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How to live on a budget!

All travellers know the struggle: How much money can I afford to spend? Will I find a new job? What if I run out of money? Is that the cheapest deal? Questions among questions. And the answer is certainly never guaranteed, but if you know some handy tips and tricks, living on a budget can be made a lot easier!

1. The wreckers. Most travellers are choosing to buy or rent a car for their road trip. But what seems like a great deal, is usually too good to be true. Mechanical repairs are often inevitable, but most of all: expensive! We spend dollars and dollars on car parts, tyres, oil changes and services. It doesn’t have to be like that though! Before you choose to buy new or used parts from the mechanics, check out the wreckers first. Most of the time, they have some spare parts for a lot cheaper! But be cautious: It’s always a risky buy and shouldn’t be considered if you’re planning to keep your car for a long while.

2. Book exchanges. Who doesn’t like to read a good book! Lying underneath the stars with a book in your hand and nothing but peace and quiet around you. Doesn’t it sound tempting?! Unfortunately, stories come to an end at some point. Often quicker than we wish for. So what do we do? Many of us can’t afford to buy new books or an expensive Kindle. Luckily, society looks after all of us people, who like to read. Book exchanges can be found everywhere: in hostels, caravan parks, libraries, cafes. Keep your eyes open, you won’t miss it. But don’t forget to leave a book, in order to keep the exchange going!

3. Tuesdays. Who would have thought, that a day, seemingly just like any other day, could make you save so much money? Whether it’s a plane ticket, a bus ride or sometimes even certain tours and activities. For some reason, Tuesdays seem to promise the best and cheapest deals. So if you’re not in a hurry and need and good bargain, it’s worth it sticking around until next Tuesday!

4. Quick sales. Food can be unbelievably expensive! Especially over in Oceania! 12$ for a small pack of grapes? 2$ for a loaf of good bread? Who can afford that?! That only leaves us with one choice: buying the cheap home brand, which is often simultaneously the unhealthiest and tasteless option. Soon, we’ll lose appetite and stop enjoying our meals. But we don’t have to make such sacrifices, just because we have to keep an eye on our money! Most grocery stores have so-called “Quick sales”. Quality food, that is about to be thrown out or looks a bit odd for half the price! The good thing: there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Of course, supermarkets wanna keep up their good reputation, which is why they can’t afford to keep certain types of food in the store for more than a day. The best time to hunt for quick sales is just before close.

5. Leftover boxes. Most of us would have stayed in a hostel at least once in their life. They’re not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to helping each other out. Many hostels have something like “leftover boxes”, giving travellers that are about to leave the country the chance to get rid of some stuff that might help out the next person. The best part: it’s absolutely free! So you go and buy new and expensive gear, why don’t you check out your nearest hostel and reuse someone else’s stuff?!

While these are just five tips, there are so many other ways to save the one or the other dollar for our next road trip! Let me know if you can add to this list in the comments!

Safe travels,

Dani

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Things I wish I would have known before I started travelling!

We know it all. We all have certain expectations and imaginations, before we head off. But mostly, they end up being completely wrong or not quite, how we expected them to be. This often results in us being unprepared and regretful. We’ve all had these moments and I don’t wanna exclude myself. Here are 6 things, that I wish, I would have known, before I started my travels in Australia and New Zealand:

1. It does get cold in Australia! Not every stereotype is true! It’s surely not warm and sunny all year round. Many days, I wish I had packed more jumpers and warm clothes. In fact, I only packed ONE jumper and leggings in the beginning, as I thought thick clothes take up too much space. They do take up a lot of space, but I wouldn’t cut short on that. Leave your hairdryer at home instead!

2. Umbrellas are weird. If someone would have told me before, that the Aussies and Kiwis are not as whiny as the Germans, I would have left my umbrella at home. I have used it once and decided to do it never again, due to all the attention it caused. A lady even told me once, that she could recognize immediately, that I am foreign, carrying an umbrella. Unless, you spend a lot of time in big cities, you need to learn to toughen up!

3. Australia is huge! Never underestimate the size of this massive country. Some days, I have been driving for HOURS just to get to the next petrol station! It’s about 3000ks alone to get from Darwin to Adelaide in a straight line! Germany is ridiculously small compared to that. It could fit into Australia about 21 times!

4. You need to adapt your diet! Depending on the way your travelling, you often have to give up on certain foods. If you’re living in the car/ van like me, I wouldn’t dare to buy a lot of dairy, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables etc., unless you’ve got a proper fridge/ esky! Especially in Australia’s heat, fresh stuff and dairy just goes off within a day/days. It would be a waste of money to invest in those. What can you eat instead? Well, I wouldn’t recommend it, but the instant – noodle diet is quite cheap 😛

5. Way too many Germans! Welcome to Australia and welcome back to Germany! I would have never expected to meet so mamy Germans over her in Australia and New Zealand! You think, you come over here not speaking a single German word?! Hahaha! Good one! They are everywhere! There is probably a massive gap of 18 – 21 year olds that no one officially knows of yet. It’s absolutely ridiculous! If you wanna avoid the Germans, do it like me and avoid hostels and cities!

6. Travelling is not as terrifying as expected. Last but not least, I figured out soon, that travelling is not as scary as expected. All these concerns, thay you might have in the beginning are completely overrated. It’s safer and easier as you think it is! Don’t waste your time worrying and enjoy the beauty of the countries instead 🙂

Happy travels!

Dani

 

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