How to travel on a shoestring in Melbourne

I travelled like a cheapskate on tight budget during the one year when I pursued my masters in Melbourne and while backpacking around the east coast and outback of Australia in 2011. These tips are applicable mostly within Melbourne, but some of them are valid as well for Australia in general. I hope they could help you to see more and go further with your hard-earned money 🙂

1) Plan ahead

To me, failure to plan means planning to fail unless if you are both time- and funds-rich. But do not get me wrong, by planning and researching ahead, I do not mean leaving no flexibility and serendipitous surprises to your schedule.

2) Keep an eye on before and during your trip.

Buyii compiles deals from various websites, saving your effort of visiting them one by one.

I made good use of the websites and deals to enrich my experience and broaden my horizon (tasting different cuisines, sightseeing, trying out new sports/hobbies, etc.) at discounted prices! To cite a few examples:-

At Melbourne:

–          Ocean kayaking at Port Melbourne

–          Watched musical show, Xanadu



–          Watched live comedy show

In the name of Melbourne International Comedy Festival...

In the name of Melbourne International Comedy Festival…

–          Tried Mexican meal

My mexican comida! :)

My mexican comida! 🙂

–          Multiple entry pass to City Bath

At Sydney:

–          Harbor cruise + buffet lunch

While sipping her champagne on the cruise,  my travel buddy found something must-snap :p

While sipping her champagne on the cruise, my travel buddy found something must-snap :p

–          Dinner at a fancy dress restaurant

At Tharen's

At Tharen’s

3) Budget meal: Crossways restaurant

AUD 5.50 (when I last visited on March 5th 2012 as student) for an all-you-can-eat vegetarian lunch at the Melbourne CBD=good value for money and it’s really hard to come by!

crossways restaurant melbourne

main + drink + dessert

main + drink + dessert

4) Budget meal: keeping a watchful eye on brochures and pamphlets!

Like what we did! :)

Like what we did! 🙂

5) Budget accommodation: Malaysian Hall

This is good news for Malaysian only 🙂 2 Halls available: 1 in Melbourne and another 1 in Sydney.

For a twin share room charging at AUD 12/day/pax (last check at the time of writing), it’s really a deal. Do apply early to avoid disappointment. Please also take the following into consideration before placing your booking or making decision:-

a) The hall only allows stay up to a maximum of 5 days under normal circumstances.

b) The hall requires one-off service charge of AUD 15/pax. So if you are only staying for a day or two, it is probably not so much of a deal anymore. Remember to do your calculation.

c) You have to share bathrooms with others.

d) No cooking is allowed.

e) The Hall in Melbourne is some distances away from CBD. Do factor in your transport fee.

6) Budget day tours

a) Half-tix Melbourne: Although selling show tickets mainly, Half-tix also has collaboration with leading tour providers such as Gray Line and Great Sights. When I last booked my tours from them in August 2011, I got to enjoy up to 50% off for day tours in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. It was 20% off for tours held in other cities. Just remember to book at least 1 day in advance.

Half-tix Melbourne

Half-tix Melbourne

b) The University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association: No, you need not be a postgraduate student to join the day trips 🙂 I did comparison of the prices before: trips organized by GSA are cheaper compared to the commercial tours by up to 40%. The bad news is that the trips do not depart every day. But if your travel dates coincide with the trips’, give it a try!

7) Cheaper movie tickets

Feel like squeezing in a movie session to your schedule? If you do not mind visiting the beautiful Parkville campus of University of Melbourne (so that you do not have to pay for postage), you could pre-purchase the movie vouchers from the Uni Store which is located at the basement level of Union House. 


8) The cheapest flight ticket
You wouldn’t know if the airfare you are paying is the cheapest for your travel date, unless you do the comparison 🙂 Do make use of webjet to compare and book all major airlines.

Enjoy OZ, mate! 😉


0 Responses to “How to travel on a shoestring in Melbourne”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

I spot you, creativity!

Series #9 Light bulb reuse!

Reflection of the day

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 43 other followers

Inside the glass bottle…

“I want to walk tall, believe in myself, have the courage to ask for what I want and need, and live a life that mattered. I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and know that I am loved and that I belonged. I am desperate to feel worthy and I am hungry for the opportunity to live my fullest potential.” - modified from "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" - Debbie Ford

Under the apple tree…

"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind." - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

Blog Stats since Dec 2010

  • 53,834 hits

Ich lese….

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Aggie: "But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer?" Norman Babcock: "Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere." - Paranorman
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” by Walter Hagen
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, body totally worn out and screaming "WOOOHOOOO what a ride!" - by anonymous
When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous

%d bloggers like this: