Confession: I Suck As A Budget Traveler


Upon arriving in Sydney for the second time, ten months later, I felt a sense of Déjà vu.

Budget backpackers making pasta, eating $5 Domino’s pizza and doing everything free or cheap and drinking disguising cheap alcohol (goon – don’t drink it. Because. Yuck.)

But, to be honest, you’ll find that feeling at almost any state & city you visit in Australia. Everyone and their mama are here on a working holiday visa.

My first time in Sydney, I was the same. I hardly ate out, cooked bad (like, really bad) food, and stressed myself out while looking for work.

However, this time around I’m not really looking for work. I’m just chilling, recovering from my terrifying outback trip, working on personal projects and traveling with my Dad for a month.

I’ve learned something about myself in the past ten months while in OZ. While others are budgeting down to their every last penny, I’m not.

It’s not like I’m rolling in dough or anything. In fact, I’m pretty sure if I continue to spend like a mad-woman, my dough will disappear. And, to be perfectly honest, sometimes I just hand over money and then forget about it. I’ve tried to keep up with my expenses in Tasmania a few weeks ago but then I somehow lost track. Whoops!

Here are some expenses I’ve made that would give budget travelers a heart-attack.



I could have continued exploring and traveling from Alice Springs. I even considered taking a 2-day bus from Alice Springs to Darwin, but I knew that after doing a 6 day tour, I wouldn’t want to do that. Flights within Australia can be pretty reasonable. However, flying out of Alice Springs is really expensive. Because a) it’s in the middle of nowhere and b) there’s only one airline that flies through there.

My options were either exhaust myself further and take a two day bus or just pay the damn money and get the hell out of there.To be fair, it would have coast me more to  travel to Darwin via bus as the ticket wasn’t cheap.

It’s safe to say that I paid the damn money even though it was crazy expensive (the most I’ve paid for a flight in Australia so far).

A Random Picture in Front Of Uluru WIth the 20 People I Traveled With Through The Outback

A Random Picture in Front Of Uluru WIth the 20 People I Traveled With Through The Outback

When my iPod exploded and died while trying to charge it on a campground and I lost all of my pictures, the first thing I did in Sydney was buy a new upgraded one. A real budget travel would say, “well, I can just take pictures with my camera and I don’t need music and I should save my money for travel adventures.” I said, “Fuck it. I want a new iPod Touch.”

The guy at the Sydney Apple Store who sold me my iPod. He tried to sell me an iPhone, but I’m still on a budget, dude!

The guy at the Sydney Apple Store who sold me my iPod. He tried to sell me an iPhone, but I’m still on a budget, dude!

So, yes, lately I’ve been finding myself choosing more comfortable options rather than budgeting and being really unhappy. I’ll upgrade myself to a better hostel with less people  sometimes because staying in hostels is not really my cup of tea. I would like too see how long it takes before I check myself into a hotel.


While in Melbourne I saw Justin Timberlake & Mariah Carey from the VIP section. And it cost me a fortune.

These are the only two artists I’d spend a crap load of money on, but I have considered going to other shows and buying expenses tickets because I now know how awesome it is to be all VIP-Fancy-Pants.

Yes, I Did Spend My Travel Money On Mariah Carey. So What?

Yes, I Did Spend My Travel Money On Mariah Carey. So What?

Mariah Carey Being A + Mazing

Mariah Carey Being A + Mazing

Justin Timberlake Bringing Sexy Back

Justin Timberlake Bringing Sexy Back


I don’t do it so often because drinks in Australia are crazy expensive. But I don’t drink nasty backpacker drinks like goon (which is only bought and drunk to get drunk). I like cocktails – espresso martinis, pina coladas, margaritas, mojitos, etc. I also like wine and bubbles. I’m not a goon and beer drinker. I’m a fancy-pants-cocktail drinker. Deal with it.

2014-03-07 13.40.05

On My Second Cosmo While On The Sex & The City Tour In NYC Last Year


I’ve found myself eating out more and more lately. Partly because I’m not very skilled in the kitchen, and partly because I’m lazy.  Food in OZ is crazy expensive ( like everything in OZ). However, you’ll get sick of eating pasta or the $5 Domino’s pizza or the same thing over and over again. I got sick of it anyway. So I eat out here and there or (lately) almost all of the time.

My dinner one night in Adelaide.

My dinner one night in Adelaide.


Ice Cream


This Is One Scoop

This Is One Scoop

Fancy Coffees

IMG_0009And the obvious.

IMG_6029There you go. I want to be a hardcore budget traveler and I often convince myself that I am, but then Mariah Carey comes to town and, well, you know the rest.

Being all fancy-pants by the Harbour Bridge after dinner & drinks at the Opera Bar

Being all fancy-pants by the Harbour Bridge after dinner & drinks at the Opera Bar

What kind of a traveler are you? Do you budget? Or do you spend?

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  1. Gah- I totally think it’s pretty impossible to budget too much in Australia, everything is so damn expensive .I think it’s good to spend money on things and experiences you enjoy though- and food is definitely one of the things I enjoy in life!
    Lizzy recently posted…5 Things I Love About EnglandMy Profile

  2. I’m with you. I spend! I did the backpacker $2.00 a night thing after I graduated years ago. Now, I don’t think so LOL!
    I work full time and when I travel, I make sure I enjoy the experience. Last year, I managed to go to 10 different countries and still work a full-time corporate job. Also, I have a pre-teenager and a German husband (Ho! Ho!), their comfort zone is higher than mine so no way am I going to put them in a flea-infested pit for a few dollars less.

    I can’t cook so when we’re on holiday, we either go on a picnic rustic-style or we eat where the locals go including wine & champagne. You’re a girl after my heart. Always champagne LOL!
    Victoria@ The British Berliner recently posted…You’re looking hot and wearing a fur coat Katie Holmes. Of course you are: It’s Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015!My Profile

  3. An espresso martini!? :O I want it!

    I’ve not been to Australia but I’m sure budgeting there is a bit of a nightmare.. and I think sometimes, especially as a budget traveller, you have to just let it go and have a good time. What else did you save all that money for anyway? If it’s the toss up between a shorter, more awesome trip and a dragged out, pretty boring trip then you gotta think hey! 😀
    Charlie recently posted…What Vegetarian and Vegan Travellers Eat on the RoadMy Profile

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