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1. Posted by Leahmc2013 (Budding Member 11 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

First time traveling and I'm confused should I or shouldn't I use an agency cause they all look great but is it just a waste of money any help would be useful thanks
Leah xx

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5075 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Generally, people who go with them have a good time, and are mostly positive about the experience. (Though the most heard negative feedback is that they're too expensive for what they provide.) But also, people who don't go with them also have a good time, and manage just fine on their own. Australia as a country has near-perfect infrastructure for travelling independently, and there's loads and loads of people around who can help should you be unsure about anything. That means I personally am firmly in the camp on thinking them not worth it.

See some more opinions in this thread.

3. Posted by Leahmc2013 (Budding Member 11 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

How do u set up your own bank account and tax number I'm not the cleverest of people xx

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5075 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Bank account: Walk into a bank branch within the first few weeks after arrival, carrying your passport for identification (after the first few weeks, you need additional forms of identification, which you as a backpacker won't have) and AUD $50 for an initial deposit. (Banks are effectively indistinguishable from each other from a backpacker perspective, though there's generally one or two offering an account type where you can get away with not paying them anything at all if you ration your money carefully and don't make more than 4-5 ATM withdrawals per month; if that doesn't sound doable to you, then just go for one of the biggest with ATMs all over the place. (ANZ is decent in this aspect.)) Walk up to the information desk (if they don't have someone greet you when you enter), and state that you want to open an account. Fill in some forms. Tell them not to send you bank statements, and give them your hostel's address to send the debit card to (takes about a week). Then use internet banking on your own laptop to send your money to this Australian bank account (or have someone trusted at home do this).

Tax File Number: General information. Once you have arrived in Australia, fill in this online form. Again, give them your hostel's address. Way back when, when I did it, it also took about a week to arrive.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Sep-2013, at 09:42 by Sander ]