If Australia happens to be at the top of your travel bucket list and you’ve finally found the time, financial resources and frankly the courage to cross it off, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime. There are plenty of reasons people from all over the world fall in love with Australia and choose it as their travel destination over and over again.
Its unique natural beauty with stunning and diverse landscapes ranging from world-class beaches and vast red desserts to ancient rainforests, the vibrant cities and charming countryside, the multicultural society and the wealth of history and heritage you get to discover here make Australia a truly magical country that’s worth exploring, no matter what type of traveller you are.
However, if you’ve never been to the lad Down Under before and you don’t know what to expect, you might need a bit more than booking tickets and planning an itinerary to get you ready for what’s about to come. So, instead of providing you with a list of must-see attractions and destinations, which you’ve probably researched anyway, we’re going to highlight a few noteworthy aspects and share some practical recommendations so you can travel smoothly and enjoy every minute of your trip.
The vastness will surprise (and test) you
You surely know that Australia is big. To help you put things into perspective, here are some fun facts: Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, with a land area of approximately 7.7 million km², and the only nation to cover an entire continent. And yet, it’s difficult to figure out how these numbers translate into reality and understand just how huge Australia is until you actually travel across it.
This has various implications when it comes to planning a trip. First, you could waste a lot of time on the road if you want to visit destinations that are far apart from one another, so you need to think if it’s worth spending so much time on the road.
Second, you have to accept that no matter how hard you try, it’s going to be impossible to explore all the important landmarks and attractions that the country has to offer in one go unless you intend to move to Oz for several months. It’s best to pick and focus on a few favourite locations during your trip and return in the future if you want to resume your Aussie adventures in other places.
Also, keep in mind that switching between different transportation methods can help you get to your intended destination faster. This means you might have to use public transport, rent a car, book domestic flights, search for airport parking and so on.
Get used to driving on the left
If you decide to rent a car and you’re not British, you need to be aware that Aussies drive on the left. It can be terribly annoying for someone who’s never driven on the left side to make the switch and adapt. If you’re not a great driver, we suggest you find another way to move around, for obvious safety reasons. And if you insist on driving, try to avoid distractions and be extra careful when you’re behind the wheel.
Budgeting is a must
It’s surprising how fast you can run out of money when you’re having fun. And Australia surely packs a punch when it comes to keeping tourists entertained. There are tons of exciting experiences and activities to enjoy in every part of the country, and if you don’t plan your budget properly or have no sense of self-control, a trip to Australia can burn a hole in your pocket.
The key is to research and compare every service and expense that goes into planning your adventure, from transport and accommodation to Perth airport parking services and the activities you want to include in your vacation checklist. This should help you come up with a clear budget, and stick to it.
Don’t stress about the wildlife
Contrary to popular belief, you’re not going to be surrounded by wildlife and dangerous creatures at every step, unless that’s the kind of experience you’re seeking. If you don’t go outside urban areas, it’s highly unlikely to encounter any wild animals
So, if you’re hoping to see adorable koalas and kangaroos everywhere or fear you might have to run from critters the minute you step foot on Australian soil, none of these scenarios will come true. There are plenty of natural reserves where you can enjoy the wildlife in all its splendour, and just as many cities to get away from the natural world, if you so wish.
Prepare for some digital detox
If you’re used to having cheap and fast internet connectivity everywhere you go, you should get ready for a bit of a digital detox while you’re in Australia. The internet here is rather slow, and if you plan to travel to more remote areas, you might not have connectivity at all. However, this is hardly a tragedy. Australia is such an amazing country with so many things to keep you busy all throughout your trip, it would be a shame to waste your time staring at a screen.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
Australia is not called the Sunburnt Country for nothing. Although the country’s climate varies widely from one region to another, the Australian sun is unforgiving no matter the place or the time of the year. So, if there’s one thing you absolutely need to bring with you or purchase while you’re in Oz that is lots of sunscreen. Protective clothing and sunglasses are also must-have items to pack in for the trip.
Now that you’ve done your homework and learned a few more things about Australia, it’s time to start packing your bags and planning your itinerary. The great Australian adventure awaits!