Now that a trip to Australia has been planned, how does one actually prepare for such a long journey? Once the plane ride is behind travelers (it's a long one!), there are definitely some things to consider. Australia isn't just another country, it's another country that's on the opposite side of the world for many of us - and that, alone, brings with it some challenges to overcome.

For starters, the currency exchange rate. Knowing this can save travelers some serious bucks because this country is not cheap. Secondly, electronic appliances work differently due to outlets and plugs that are shaped unlike those in North America. Thus, converters are required to charge anything. Additionally, the weather is quite the opposite which can be confusing for some travelers. Here's how to avoid rookie mistakes when flying to a destination halfway around the world.


Know Where To Exchange Money And What The Conversion Is

For every Australian dollar, for example, the conversion is 75 cents US. While that might not seem like a big deal, it's also important to note that things are fairly pricey around Australia. This means that while the conversion rate might save US travelers a quarter on every dollar, a steak dinner at a nice Australian restaurant will still run $20.93, saving only about $7 off the top. A $5 cup of coffee will still cost $3.74 - and then there's the sales tax.

Known as the goods and services tax, this accounts for 10% of the total cost of an item or service. Therefore, while travelers might think that they're saving on that $20 item, they also need to take into consideration that the extra tax charge will be about two dollars. This can get confusing with conversion rates so the best thing to do is make sure to bring extra money, in the event that expenses aren't totally accounted for.

Related: Why The Murray River Is One Of The Most Underrated Parts Of Australia (For Outdoor Enthusiasts)

Get A Converter For Your Charger

If there's one thing that everyone forgets when booking their Australia trip it's that the outlets are completely different from those in North America. When booking a hotel or Airbnb, the outlets will be Type 1, which means they have three flat pins in a triangular pattern. Obviously, charging things can become a bit of a challenge when the charger one has does not fit the port it plugs into. Thus, a travel adapter is necessary.

Travel adapters can be purchased in Australia but this leads to a bit of stress when it comes to finding a vendor and spending money on one. The absolute best thing to do is to order one beforehand and pack it in a carry-on, so that way it'll be ready for use as soon as a traveler touches down. Buying two is the safest bet because you'll never know when you'll need to charge multiple electronics at once (a phone and an iPad, for example).

The weather in Australia is a bit unusual for those coming from the northern hemisphere due to the fact that it sits in the southern hemisphere. This means that normally, when December and Christmas mean snow days and frigid temperatures, in Australia, it means hot weather and cookouts. The weather is the exact opposite, meaning while the northern hemisphere is heading into fall, Australia and New Zealand are heading into spring. So, if a trip is planned for a summer month, such as August, thinking that it will be equally warm in Australia, think again - it'll be the middle of winter.

However, that doesn't mean these differing seasons can't work to one's advantage. Traveling during the winter months from North America - December, January, or February - are pleasant and rewarding, and might save travelers deals on airfare since it's during North America's winter. Similarly, travelers can save money on the Australian end by going during the months of June, July, or August if they plan on visiting a region such as Queensland, which is usually hot a humid during the wet summer season.

Major Takeaways To Remember Before Visiting Australia

  • Invest in a travel adaptor prior to leaving for vacation, because it'll be easier than hunting one down once a traveler arrives.
  • Be aware of the conversion rate and be sure to overestimate how much money you'll need. Don't forget about the goods and service tax.
  • Australia's location in the southern hemisphere means it will have different seasons, and they will be directly opposite what they are in the northern hemisphere and North America.
  • Determine where to go first, and then search for travel deals that will save money depending on the time of year.

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