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Preparing a WHP in Australia
Find out how Luc and Erwan prepared their Working Holiday Visa in Australia: their budget, getting the visa, planning the route etc.
Is it easy to get a Working Holiday Visa?
If you have two minutes, a computer, an internet connection, a passport and your ten fingers, you get your WHV two or three days after you apply!
What budget do you need to go on a WHV to Australia?
It’s advisable to have €3,000 in a bank account before you leave. And, actually, that’s a very good budget to start your trip if you live like a student (I mean pasta, tinned food, buses, no big spending). That way, we think you can last 4-5 months provided you don’t stay in a big city like Sydney, Melbourne or Perth (where you would last two months maximum).
How did things pan out financially?
Once we’d bought our van, our budget was not at its best but the savings we made in accommodation costs were huge and the opportunity to pick up hitchhikers also meant that we could save up to get on the road again.
The fact that we’re mobile means we’ve been able to find work (for 1½ months), allowing us to pay off the van. Life in the van doesn’t cost very much and petrol is our biggest expense. We spend an average of 350 Australian dollars per month (which covers roughly 1,500 km).
Did you have jobs to help you save before you left or did you leave for Australia on a "whim" with 3 cents in your pockets?
We worked to pay for the trip and to have €3,000 in our bank accounts before leaving. Australia is a land of dreams but you don’t pay for a van with big smiles and hugs. It’s essential to have your feet on the ground and save as much as you can before setting off on this big adventure.
How much do you estimate you spent on preparing your WHP (visa, plane ticket, buying equipment etc.)?
Pre-trip expenses are quite high. We spent around €1,500:
- Visa: €110
- Working Holiday Visa insurance: €72 / month
- Plane ticket: €950
- Equipment: €150
Is the cost of living high in Australia?
It is high if you can’t change your "European” diet, if you can’t do without your Nutella and your croissant in the morning ... Otherwise, petrol is much cheaper and food is the same price as in France. If your tastes aren’t too refined, you can get by on a budget of 35 Australian dollars per week for food.
How did you organise your road trip? (choice of cities to visit, route to take and so on)
We had just one plan: "To travel and see how things went, meeting people and taking advice..” We didn’t plan a grand tour of Australia, (the “big loop” as they say here), but the more people we met on our travels, the more the mad idea of going right round the country took hold!
Just one downside, we didn’t really plan for the seasons. So, beware!