Backpacker finance

backpacker finance

Each year thousands of backpackers’ flock to the cities of Australia. They come for the weather, the beaches and the culture. They leave because of the high prices, I’d imagine. But for those living for just a year or a few months, keen to enjoy themselves but on a budget, here’s a few quick tips on how to keep their finances in check on their travels.

Happy hours

For most backpackers, eating out and drinking is the best part about living abroad. It can get expensive in any city in Australia though. Happy hours are a backpacker’s saviour. With some offering drinks at half price, backpackers can’t go too far wrong seeking out the nearest bar offering food and drink specials. In days gone by, they would have to wander the streets looking out for blackboards advertising a discount, but those days are gone with the introduction of the “Happiest Hour” app which allows the user to find the closest bar or restaurant offering the best deals. The best thing about the app? It’s free, perfect for its client base.

Room shares

In most cities all over the world, hostels are the cheapest form of accommodation. Not so in Sydney. Travellers regularly pay the same rates as those staying in their own apartment, a bed in a Sydney hostel, in a room of six people can cost up to $250 dollars a week. For backpackers wanting to save money on accommodation, they can look into sharing a room in a unit of house. These can cost half the price and for that they’ll be getting a nice living room fully furnished with bills split between 6 people. Places like this can be found in all the best locations in Sydney too, whether it be in Coogee or Bondi by the beach, or right in the centre of it all around Central station.

Public Transport

Don’t take it. Walk everywhere. If the distance is too long, run. Every form of transport in Sydney is expensive. Taxis, recently undercut in the market by Uber, Ola and Taxify, buses and trains all charge high prices. A recent study by Deutsche Bank found that the minimum far in Sydney to ride public transport is the highest in the world. So, for the backpacker interested in saving money, public transport should be avoided at all costs, helping to save those pretty pennies while getting fit at the same time.


Any backpacker coming to Sydney should immediately seek out work in the construction industry. With some of the highest wages for unskilled workers, working on a construction site will be sure to add a bit more extra funds to your bank account. The work can be long and tiring but when it’s pay day, it will be worth the 10 hours a day spent in the baking sun.

Living and working while being on a budget can be stressful but with these helpful tips, any backpacker can make their hard-earned money go that bit further.

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About the Author: Megan DeGrom

Megan DeGrom was born and raised in New Jersey just outside the Pine Barrons. As a journalist, Megan has contributed to many online publications including Rotten Tomatoes and Variety. In regards to academics, Megan earned a degree in business from St. John's University. Megan covers economy stories here at Clear Publicist.