Lisa's Reiseblog - GROW as you GO

What 11 months of Work and Travel in Australia really cost!

Lodging, food , trips, clubbing. All this costs money. And of course it is important to a lot of people – including myself – to know eventually, what you will spend staying in Australia. Everywhere you´re getting few or less information about what you might spend but in the end you don´t know more than at the beginning. That wasn´t enough for me so I listed every single thing I bought within 7 months to give you some numbers. You can find the costs per month and per day and some nice tips along the way. So hopefully I can help you with this and maybe give some good advices. But you should know, that I was living very “economically” to make my budget last as long as possible.

Find the german article here!

Organisation Costs of a Work & Travel Year

I think starting with the costs for organisation – single costs –  would be the smartest. So I´m talking about the money you spend before even leaving the country. In this special case is obviously just about Australia and Germany – where I come from.
In my case it kind of started like this …

singel costs in € back in Germany
einmalige kosten

*Reisepass ist the german word for ID… sorry it just slipped in 😉

Costs as I went

I was listing my expenses – as I bought them – for 7 out of 11 months in Australia. Therefor you´ll get this nice and handy summary. When I started this projekt it was already september. I´ve already been in australia for about two months. Considerable expenses I had during this time would be the 3000 $ I spend for the camper-van. By the way – tha´s the reason why there are no costs for lodging … I was living in this lovely cosy van of mine. I would always safe up as much money as possible to be able to by a car / van / camper cause you´ll find to have 3 serious main advantages!

1st you´ll only have costs for gas but not for any other transport which can be a pain.
2nd you´ll be super flexible and independent in time and position.
3rd of all, you´ll safe a lot of money! Hotels, hostels etc. are getting expensive in the long run. 25 – 46 $ a night … well you´ll lose your money way faster than you earned it.

I´ve got three catagories. Food, fuel and extras. Trips, tours and day-trips are part of the “extra” category. I almost never booked touristy trips but organised it by myself and gaind more of an adventure and knowledge … and saved a hell lot of money. One brilliant example is this beauty here: “Fraser Island organized on your own – an adventure in paradise”. (German only)

Kosten work and travel

A few of my tours in september for example were the sailing trip to the whitsundays, a guided tour at the most popular rum distillery in Bunderburg and my favourite … the Fraser Island adventure.

Have a close look  and you will recogniz that I travelled from north to south along the east coast.

As everybody knows the costs of living etc. vary a bit from place to place. For example: the Red Centre ist more expensive than the east coast and it´s even differently with the west coast. You can use this detailed list as a guideline of yours to get a bit of an idea of australias prices.

kosten work and travel australien

I lived at the sunshine coast in october an parts of november to rent SUPs´ – so called stand up paddle boards – at the beach. I´ve been part of a volunteering program – in exchange for my work they gave me some amazing food and kitesuft lessons. That´s why the costs for food are so low in this month. What a great time! The sunshine coast is worth more than just having a glimpse.

November wasn´t so funny … not at all. I had bad toothache and straight away I spend 78 $ at the doctors. But to be honest … I always get tothache while overthinking things. Don´t be surprised because of 3.57 $ a day. As I said this is because of the included food of the volunteering program.

was kostet ein auslandsjahr in australien

… Ok I´ll confess to you guys … i´ve got a sweet tooth and i spent more for sweets that a normal person would do. To all chocolate lovers out there: Australia is a bit expensive when it comes to sweets. But even fruits and veggies have their own price. There are a lot fruits coming from local farmers but it´s still very expensive or maybe that´s the reason why?

kosten australien work and travel

One tip for icecream lovers: Ice is expensive in restaurants but cheap in supermarkets. 2$ per pack that contains 2 litre. I´ve always found some new friends to share my icecream with or to give an ice cream party.

