For most people in Europe and America, Australia is surrounded by the mystique of the “land down under”. Australia is a Westernized country, but it is so far from the Western centers that it developed its own unique personality. That may be why Australia is a very popular tourist destination. Visiting Australia might seem like an unrealizable wish for a lot of people, but it can be cheaper than you ever thought possible. From traveling at the right time to staying at backpackers hostels, there are a lot of ways to save during your next trip in Australia.

Choosing the right moment to fly. Summertime in southern Australia is between December and February. The plane tickets are most expensive during that time. Consider traveling just before (October and November) or just after (March and April). The plane tickets are cheapest during this time, and it is still warm enough to go to the beach. If you’re going to the north of the country, go during the dry season; otherwise you will have to spend most of your time inside because of the heavy rains and dangerous storms. Unless that’s your thing, of course!

Managing your transportation. It might seem like a silly idea to buy a car in a foreign country, but if you plan on staying more than a few weeks, it might be worth your while to buy a used car and resell it before you leave. A rental car will cost you so much more on a long-term basis than buying a used car. A lot of backpackers and work-travel students buy and sell cars in Australia; make contacts in Sydney hostels or in whatever city you are landing in and you will find a car that will suit your needs. If you plan on going in the outback, you will most definitely need a 4WD-type car like a Jeep.

Sleeping for cheap. There are many ways to save on accommodation. Couch surfing is a very popular way to find places to crash. Staying in hostels instead of hotels or motels will also save you a lot of money. If you plan on staying in certain cities for a few weeks, you can also get a short-term apartment or house rental. If you are traveling with a group, sharing the cost of an apartment will feel like you’re paying almost nothing to live in a fully furnished home.

Don’t eat out too much. If you stay in a rental apartment or in certain hostels, you should get food from local markets and groceries instead of eating in restaurants. Of course, you can try a few places, but for long-term traveling, eating out all the time will (literally) eat away at your budget. Buy non-perishable food. Make sandwiches for the road. Stop at farmer’s markets or at fresh produce stalls on rural roads. You will get fresh, tasty food for a fraction of the restaurant prices. And you don’t have to pay tips.

If you plan your trip properly and use the tips laid out in this article, you can probably afford to go to Australia sooner than you thought. Happy traveling, mate!