Gap Year

Picking a backpacking destination? Make your money go further!

It’s getting cold and dreary here in the UK and it’s no surprise that many of us are getting itchy feet and planning our next travel spot. But where can you head these days that’s not going to leave you out of pocket within a couple of weeks?

Well I’ve been searching around and found a great list on a website called Student Universe, who have complied a list of the 10 cheapest spots to backpack in – meaning more travel for your moneys!!

Who’s up for an extended vaycay??

Check it out here: Top Ten Cheapest Countries to Backpack

There’s some real gems in there, and some countries that I haven’t even thought about travelling to yet so it’s worth a look!

Venom antidote at the ready…

So it’s nothing new to hear that Australia’s home to some pretty scary wildlife – but how about the top 10 deadliest? Well, The Telegraph has compiled this lovely list for you so now you know what REALLY to watch out for!

Think in two years I’ve had run ins with about 5 of these guys and made it out unscathed – not bad for a novice!

Check out the article in the link below:

Australia’s Deadliest Creatures

For loads of information on working and travelling in Australia, check out Work Anywhere: Australia the book today!

Like free books? Well here’s one for you!

I’ve had some wonderful support for my blog and book since beginning ‘Work Anywhere: Australia’ in December, and so to say thank you to everybody, I’m running a super-duper promotion: from today until 8th January you can download the book from Amazon absolutely FREE. No cost. Zip. Zilch. Nothing.

Brilliant.

Get it here! http://amzn.to/1kgNx7H

The book is in Kindle format, so if you want to give it a read on an Android or iOS phone/tablet, just download the Kindle reader app and read away!

If you don’t know what the book is about, it’s a work and travel guide for Australia, packed full of information covering every aspect of your trip, including:

– Applying for your visa

– Getting set up on arrival 
– Insurance 
– Medical 
– Accommodation options 
– Getting a job 
– Tax and pension rebates 
– Saving money 
– Travel 
– Extending your visa

And loads more!

If you think that this sounds like your cup of tea, or you know anyone who’s planning on travelling to Australia, download the book – you’ve got nothing to lose!

All I ask in return is that you leave a review on Amazon after reading, to let all those other travelling folk know if it’s any good 🙂

Thank you all and happy reading.

Work Anywhere: Australia

Top Australian Road Trips

The Road Trip. These words alone conjure up visions of dusty roads off the beaten track, discovering hideaways and finding out ‘who you really are’. Well, if you’re into that kind of thing. Truthfully, road trips are simply one of the best ways to see a country on your own time, without the company of a hundred other pushy tourists.

Australia is notorious for it’s many stunning drives, unsurprising really for a country bigger than Europe. With so much to see, the real question is where to begin, and so to save you the trouble, I’ve compiled a wonderful list of the top trips you have to take when you’re Down Under…

The Great Ocean Road (Victoria/South Australia)

Easily one of Australia’s most famous drives, the Great Ocean Road spans from the small beach town of Torquay all the way through to South Australia’s Warrnambool. Now there are many variations of this trip, and you find different people telling you it ends in different places, but this is the core of the GOR drive. This has to be one of the the most sensational  ocean drives in Australia, if not the world, hence why it’s my number one Aussie Road Trip. It will take you through national parks home to some incredible waterfalls and walks, down to chilled beaches, big rocks, and the opportunity to see more wildlife than you can shake a stick at. And don’t forget the ‘I’m driving next to an ocean with my hand out of the car window’ picture. Classic.

Great Ocean Road

Snowy Mountains Drive (New South Wales)

So who would have thought that Australia had snow? Or even mountains? Well, luckily for you winter bunnies, it has both. The Snowy Mountains drive takes you around Australia’s highest mountains, showing you a side of the country you most likely never would have thought you’d see. Take your time to enjoy the views (and the snow) as you tour the area; just make sure to plan it well, as unlike the GOR it’s not just one long road, and it can sometimes take a while to get from one destination to the next! But hey, it’s all about the journey right?

Snowy Mountains Drive

Nullarbor Plain (South Australia/Western Australia)

Fun fact: This road was named in 1867 from the Latin words “nulls arbor”, meaning “no trees”. Standing true to it’s name, this tree-less road will take you all the way from Norseman to Ceduna, though it’s not for the faint of heart, as with a distance of 1201 kilometres between these destinations, you’ll have to be in for the long haul. As the road is incredibly flat, it does make for great driving though, and you’re bound to catch some amazing wildlife in their natural habitat. Ever wondered what Skippy the Bush Kangaroo did after retirement? You can probably ask him. Also, make sure to check out the Great Australian Bight – with the longest cliff face in the world it’s got to be worth a visit.

