Thinking about jetting off to Australia with nothing more than a backpack and a few weeks of freedom ahead? Here are my top tips for spontaneous backpackers heading to the land Down Under.
When and Where
Donâ€™t underestimate how huge Australia is. Unless you are setting off for a solid twelve months of travelling, it is best to sketch out a rough itinerary before you leave. This will mean you donâ€™t miss out on visiting your bucket list locations.
Before you plan your trip, you need to decide whether you are going to catch a few internal flights or do everything by road. If you only have a few weeks, driving from Sydney to Cairns, taking in the Gold Coast as well as the Daintree Rainforest and the unmissable Great Barrier Reef, is as good a plan as any. This is a popular route and you are sure to meet like-minded people along the way. If you have been to Australia before, or just enjoy travelling off the beaten path, why not head to the quieter West Coast? Youâ€™ll be exploring a more remote region and will encounter the amazing and underrated Ningaloo Reef.
Though I do recommend a basic plan, donâ€™t be scared of a little spontaneity. If you meet friends or fall in love with a certain area, why not spend a little longer there or change your plans? Just try not to miss your flight home!
You can find good weather in Australia at any time of year; however, the north can get hot and sticky in August and September, so if you are travelling then, head south to the Great Ocean Road instead.
As I said before, if youâ€™ve got the cash then taking a few internal flights is the best way to see lots of Australia as you need to cover large distances. However, hopping for here to there and back again might not be your style. You could hire a car and tent instead and feel the freedom of the open road. Alternatively, there is a good sense of backpacker community on the bus routes of the Ox Experience.
Be Safe, not Scared
There are lots of horror stories about the dangerous animals in Australia and wondering whether you will encounter redback spider or see a menacing glimpse of a crocodile is a huge a part of the fun of visiting. However, people are rarely hurt by wild animals and it is easy to take simple precautions, such as wearing protective footwear and checking under toilet seats, to avoid nasty bites. Itâ€™s also a good idea to take out backpacker travel insurance before you leave. A good travel insurance policy will cover any medical bills you might have â€“ just in case a cheeky crocodile fancies a bite.
A more real danger in Aus is the heat. You donâ€™t want to spend too much time out in the sun and will need to keep hydrated and sun-creamed at all times. In cities and towns, youâ€™ll need to keep an eye on your valuables â€“ backpacker travel insurance will cover your camera, phone and other tech in case of theft or accident, but it is wise to take sensible precautions.
Now you are ready to set off on an Australian adventure!
Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveller and insurance expert with the team at Let's Go Insure. Ethan’s passion is to inspire his clients to go just that little bit further, deeper and higher on their travels and his expertise in providing the ideal insurance cover allows them to do just that. If you're looking for the best backpacker travel insurance Let's Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer a range of competitive insurance without compromising on cover.
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