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Australia on a Budget

All the tips you'd use at home apply: Choose affordable hotels or hostels, find cheap eats (try ethnic restaurants in less touristy neighborhoods), use public transportation or walk, look for free attractions or discount cards. Because travel distances in-country can be great (remember, it's the size of the U.S.), either plan your trip to one city and its surroundings or familiarize yourself with the country's budget air carriers: Jetstar, Regional Express (REX), Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways. Qantas also offers an Aussie AirPass that bundles your international flight with three domestic flights.

Best Time to Go to Australia

Australia is roughly the size of the continental U.S., so with multiple climate zones, the best time to go depends on where you're headed. Summer, from November through March, is the best time to visit the southern cities of Melbourne and Sydney. But if you want to head north or center to places like Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef or the Top End's national parks and wild places, aim to go in winter (June through August) when the weather is pleasant as opposed to unbearably hot and wet. Airfares and package tours, especially those that visit the south, are typically at their cheapest June through September.


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