Nullarbor Plain

Fraser Island (Queensland)

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, and it’s great to drive on. Why? Because on this terrain you can only get around in a 4×4. It’s pretty awesome. You will need to get on a tour to make the most of this one as there are no real roads, and joining others to drive a 4×4 is much cheaper than renting your own. Oh, and there are dingos. Don’t forget the dingos. But it’s still pretty rustic as far as tours go – you’ll spend 3 amazing days camping, driving along beaches and swimming in the bluest fresh-water lakes in the world. Not too bad at all.

lake-mc-kenzie-39166

The Great Tropical Drive (Queensland)

This is another drive that seems to be different lengths depending on who you speak to, but if you fancy a short(ish) trip I would recommend you do the drive from Cooktown down to Townsville, around 8 hours of straight driving that can easily be spread over 4-5 days. This really will give you a great insight into the tropical side of Australia, as this drive will take you through rain forests, past waterfalls, and most likely, through some of the most amazing storms you will ever see. It’s a great drive, and if you’re really enjoying it you can continue and do the whole loop back up to Cairns, a total journey length of 2080 kilometres and around 12 days to complete.

Innisfail

All that’s left to say is…happy driving!

For loads of handy information on making the most out of your Working Holiday Visa, check out ‘Work Anywhere: Australia’ the book on Amazon here.

Work Anywhere: Australia

Saving and savouring your dollar…

Money is always at the forefront of every traveller’s mind (even hippies) – whether it’s planning where you’re going to stay next, travel next or go out next weekend…

Therefore, it’s really important to know how to save your money. No idea how? Well, you lucky, lucky person, I’ve just compiled a superb list of the top ways to save money whilst living in Oz for yours truly. How nice is that?

1. Choose the right bank – This may not seem hugely important as you might only be in the country for 1 or 2 years, but  many people don’t realise the amazing interest some banks have on their savings accounts. To hook in new customers, some banks offer around 4-5% interest on your savings, which may not seem like a lot, but if you have AU$2000 in your account you can get up to $100 in interest a year. Now how’s that for a bit of extra cash?

2. Book travel well in advance – As laid back as those cheeky Aussies may seem, they do like to be well prepared when it comes to travel. Unlike the airlines we’re used to at home that often offer last minute cheap deals on flights, in Australia flight prices only go up the closer it gets to the departure date. Domestic flights can be super cheap if you book them well in advance, so don’t leave it until the last minute or you’ll end up paying double what you should be!

3. Eat in – Now this may seem like an obvious one but it’s amazing how those little trips out for a’cheap’ meal really add up in the long run. If you eat out for AU$10 twice a week, you’re actually spending AU$1040 a year on that alone! Bet that makes those microwave noodles look a bit more tempting now…

4. Skype home instead of phoning – It’s always tempting to check in with home with a quick phone call now and then whilst you’re away, but doing this on a regular basis can really run up big bills! The simple solution? Ditch the family and move on. Or use Skype. Your choice.

5. Get a backpacker discount card – You’ll find on your travels that many travel companies, hostels and car rental companies offer discounts to backpackers (who have a valid backpacker card), it may not always be a huge amount, but any saving is good in my books! There are 3 main companies (who own hostel chains) that sell backpacker cards:

VIP

YHA

NOMADS

Check them out and see which one’s best for you!

Happy saving 🙂

For loads of handy information like this and to find out how to make the most of your Australian year abroad, check out ‘Work Anywhere: Australia’ the book.

Work Anywhere: Australia

How wonderful to meet you…

So I thought as this was my second post on the blog, it would only be right to introduce myself…

My name’s Katie and I recently returned to the rainy North after 2 lovely years travelling around Australia.

Now, I love Australia. So much in fact, I wrote a book about it. Well, about how to make the most of your Working Holiday Visa – I couldn’t let all that hard earned knowledge go to waste now, could I?

‘Work Anywhere: Australia’ is the perfect companion for those planning on working in Australia, and for those already over there. It covers everything from planning before you leave, all the way to getting ready to go back home. Find out how to get work, how to travel on a budget, extending your visa and so much more!

Check it out here and let me know what you think – all feedback is appreciated!

Work Anywhere: Australia

It’s currently only available on Kindle, but if you want to give it a gander on your laptop, just download the Kindle Reader. It will be available on iOS and Android platforms in March 2014.

That’s my plugging all done. Promise.

Oh, and this blog? Well, I’m going to be filling it with lovely bits and bobs such as job updates, handy tips and tricks for stretching your budget, and news on hot spots and events all over Australia all year round.

So if this is your cup of tea, or you reckon it could be somebody else’s, then spread the word and let’s make travelling affordable again!