with the end: £500 would last you about ten days, twenty tops if you're really extremely frugal, stay at the dodgiest hostel you can find and eat nothing but ramen. You will almost certainly not find work within the first two weeks of arriving, and even if you do, you won't get a paycheck for another two weeks. Do not go to Australia without more funds! (The eligibility requirements for the working holiday visa specify AUD $5000 (~£3300) as the minimum funds you should have available to be eligible for the visa. That amount of money is there to protect you, as effectively any backpacker will need at least that much.)

Australia is an awesome country, and I can highly recommend going; but do save up a bit more before heading out!

How long you stay anywhere differs on how much you like the area, but I always gave myself a minimum of three days; sometimes a place was a complete dump, and I spent two of those days just staying in, but that was never wasted time, as there's always a ton to research and plan ahead. And if on the first day I found I really liked a place, then having booked a few days ahead tended to make it easier to extend my stay. (Generally you won't want to book transport and accommodation at the very last moment.)

As for the average day as a backpacker; there really is no such thing. That said, you do develop a kind of routine. Parts of this might become familiar: On a travel day, you'd be woken up far too early by your alarm, and quickly turn it off to try and not wake any of the other people sleeping in your dorm. You'd have already packed your bag the evening before, so after dressing (in the dark; still people sleeping in this dorm) you cram in your toiletries and stuff, sling it onto your back, and head to the kitchen for a cup of tea or coffee. You shovel in some breakfast (wash dishes afterward), drop off your key at reception and get your key deposit back, then head out to the bus station for the bus you booked a few days earlier. You'll sit in that bus for a couple of hours, gazing at the landscape, to - around noon - arrive at your next destination. Grabbing your lonely planet and peering at the map, you figure out the way to the hostel you booked here yesterday, where you check in, pick an empty bed at the dorm, visibly claim it as your own, and generally make your bed and put a small flashlight within easy reach (because knowing yourself, you won't be back at this dorm until late at night, when some other people will already be sleeping, and you don't want to wake them up). You transfer some essentials from your big backpack to your daypack, check the noticeboard to see if anyone's offering rides (alas, nothing!) and head out to explore this new place where you're now. You start by criss-crossing the streets of town to get a feel for its layout, noting backpacker essentials like the supermarket, the atm and the internet cafe (okay, nowadays you can count on your hostel having wifi, but maybe you're one of the holdouts still travelling without laptop). There's a used bookstore which you'll want to check out later, and they have a cool plaza here with view over the lake, where they seem to be setting up some kind of festival tent; better ask at reception what that's all about later on. At the edge of town you find the start of the hike to interesting feature X which is half the reason you came here. Good to know for tomorrow, when you'll go visit it! You then backtrack to the supermarket to buy ingredients for lunch and dinner, and back to the hostel to make said lunch. You get to chatting with a couple of long-stayers who're doing bartending in this town, and they tell you about great things Y and Z which you can do around here, and which together with will easily fill two days beyond what you'd planned for feature X, so you head to reception to see if they have availability for you to extend your stay beyond the two nights you booked initially. Outside it's started raining, so for now you hole up on the couch with your lonely planet to figure out where you'll be going next week; you have a rough itinerary in your mind, but there's many ways to get there. Once you know, you can go research hostels and book them. In the evening you'll hang out in the lounge talking with fellow backpackers and swapping stories about where to go, or go see this bar where your new friends are working.

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Dec-2012, at 16:28 by Sander ]

3. Posted by spreadwings2k13 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 8 Dec '12 17:18

Wow! And thankyou for your reply:) You definitly speak from experince, and have given me a detailed insite on what to expect! Definitly not something i would want to do on my own (the reason i was thinking of doing the Ultimate Oz as you are in a group and they help you find work find that little less scary than going straight in at deep end!!)

So glad you told me about the money situation aswell i have read stories on work is so easy to get and people have goten job trails on there first day and worked for accomdation etc but i didnt think about the waiting the few weeks of being paid! So will definitly have to save for a good few months 1st.

Only been probably the last week or so i had even considerd doing this as i was looking at work in Tenerife to start with but thats more of a holiday place and not much to see there as i have been before!!

Definitly opened my eyes up about this, could you reccomend any other packages other than Ultimate Oz for people like me who are scared to go it alone that do like a taster for Oz in small groups??

Thanks again

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4366 posts) 9 Dec '12 03:59

Quoting spreadwings2k13

Definitly opened my eyes up about this, could you reccomend any other packages other than Ultimate Oz for people like me who are scared to go it alone that do like a taster for Oz in small groups??

I'm very much in the "just do it yourself" camp. Australia has perfect infrastructure for backpackers, you'll meet tons of people in the same situation as yourself, and people working at reception at your hostel tend to be extremely good with helping you with anything you haven't figured out yet. These arrival packages sound - to me - horrendously expensive for what you get. Stuff like getting a tax file number, setting up a bank account, etc, can be done by yourself for free (fill in this form once you've arrived, and walk into the nearest bank branch with your passport and AUD $50 for an initial deposite and tell them you want to open an account; give them your hostel's address to send your debit card to, and tell them not to send you bank statements), fellow travellers will be around in any hostel, and it's doubtful you really want to do most of the daytrip activities; doing the remaining ones yourself at your own pace will allow you to stretch your money much better.
That said, the other big one most people on this forum tend to go for is ozintro.

5. Posted by spreadwings2k13 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 9 Dec '12 12:03

Thanks for your help, I have never gone anywhere or done anything on my own hence why i wanted to do a package experince, it has held me back for long time but everyone is different, would want to go with at least 1 other person for my first adventure accross the other end of the world! Will take on board with what you said thanks

6. Posted by jay86 (Budding Member, 14 posts) 9 Dec '12 14:31

Hey guys

I'm in the same situation but already booked my flight for the end of december, straight to brisbane doing the backpacker adventure for.... I dont know, yet, how many time but after being there will see.
Thanks Sander for charing the information, it makes my future a lit bit breighter and its really that i'm expecting. I just ended a my first 3 years work and i'm really looking forward for this solo experience.

Nice trips for you all

Jay