21 Oct 2015
No matter how far and wide they roam, Aussies still love to call Australia home. Increasingly we are seeing this Great Southern Land as an attractive alternative to holidaying overseas.
For a while, the lure of exotic destinations was enhanced by the Aussie dollar’s buying power as it soared against foreign currencies.
That was then. From its high of US$1.10, the Australian dollar has dipped below US70 cents, meaning much less bang for our buck in far-flung destinations.i
With some pundits saying it could go as low as US50 cents, there has been no better time to explore our own back yard. In fact, more of us are already doing just that. The latest statistics from Austrade show that domestic tourism was up 6 per cent in the March quarter.ii
This is a trend that is likely to continue as it has never been easier to plan an affordable holiday thanks to numerous websites and apps that help people map out vacations and track down fantastic travel and accommodation options.
Meet the locals
Airbnb matches travellers with hosts who rent part or all of their homes for a fraction of the cost of swish hotel rooms.
Options range from stunning heritage-listed mansions to modern apartments to funky bedsits. Imagine waters’ edge views over the beautiful Tamar River near Launceston, just a short stroll from a vineyard’s cellar door for just $100 a night.
You would be hard-pressed to find a similar price within cooee of this location even on cheap accommodation booking sites such as Stayz or LastMinute.
Consider camping (or glamping)
For those who want to spend time in the great outdoors, CampingAustralia has a free mobile phone app that lists caravan and holiday parks, pub and farm stays, backpacker hostels, showground camping and even free overnight camp sites.
Old style caravanning and camping has been on the rise for a decade, along with the new trend of glamping – that’s camping mixed with a little luxury. You don’t even need to own your own caravan. The site MyCaravan allows you to find a locally available van that suits your needs and budget so you can hit the open road in comfort.
More travel apps
Sunscreen is a crucial piece of kit for those venturing to sunny regions. This app sets a countdown timer to alert you when your next sunblock is due, based on UV ratings, your skin type and the SPF of your lotion.
If you’re sending a message to someone on the other side of Australia, use WhatsApp and there’s nothing to pay (provided you can find access to Wi-fi). Or you can simply use the data on your phone to send pictures, videos, sounds clips and text.
Remember postcards? Touchnote allows you to select your favourite picture, submit it together with the destination address, and it will be printed and sent off to anywhere in the world. All from your mobile phone.
And finally, if you’re keen to keep a travel diary, download Steller. This is a ‘storytelling’ app you can use to combine photos, videos and text into elegant and simple design, so you can cherish your memories, or share them with others.
So many choices
We are blessed to live in a country of incredibly diverse landscapes, from the red desert of central Australia, to the tropical rainforests in northern Queensland, to the breathtaking temperate forests and beaches of the southern states. As to where to go – take your pick!
There is a good reason why Australia is becoming increasingly tantalising as a holiday destination for overseas visitors. It offers great hospitality, safety, a friendly climate, spectacular landscapes and a unique environment with unmatched native wildlife.
Apart from the fact that these factors rarely come together anywhere else in the world, our devalued currency means Australia offers great holiday value for locals too.
If you’d like to talk to a Financial Adviser regarding budgeting or saving for your next big holiday in Australia, please contact us.