Whether you're planning an epic journey across the Outback or a smaller trip down the Great Ocean Road, a road trip across Australia is bound to be memorable. Yet it's easy to underestimate the expense involved with this type of journey, with such vast distances to cover and unexpected fees along the way. Be sure to factor the following costs into your budget to avoid finding yourself out of cash before you reach your destination!
Image Source: Javier Portoles/Flickr
Car Rental Fees
The cost of a car rental is one of those things that you should theoretically be able to figure out or even pay for in advance. In fact, you can save a bundle pre-paying for a car rental. However, the quote or prepayment amount may not be what you're charged when you actually turn up to the counter to pick up your car. Car hire companies may charge you extra rental costs including insurance, extra driver fees, or refuelling costs if you're not careful, so be sure to read the fine print.
Although the fact that you'll have to pay for fuel on the road is certainly no surprise, you may not be aware of just how much prices can vary throughout Australia. If you're driving to rural areas, particularly in remote regions like the Outback, you can expect to pay nearly twice as much on fuel as you would in major urban areas like Sydney or Melbourne. Be sure to research fuel prices in advance to avoid getting hit by sticker shock when you're already on the road.
There are toll roads and bridge crossing fees in certain parts of Australia, so research how much you'll need to bring along to pay these tolls. Most of these will only accept cash, and some may even ask for exact change. Bring some petty cash for these types of expenses so you don't come up short. You can also take a look at this article to find out how road tolls vary between Australia, the USA, and Europe.
Are you visiting large cities like Melbourne and Sydney? Don't forget that you'll have to pay to park. Parking garages may charge by the hour or day, and you'll pay extra around airports or in city centres. Even national parks and campsites charge parking fees.
Park Entrance Fees
Speaking of national parks, Australia's full of them and they're bound to be some of your road trip highlights. Before entering these areas of natural beauty, you will most likely have to pay an entrance fee on top of the parking fee. Camping can save you money on accommodation, but this will incur an extra expense as well.
Rest Stop Mark-ups
In remote areas, your only dining options may be the convenience food you find at rest stops. However, these packets of crisps and giant sodas don't come cheap. With little competition around, businesses can charge you an arm and a leg for a sandwich. Be prepared for this, and stock up on healthy snacks at larger grocery stores whenever possible.
By working these smaller, potentially unexpected fees into your budget, you can stay on track and have more money left over at the end of your journey for airport souvenirs!
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There are hundreds of reasons people choose to travel to Ireland every year. Culture, history and beauty are alive and well all over the island of Ireland and it is especially attractive to those who love to be outdoors. Visiting rural Ireland doesn’t mean you’re likely to achieve a sun tan, but you will however find some of the most breathtaking views in Europe. Here are some top tips for getting the most out of your trip.
Advice to travelling rural Ireland
1. Layer up
It’s no secret that the Irish weather can be less than desirable at the best of times, but despite popular rumour, Ireland is prone to a sunny day or two, depending on what month you choose of course! If you’re visiting in the spring/summer – be sure to wear layers. This way you can wrap up warm but you can easily remove such layers when tracking around the beautiful Irish countryside. Needless to say, if you are planning a trip in Irish autumn / winter time, then you'll certainly need to bring some warmer clothing as it can get very chilly in the Irish countryside both day and night.
2. Learn An Cúpla Focal! (A few Irish words and phrases)
Although the most of Ireland will speak English, just like in every other country, the Irish love to hear their native tongue. Learn a few basic Irish words and phrases, which will become especially useful when in and around rural gaeltacht preserved Irish speaking places like Dingle, Co Kerry. If you'd like to embrace the Irish culture and language, head up to Ireland's north coast and plan a trip to Donegal another Irish speaking county with many Ghaeltacht areas. Donegal is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland and is a surfer’s paradise.
(Image source: Cycle Ireland)
3. Stay with the locals
Guest houses and B&B’s are thriving in rural Ireland and in staying here, you’ll experience a truly warm Irish welcome. Plenty of storytelling, great food and the chance to fully engage with the Irish locals. You’ll be a long way from any commercial way of life and so it makes sense to get to grips with the rural way of life. If you’re up for a real challenge, then try to find a farming guest house and help out, get your hands dirty and experience the authentic Ireland.
4. Pack light
Hills, muck and puddles are a big find in rural Ireland and you are likely to be trekking on challenging ground so pack light. As most back packers will know, packing light is the key to a successful trekking trip, especially in the great outdoors. Think about packing the essentials and essentials only.
5. Enjoy the accessibility
Ireland is not a huge country and so you can enjoy travelling and exploring in a relatively accessible way. Most people choose to explore by car and foot but if you’re super keen and want to time save, you can get flights from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Belfast and Derry, meaning you will cover all ground! Taking a trip to the North? Northern Ireland has remained particularly unspoilt, with UNESCO sites like The Giants Causeway calling huge amounts of tourists from all over the world regularly.
Ireland is a notoriously friendly country and the beauty which you’ll find here is hard to conceive and impossible to forget. Cities are buzzing but make no mistake about it, rural Ireland is something every traveller should see. Mesmerizingly beautiful, historically poignant and remarkably cultural – see Ireland unspoilt for an unforgettable experience.Add a comment