New Year’s in Australia: Highlights of Australia
Know Before You Go
It's almost time to go abroad! Take a couple minutes to read up on the ins and outs of your trip before you leave. When it comes travel tricks of the trade, we're quite the experts. And with this guide, so are you.
Your flight information will slide into your DMs (AKA online account) 30 days before departure. This is usually when you get to choose your seat and have the age-old internal debate: window or aisle? Some airlines will make the selections for you, so be sure to talk with the gate agent at the airport if you have a preference. Like being ahead of the game? You can check in for your flight 24 hours prior to your trip using the confirmation number found in your online account. If you’re more of a “wait ‘til the last minute” kind of person, no worries. You can always check in at the airport upon arrival.
Note: All your ticket information is online (e-ticket), so you will not receive a physical paper ticket before you depart. You’re welcome, trees.
Checking a Bag
One checked bag is included in your ticket price. It should be under 29” tall and less than 50 pounds. We recommend aiming for 40-45 pounds in case you bring back souvenirs.
After getting off the plane—and probably hitting up the airport bathroom—you’ll need to meet up with your Tour Director or EF Ultimate Break representative in the Arrival Hall. (They’ll be the one with the sign that says EF Ultimate Break.) They’ll bring you to your accommodations where you’ll have free time until everyone else arrives.
U.S. citizens will need an electronic visa called an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), and you can do it online. Besides that, all you need to bring is your passport. And not to sound like your grandma, but make sure you double check that your passport is valid for six months after your expected return date. Also, be sure to have photocopies of your passport and an additional photo ID, such as a driver’s license. For non-U.S. citizens, you should contact your embassy to find out what specific documentation is needed.
Outlets on your trip are different than in the States. You’ll need an adapter that can fit Australian outlets. We recommend bringing a universal adapter/converter to ensure it works in each city.
Pack in layers, bring the essentials, and you’re golden. Like an onion, it’s all about the layers. Keep in mind that you’ll have to carry your luggage from city to city, so the lighter the better.
You should bring the following:
- Light jacket or windbreaker
- Comfortable, closed-toed walking shoes
- Motion sickness medicine (if you tend to get carsick or seasick)
- Water bottle to stay hydrated
- Rain jacket/umbrella
- Beach stuff: Sunscreen, swimsuit, beach towel
- Small bag for water, extra layers, and snacks you may need during the day
- Small waterproof bag for wallet/electronics
Note: We recommend bringing a cross-body bag that zips close instead of a backpack. This will help you keep track of your belongings better and will help dissuade pickpockets.
On The Ground
You’re traveling to Australia, so you’ll be using the Australian dollar (AUD). We suggest budgeting $80-$100 per day for your meals, shopping, free time activities, tipping, and any Tour Director-suggested excursions. The rates at ATMs are always best, and machines are everywhere. We do not recommend exchanging cash, as many exchange offices have high rates and charge commissions. Be sure to let your bank know ahead of time what countries you will be traveling to, and make sure your credit or debit card has an international chip.
Currency Used: Australian dollar (AUD)
Phones & Internet
We recommend you get an international data package from your cell phone provider. This way you can use your phone to share Instaworthy moments, pull up Google maps to navigate a new city, and stay in touch with your Tour Director and fellow travelers during free time. WiFi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars, but trust us—you’ll want the international data plan to stay connected.
Tour Director/Local Guides
Your full-time Tour Director, AKA local rock star, will be with your group from start to finish. They are either from Australia, or have lived there for many years. From time to time you might also have a local guide to show you around a specific attraction. For both your Tour Director and local guides it is customary to tip for a job well done.
Recommended tipping amounts in AUD are:
- 57-96 AUD for the Tour Director (given at the end of the trip)
- 1 AUD for local guides (given after the tour)
- 1-3 AUD per day local bus drivers
You’re traveling through Australia, and since teleportation hasn’t been invented yet, it takes time to get to each destination. The majority of travel will be done via private coach buses and trains. Use this time to catch up on sleep, organize and find the perfect filter for your photos, read, chat it up with friends, or invent a new bus game.
Note: If you often suffer from motion sickness, consider bringing medication.
Since there’s so much to see and do, we’ve created itineraries that make the most of your time in each city. Your days will be jam-packed with awesome, unforgettable adventures. And if the pace feels fast, take advantage of downtimes during free time and bus rides (AKA prime nap time).
Note: There will be a lot of walking and exploring. We recommend bringing granola bars for longer adventure filled days.
Welcome to the buffet of the land down under—expect access to sweets like Tim Tams and exotics like kangaroo meat. Vegetarian options will also be available throughout. As for the water situation, tap water is safe to drink. But if you’re about that bottled water life, you can find it everywhere.
Foods to try: Meat pies, Pavlova, Bowen mangoes, Tim Tams, Vegemite
When in Australia, you’ll live like Aussies do. That means you’ll be staying in hotels and boutique hostels that are smaller than American rooms, and they won’t typically have air conditioning. In standard rooming, you’ll have up to five other travelers of the same gender. Roommates are assigned by your Tour Director and announced at the first accommodation. If there’s an issue, talk to your Tour Director—that’s what they’re there for!
Keep In Mind
You’ll be traveling during Australia’s summer but weather will be as diverse as the cities you’re traveling to. It will also vary depending on if you are in the coastal areas or inland. To get the most recent weather information, you should add the cities you’ll be visiting to your weather app.
Here are some important “Rules of the Road” to think about while you’re traveling. We want you to have fun during your vacation, and most of all we want you to be safe—so here are some helpful tips to #playsafe while you’re abroad & especially when you’re out at night.
- Take care of your personal belongings. Keep your bag/purse in front of you and your phone zipped inside when you’re not using it. Leave your laptop at home, store valuables at the hotel in locked luggage or the safe deposit box, and refrain from carrying large sums of money or wearing valuable jewelry.
- Don’t be a party of one. Stay in groups and watch out for each other, especially at night—no one gets left behind!
- Before you go out, grab a business card at each hotel so that you always have the address handy for getting back later.
- At the end of a night out, use transportation options you trust like a licensed taxi or rideshare app such as Uber (where available.) Have cash on hand—splitting a taxi with your fellow travelers is a good way to save money too.
- Be smart about alcohol consumption. You know the drill: Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t leave the bar alone with someone you just met. Pace yourself and know your limits. Take care of each other out there!
- You’re going to have a blast—day & night—on this trip, and we’re here for you around the clock if you ever need anything. Save our 24/7 number in your phone now: +1–617–619–1411.
If you’re bringing a camera or GoPro, make sure to bring proper straps and accessories. When it comes to free time, think about what your interests are and research what you want to do before your trip. That way you can maximize the time in each city you visit and check a lot of things off your list. Before leaving, speak to your primary physician about any recommended vaccinations/medications you may need.
You’re traveling throughout Australia! (You know, in case you forgot.) Now is the time to be brave—try new foods, make new friends, and go outside your comfort zone.