Australia Travel Mistakes To Avoid
Of all the trips I’ve ever taken, I’ve made the most mistakes while traveling in Australia, my home country. Having worked in the travel industry for several years, I’ve also seen other people make the same mistakes on their Australia trips as well. Some of these issues were just bumps in the road, while other problems were big enough to unravel their entire trip.
That’s why I’m here to educate anyone visiting Australia about the biggest travel mistakes to avoid so that you have an amazing time in this fine country.
1. Misjudging The Size of the Country
For some reason, people often misjudge the size of Australia. I’ve spoken to a number of travelers seeking advice for their trips (by road or otherwise). They assume distances in Australia are very small when they are anything but. Perhaps this is because Australia is in the bottom corner of the world (in most perspectives), but Australia definitely isn’t as small as it appears. In fact, it is the sixth largest country in the world and is about as large as the continental US. So expect domestic flights to be expensive and drives to be long! If you plan on visiting Australia, check out how much it costs to travel around Australia for a month, by car.
2. Not Respecting The Sun
The thing that Australia is probably most famed for is the very thing that you need to watch out for, the sun. Our lovely sun and long sunshine-filled days are fantastic for visitors, but the sun can be detrimental to travellers. Take a stroll through the hotel and hostel-filled streets of Sydney or Cairns and you’ll find more than a few people sporting a sunburn. But not just any sunburn. Aussie sunburns are harsh and the resulting combination of pain and skin peeling (as well as an increased risk of skin cancer) can make your holiday much harder to enjoy.
3. Not Researching the Seasons
Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons here are completely opposite of what you might expect in the United States, Europe and England. Therefore, summer is in December, while winter is in June and July for the southern states. In contrast, the northern states of Australia enjoy only two seasons: wet and dry. People often mistakenly assume that things will be the same in Australia as they are back home. As a result, they end up trying to navigate the country in the midst of either winter storms, or summer flooding. Do your research and make sure this isn’t you! You don’t want to be disappointed by your trip.
4. Underestimating Prices
There’s no way around it, Australia is expensive. Yes, there are ways to decrease the cost on the road and save here and there, but if you haven’t looked into the price of anything before you arrive, that’s a HUGE mistake. Fuel here is measured by the litre, with prices soaring to well over $1.20 per litre. Food is also extravagantly priced, particularly in isolated areas. On the plus side though, there is no designated tipping system and tax is included in prices, so the price you see is the price you pay!
5. Being Reckless
There’s one thing you definitely don’t want to do in Australia, and that is be reckless. People who head out on an Australian road trip without doing their research, or who go on a bushwalk without the proper supplies, or who swim at beaches without reading the signs, are asking for trouble. Australia is a big place, it can be isolated and there are many animals
out there that are uniquely designed to hurt you in ways that you didn’t even know you could get hurt. Read up on the region you’re visiting, know the rules, and understand what will keep you safe. Believe me, it’s worth knowing.
6. Not Allowing Enough Time
Probably the biggest mistake that people make during their trip to Australia is not allocating enough time for their journey. Australia is filled with so many unique locations, sights, people, and experiences, that you will always feel like you need just a bit more time. While I’m a big fan of one – very extended – trip, I know this doesn’t work for everyone. Before your trip, think about all the things you want to see, because I can almost guarantee that
Australia will provide!