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How to travel Australia on $25/day on your gap year

Posted by Amy, 15 Dec, 2016

So we all know that the secret to making your money last during your travels is sticking to your budget. This is something definitely easier said than done. Especially when you can see all this money in your bank screaming at you to be spent! But you need to be as disciplined as you were when you were working so hard and saving all those pennies so you could go on the gap year of your dreams in Australia. We all know that Australia isn’t as cheap a place to travel around like some other countries, so we thought we’d help you by providing this article on how to get by on $25/


To make your money last longer you should definitely cook for yourself. Most hostels have in-built kitchens that you can store your food and cook in, and many campervans are equipped with kitchenettes’ (fridge and a stove). Loads of campgrounds have kitchens for you to prepare food too so stock up at the supermarket and boast your skills in the kitchen! The cheapest food to live off is most definitely pasta, pasta sauce, bread, rice and noodles + whatever you like to have with these basics. For example, the following comes up to $12.62 (Woolies – 14th December 2016)

1)      500g Spirals Pasta  – $1

2)      500g Dolmio Classic Tomato and Onion Sauce – $2

3)      650g Homebrand White Toast Slice Bread – $0.85

4)      400g Homebrand Choc Hazelnut Spread – $2.50

5)      1kg Select White Rice – $2.30

6)      425g Canned Tuna – $2.00

7)      1kg of oranges – $1.97

This set up will be enough for two of you for a couple of days – which is affordable and manageable.

Approx. food total per person per day =  $3.15


Then for you coffee lovers, you can buy your own or 7 eleven do a mean $1 coffee! Also when travelling around try and fill up your water bottles with drinking water from taps at campgrounds or around the city – this will save you heaps and it’s super important to keep hydrated! 20 x 500ml spring water costs between $6 – $8 which will keep you going to start with and the small bottles can be used for refills.

Approx. drink total per person per day = $2.25


Accommodation in backpackers’ hostel around Australia starts anything between $15 – $70. You will find the average price is around $40 in most major tourist destinations like Sydney and Cairns, this is pretty expensive when you work out that two weeks would cost you approximately $560! I mean, that’s a lot more than people pay for a private room in a house! If you’re the road tripping type then consider hiring a campervan as not only will this be your mode of transport but it will also be your accommodation. Budget campsites start at around $20 which is only $10 each per person. Use apps like the Travellers Autobarn App and WikiCamps to find cheap camping sites in the area.

Approx. campsite fee per person per day = $10

blog pic


This one depends on how much you are going to be travelling per day and where you are filling up (prices vary from location to location) but let’s say you have paid $1.30 per litre of fuel and drive 100km (around 1.5hrs) per day then your expected fuel cost for the day in a 3-5 berth campervan is going to be $18.20. We highly recommend collecting fuel vouchers when doing your supermarket shop. If you do your shopping in Coles or Woolworths and spend over $30 they often supply you with discount vouchers such as 4 or 8 cents off each litre -how handy is that! This all depends on different states and these vouchers need to be used at dedicated Coles and Woolworths petrol stations. Use our fuel calculator to calculate approximately what your journey is going to cost you in fuel.

Approx petrol per person per day – $9.10

Outback fuel station

Tollroads and fees

Gone are the days when you could simply drive on a toll road and pay an operator in a cash booth. Navigating toad tolls in Australia can be tricky business nowadays. When renting a campervan, you are fully responsible for road toll fees. Unpaid toll fees can attract hefty fines. Toll fees vary from $4,- to $11,- depending on location and the size of your vehicle. Toll roads can be found within the metropolitan areas of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and are a popular route for travel in and around these cities.

  • Try to plan your journeys ahead and pre-purchase tolls to avoid any potential penalties
  • If you don’t have an electronic tag fitted, your vehicle is identified by cameras positioned at various points along each toll road which record your registration plate.
  • If you don’t have an electronic tag you will be able to purchase a temporary pass from a variety of locations. You should ideally do this before travelling on any toll road, although you are given up to 72 hours after travelling on them to purchase a pass.

You’re not going to be going through toll roads every day but it’s worth considering as part of your budget, as they can easily come up to $100 within two months travel, working out as approximately $0.85 per person per day.

Approx toll road fees per person per day – $0.50


So… here’s your total daily breakdown how to travel Australia on $25/day in your gap year for 2 people

Campsites – $20.00
Toll fees – $1.00
Petrol (4000km) – $18.20
Food and drinks (2 people) – $10.80
Total ____________________________________+

$50 divided by 2 = $25 per person

Voila! There you have it how to budget for Australia for $25/day! Not so bad is it?! Remember this is serious budgeting going on – do make sure you have some extra cash aside for stuff like beers, tours and activities too!

Start planning the best road trip ever! We have branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth and Darwin

To get a campervan rental quote CLICK HERE


2 thoughts on "How to travel Australia on $25/day on your gap year"

  1. James Slattery on

    This is really great information, I really like your blog. Thank you very much for the share.

  2. Anna on

    Thanks James, glad you like it!!

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