After my volunteering program I started eating wraps and they were so delicious and extremely healthy. I found out about my preference for beetroot. If there is any interest I would add a category for great backpacker-recipes . Easy and quick to do but healthy. Just foodtastic.

costs gap year

Already New Years Eve. New Year was brilliant and my desire to travel was not satisfied yet … I suppose I had a sunstroke at that time cause I really bought a 3 litre can of sun dried tomatoes swimming in oil. Wasn´t the smartest idea I guess … but i was sooo damn tasty. You just can´t blame me. To be fair I might spend some money for sweets and sun dried tomatoes but barely alcohol. With just 2 bottles within 7 months … that´s almost nothing. Oh I just remembered an other nice tip. Instead of bying waterbottles all the time you can refill them with tab water again and again and save some money with that.

Ok lets sum up.

kosten auslandsjahr
5 months without lodging costs, living in my van, cost me 1.936,26 $. That´s an average amount of 12.52 $ a day. Monate Australien ohne Unterkunftskosten, in einem Van lebend und davon waren 1 1/2 Monaten Volunteering hat mich insgesamt 1.936,26 $ gekostet. Just think of the amount of money in relation to the time … half a year with not even 2000 $. It´s impressive what you can get out of life for that! It gets a totally different meaning.

kosten australien work and travel

February was by far the most expensive month. At that time I´ve been walking through Wilsons Promontory (national park) bought a ticket to Tasmania and so on , what caused some extra expenses.

kosten auslandsjahr

March was the last month I was taking notes for my list. With 500$ it is neither the cheapest one nor expensive. But have a look  on your own.

And that´s all in total …gesamtkosten

I spend 1.047,85 € for the preparation. That´s 1.542,99 $ having an exchange rate of 1,47 $ : 1 €.
In addition to that comes the car and 7 months of living what brings us to 8.190,72 $. That may sound a lot but in fact it´s not. It´s just 5.562,35 €. You may assume to sell your car again as long as it´s still running …  so you would even get some money back.
If you rise the costs for living up to 12 months; that would be 6.253 $. Plus car and organisation costs, that´s about 10.796 $ in total. That again is about 7.344 €.
If you should know how much money you can spend than I´ve got an other tip for you: subtract the costs for organisation and the tickets. If you want a car substract what you would spend for it as well and divide the rest with the time you wanne be out there. Now you know how much money you wound have to live of and you can compare it to my list. Is it more ore is it less? Do you wanne do more touristy things than I did? Cause that will cost a bit more. Or do you prefer to be even more basic? No matter what … live your dream!

Did this articel give you some good information? Did it amuse you or was it fun to read? Please support me by telling me in the comments and support by giving me a thumb up and share to all those loving people on Facebook, how they can start creating a free and easy lifestyle as well. Thanks for coming and see you soon.

Hier kannst du mich unterstützen, wenn dir travel-ist-me gefällt!

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27 Kommentare

  1. MariaAbroad

    Wow, you are so right: most people don’t realize that traveling can be actually cheaper than living at home. I love that you bought your camper van, so you can re-sell it afterwards. Great choice! I am thinking of something like this for the husband and I 🙂

    • Lisa

      Hi Maria! In my opinion buying a Jeep or Campervan is the best thing you can do. If you good quality or something that looks special you can sell is again and you never need to spend thousands of dollar for accomodation #sleepinginmyvan 😉 . If I can help you and your love with any questions just ask staight forward! sunny greetings, Lisa

    • Anonymous

      It s cheaper!! Dépends how you travel and you save money as well ! Not like most of the people in Europe 😉

      • Lisa

        Are you talking about alcohol expanses? 😀 yes a lot of people spend most of their money on drinking …

  2. Cristal

    Buying a campervan is a great idea. I also love seeing those brightly painted vans traveling around 😀

    • Lisa

      Yeah those vans are typically for Australia and it´s just a lot of fun to watch or even drive one. … And everybody wants to take photos with it 😀

  3. eulandas

    Really great breakdown of expenses. I love that you are so transparent and real. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa

      Thanks eulandas 🙂

  4. Jey Jetter

    Oh wow, you did some serious travel planning there! Awesome insights and cool that you show how cheap it actually can be!

  5. Rano Salieva

    I’ve never seen such a detailed explanation as yours. Very helpful.

