Sydney: Save Your Bucks and Make the Most of It!
Sydney is arguably one of the most iconic cities to visit in Australia. It is a cosmopolitan city surrounded by pristine beaches, world heritage sites, and acclaimed wine regions. It is Australia’s largest city, and and the same time it's the most visited. Sydney often finds itself at the top of lists about the most expensive cities in the world, and while this is undoubtedly true if you are on a luxury travel or into buying a villa here. If you wanna get the best of Sydney as a tourist, I must say it is definitely possible.
1. Get an OPAL card:
Getting an OPAL card makes your life significantly easier than rest of the travellers. Opal is a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system, so you only pay when you catch a train or bus or ferry, including some private ferry operators like Manly Fast Ferry. There are rewards for frequent travel and daily caps on fare that can save regular users and even visitors on short trips a lot of bucks.
Opal travel discounts
Pay full price for your first eight journeys per week – Opal offers a “travel reward” for frequent travel, with all trips after this at half price
Daily Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $16.10 per day for adults and $8.00 a day for a child to travel anywhere in the network
Sunday Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $2.80 for as much travel as you want on Sunday.
Weekly Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $50.00 a week when travelling on all modes of Opal enabled transport from Monday to Sunday
*This does not include access to airport terminal stations.
You could also use your credit/debit card but if you are an Overseas traveller you may be charged foreign transaction fees by your bank, so an Opal might still be the best idea if you are taking more than a couple of trips.
2. Get to Know the $10 Meals
Aussies are known for taking their meals seriously. No matter where you dine you are sure to get fresh and delicious food. Some pubs and restaurants offer discount meal days throughout the week where you could enjoy a $10 steak which is 1/3rd of the average price. For more details on budget restaurants, check out the Time Out page which has a long list of cheap eats.
3. Stay in Bnbs or Hostels instead of Hotels
Accommodation in Sydney ranges from the fabulous to the functional. Rooms in large hotel chains in the city centre can be expensive in high season, and even more so over Christmas and New Year. However, if you step out to neighbourhoods like Kings Cross, Potts Point, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Chinatown, you can find something more affordable – especially if all you want is somewhere clean, comfortable and reasonably close to the action to lay your head.
Choose nice apartments on Airbnb where you can get the privilege to stay with locals and enjoy the beauty of Aussie culture. I stayed with Robbie for two nights when I was in Sydney. He is a fantastic host and fun to talk to. Check out his place if you are on a fun trip to Sydney. If you wanna choose hostels you can check Hostelworld.
4. Use Uber and Rideshares
While the public transport in Sydney is pretty good, in the early hours of the morning when buses are limited, the cost of Taxis can nearly bankrupt you. Uber is, therefore, the most sought after App for many locals after a night out as the savings are significant.
If you are looking to go further afield, then there are plenty of ride-share options in Australia and joining one of the backpacker Facebook groups/Couchsurfing groups for Sydney can usually give you access to a ride with new mates for a spectacularly low price.
5. Limit your Night Outs
Sydney has the strictest lock-out law in the country, and when clock goes past 1 am you will not be able to get back into the licensed premises of the city. While some people get hysterical at this, it’s actually a bit of a blessing for your bank account as a good excuse to call the night and head home before you spend all your fortune on booze. Shots and buying multiple drinks at once are also regulated after a certain hour so rather than getting annoyed at the bartender, appreciate that it’s saving your travel fund and your liver.
- by Ronald Aparajit