As you all know, in less than one month, I’m leaving Berlin and travelling back to Australia, but this doesn’t mean the blog will be slowing down. If anything, you can expect to see more posts related to Australia, so here’s a bit of a sneak peek into what it’s like to travel in Australia as a backpacker from writer, Giselle Channing.
Backpacking around Australia has its pros and cons. Without a doubt, spending an extended period of time discovering the best Australia has to offer will be one of the most memorable and life-changing periods of your life. But like anything in life, nothing is plain sailing, and backpacking is no different. What sort of problems can a backpacker expect when travelling in the Land Down Under? From the questionable cleanliness of hostels; to the stereotypical annoying backpacker; to the airline that breaks your bank balance, there’s plenty to be wary of.
Backpacking in Australia: What to Watch Out For
1. Bed bugs do exist
You’ll no doubt be warned about bed bugs the minute you meet the first ‘seasoned’ backpacker. Regardless of whether it’s a widespread problem, it does exist especially in the older hostels. Follow this simple procedure by Deaf Village to make sure that any bed that you sleep in, is bed bug-free.
2. The backpacker that refuses to put his hand in his or her pocket
We’ve all been there. We all have a friend who is renowned for being ‘cautious’ with their money and who invariably needs an almighty nudge to physically force them into buying a round of drinks. There are also plenty of backpackers living out a free loading lifestyle, beer begging until their heart’s content. The key is to distance yourself from these beermongers.
3. Theft is a possibility
Theft is a possibility wherever you are in the world, and while on the road extensively you have to learn to keep all your valuable possession within an arm’s reach. Aside from possessions like your wallet/purse, passport and phone, try to travel with things that aren’t particularly valuable.
4. Be careful of excess baggage charges
The possibility of having to book an internal flight when traveling in Australia is high, especially if you want to get somewhere in a short space of time. Something that a lot of backpackers who book short haul flights fall foul of is the excess baggage charges that airlines love to hit passengers with. In 2013, Parking4Less published a blog post saying that a reputable budget airline reduced its baggage allowance by 37% without telling customers. It’s predicaments like this that could cost you dearly, so always make sure to research the airline thoroughly before booking your ticket.
5. Internet connectivity complications
For a first world country, Australia’s internet providers aren’t particularly impressive. Whether you’re trying to access via a Wi-Fi connection or a signal via a mobile network, weak signals can be frustrating. Ask at your hostel where the best connection can be found around the area so your Skype calls to your family and friends don’t drop out!
Without doubt the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to immersing yourself in Australian culture. As with any travel destination, there are plenty of things to be wary of, but it’s all a matter of taking it all in and appreciating Australia for all it has to offer.
Have you been to Australia? Feel free to share your stories - be they pleasant, or unpleasant - with us at the Department of Wandering.
Disclosure: this affiliate post was written by Giselle Channing. As always, I retain full editorial control of all content on The Department of Wandering.