  6. Jan Novotný

    I just wonder, if you call it 11 months of work and travel, and presumably went on a work&holiday visa, because travel visa is free.. When did you actually spend some time working? I myself went to Australia with a one-way flight ticket and 500AUD in my pocket and it turned out just fine, without even having a work visa.. It’s not that hard, you just gotta try.. 😉

    • Lisa

      It is possible although I wouldn´t give the advice to come here with just 500$ if you could come with a little more money. I call it work and travel because I had a work and travel visa and I did volunteering. I expected that I will have to work that´s why I got this kind of visa but in the end I could make my money last long enough. For me it was more important to see the country without working to much 😉 And yes Australia makes it work for most of us 🙂

  7. Anonymous

    Great detailed spread sheet, amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it

    • Lisa

      Thanks 🙂 I appreciate it.

  8. drew

    Thank you! How do you shower, toilet, etc without accommodation?

    • Lisa

      Australia and especially the East Coast is great with public toilets and public showers. Sometimes the beach shower is pleasent as well 😀 Sometimes people offer you a shower because they love helping us out … be safe and trust your guts! After some time you get a hang of it and figure out how it works. If you get to a new place it´s best to check out the tourist information to ask them if there are any public facilities. They will gladly tell you. 🙂

      • Michelle

        Great advise Lisa, I as an Australian and we’ve met lots of backpackers. We always help them if they ask for advice etc. Here’s some more tips most if not all caravan parks will let you have a shower for an extremely small fee of about $2 or thereabouts. The other tip any service station that has meals/truck lounge have showers/toilets. Some will charge you a small fee for showers but you would be surprised how many are free. We are born & bred here in Victoria and do losts of travel just like backpackers. We free camp it where we can or do our planning for the most cost effective trips. We travel to the Outback NSW and up along the East Coast to Qld, Alice Springs and doing a trip to SA next week and Darwin Nt next yr…Brilliant country and brilliant tips Lisa

      • Lisa

        yes you are right that´s agreat tip ! I´m impressed to find some australien fellows on my blog 😀 cheers

      • Anonymous

        I’m from NZ and travelled around Australia in a caravan over a three year period. I found a lot of travelers in the Vans with no toilets and showers went to the toilet on the side of the road and left toilet paper behind. They didn’t even dig a hole to hid their doings.

      • Lisa

        Some do that´s right.

  9. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing ☺

  10. Vicki

    Hi I am glad you enjoyed your trip. I live in Newcastle Australia and my partner and I are currently travelling around Aust. Isn’t it beautiful. I just have to ask, I noticed you did not include fuel on your list, is there a reason?

    • Lisa

      Hey Vicki I´m still amazed when australian traveller read my article 🙂 Please have a closer look. You can find fuel between food and extras 😉

  11. Wendy

    Hi great post. I’m an aussie too and have been a woof host. I’m currently living abroad but enjoyed reading your post very much.
    I’d like to add for people who do like a drink … there are many less expensive options in Australia .. such as ‘Chateau cardboard’ basically 2 or 4 litres of boxed wine …and lots of them , even though quite cheap, are pretty good to drink !! Lol and the best part , the inner foil bag when empty can be blown up as a pillow hehe anyway I also would like to add from a woof host point of view ( we’ve had 140+ woofas) stay 1-2 weeks minimum ( if you like each other) and give that little bit extra while u r there. For woofers who were generous to help us as we needed, we rewarded them in more ways than just food & a bed, we offered local tours to caves and national.parks, trips away to visit secret places, connection’s with friend in the cities for them to visit and even beer .. our delicious homebrew we made. Our life motto is “give/do a little more … and you’ll always get/have more” . happy travels. Wendy

    • Lisa

      Great Wendy ! sounds like you´ve done well as a woofhost 🙂 But some of them are not as nice as you seem to be.

      • Wendy

        True Lisa. . We’ve heard some stories anyways it’s all life experience. We volunteered in Montenegro, Slovenia & Bulgaria last year … load’s of great place’s to explore. Happy days!

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