The harbour city of Australia is a hot tourist destination, especially for Indians. Whether one is visiting Sydney for the quintessential selfie picture against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House or to go sailing on Sydney Harbor, here are four ways to make the most of the trip and stay within the budget.
Avoid school term breaks and major holidays
Schools in Australia take a break between mid-to-end April and July; end September to mid-October; and the third week of December to early January, right in time for Christmas and New Year. Travelling to Sydney during these tourist seasons could cost much more as flight tickets and hotel stay costs go up.
Also, there’s an influx of intranational tourists for the summer vacations from December to February. Hence, it’s better to avoid these months.
Be mindful of this silent money guzzler – phone and data bills
Cut down on global roaming with international SIM cards like Matrix, UNIconnect or OneSimCard. These offer great plans, and you get the number before departure. Or get a local SIM card in Sydney; you can get an Optus and Vodafone number at the airport as both service providers have kiosks there.
Seek out public Wi-Fi wherever you go. Besides free Wi-Fi at the Art Gallery of NSW, Kinokuniya (Sydney’s biggest bookstore), and the Queen Victoria Building, you also get public Wi-Fi access at the Bondi beach, Sydney Opera House, and the Manly beach. Download apps like WiFi Map and WiFi Finder to easily detect hotspots around you.
Explore the hostel life, and choose suburbs instead of the city centre
Besides interacting with people from all over the world, hostel accommodation is readily available and comes at a cheap rate. Or, self-cater if you’re with family, as a two-bedroom apartment is more economical than two hotel rooms.
Slash accommodation cost further by picking the suburbs. There are some great ones in Sydney, such as the bohemian neighbourhood, Newtown – a Mecca for music lovers, or Balmain if you like pub-hopping.
Leverage public transport, especially on Sundays
Tourists can save tons of money with Sydney’s well-connected public transport system of rails, ferries, and buses, and the upcoming Metro line expected in early 2019. An Opal card reduces the hassle of searching for select stops to purchase single tickets, and only requires a minimum credit of AUD 10.
Since Sydney has the highest rate of public transport usage (weekday trips are 80% higher in Sydney than other Australian cities), the transport cap is AUD 15.40 on weekdays, but on Sundays, it’s AUD 2.60 for everything, which means travel as much as you want to, and you won’t have to pay anything over that.
Explore the walking trails between major Sydney attractions, such as the 6 km coastal walk between Bondi and Coogee, where you can also spot colourful birds and water dragons.
Travelling is a beautiful experience, and even better when you’re mindful of the smallest things that can hike up the cost later. Now that you know these hacks to save some bucks, plan it better and have a lovely trip!
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