When I was 25, I had not yet taken an International trip. Australia came to my mind immediately. It was a good choice for me because it is an English speaking country. I also had a friend that lived there and the exchange rate was in my favor. After searching statravel.com, I learned that I would need $1500 U.S. dollars for this one week trip.
Australia or Bust
I had planned to fly into Brisbane where I’d stay with my friend for a few days. Then I would take a southbound bus to Sydney. I wanted to see the famous Opera House. A Sydney harbor cruise and day trip to Bondi Beach would also be included in my itinerary.
After staying in Brisbane with my friend, I planned to stay in hostels for the rest of the trip. Most hostels provide rooms with bunk beds and bathrooms that are shared with other travelers. The Hostelling International Website helped with the accommodations search.
How I Cut Expenses
I had two months to save for this trip. Here are the things that I cut out of my budget:
- 1. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stops, I used a coffee maker instead.
- 2. I got my passport one month in advance to avoid an extra rush fee.
- 3. Mac Cosmetics purchases were suspended.
- 4. A frozen meal or sandwich became lunch, instead of eating out.
- 5. The library was my source for entertainment. They had free movies and books!
Making More Money
I was planning this back when you could sell books and CD’s for a little cash. So, I sold some CD’s. I also had a garage sale. My apartment was in a prime location, so I made about $40 in two hours. My family gave me cash for Christmas that year. I had saved that in a savings account. I also did a market research study for beer, that paid $100.
In the End
I was finally able to save enough to purchase my plane ticket. Sadly, a few unexpected things happened and I still had to lean on my credit card for a few hundred dollars.
It was an amazing trip that I will never forget. Meeting great friends in hostels was one of the highlights of my vacation. Sydney, Australia was enchanting and so were the kangaroos! My first International trip left me wanting more. I look forward to returning to see more of this beautiful country one day.