Overseas travel doesn't have to be expensive. Sure – you'll still need to do some serious saving, but with some careful research, planning and budgeting the fun, thrills and experience of an overseas trip can be an affordable and attainable goal.
It's amazing how much the odd discount can add up to substantial savings. There are a number of discount card options for under-25s – from the International Student Identity Card for students, and the companion International Youth Travel Card for non-students, to more specific discount cards through memberships to organisations like Youth Hostels Association (YHA) Australia or backpackers groups.
The good thing about discount cards is that it's easy to get one. Some are free and others can be bought for a small fee, and once you have them, your travel costs will be a little less.
Working while you travel is a great, affordable option – you earn your keep (and often save a heap too) and still get to experience new places, people and things.
Working holidays can range from short bursts of casual work through to long-term, permanent jobs. There's options to suit whatever travel experience you're looking for. Find out more on our Working Overseas page.
Long or short-term student exchange programs are available for both high school and tertiary students. From school holiday programs to language studies to whole degrees – the options are endless!
Studying overseas is definitely an affordable and achievable travel option. Check out our Doing university overseas page for more information and ideas.
The internet is an excellent research tool for finding good, comfortable, yet inexpensive accommodation. Whether camping under the stars is your thing, or rubbing shoulders with travellers from around the globe at a hostel or backpackers – or even finding an off-peak or last minute bargain at a luxury resort – a bit of web surfing is bound to turn up a wealth of options.
To start your accommodation search, check out some of the links provided at the end of this page.
While surfing the internet can turn up some affordable travel options, you should always check the accuracy and reliability of the information before you 'slap your money on the counter'. You'll find some tips for buying online on the ACCC website.
Tips for affordable travel
Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to keep your travel costs down:
- Go around the world. If you plan to visit a number of countries, check out options for round-the-world airfares – there's quite a bit of flexibility with where you can fly and the fare is usually valid for 12 months of travel.
- Keep an eye out for sales and specials. Check out travel agents, airlines and online sites for their regular specials and deals – if you have some flexibility with when you can travel, you'll often find last-minute or end-of-season discounts available.
- Travel off-peak. Consider travelling at off-peak times or out of the main holiday season – prices can often be less than half their full season equivalent.
- Prepare your own food. Depending on where you travel, dining out can get very expensive; there are usually facilities for storing and cooking your own food at places like hostels, camping grounds and backpackers.
- Talk to other travellers. Getting first hand advice is the best way to find out about current deals, what the going prices are, and options for inexpensive food, lodging and transport.
Youth Hostels Association (YHA) Australia
Plan, research and book an affordable trip through the YHA's network of hostels worldwide.
Book affordable accommodation overseas.
Choice - Travel
The Australian Consumers Association's Choice website has some good articles and tips for inexpensive travel – and avoiding scams!
Border.gov.au - Working Holidays Overseas for Australians
Information and about working holidays, exchange and overseas study programs.
International Exchange Programs (IEP)
IEP specialises in sending young Australians overseas on working holidays.