Travel

Best budget overseas trips from Australia

Australia's well-connected airports, diverse landscapes, and proximity to Asia and the Pacific make it an ideal launchpad for exciting - and affordable - overseas adventures.

Discover overseas travel destinations that offer the perfect blend of activities, sightseeing, stunning scenery, and delicious food—all without breaking the bank! From the breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam to the vibrant culture of India, these holiday destinations have it all, at prices that won't leave a dent in your savings.

By Carolyn Tate

Being the island nation we are here in Australia, getting overseas isn’t as easy as it is in some other parts of the world. Once you factor in flights and accommodation, the costs can stack up. But the benefits of travelling overseas are too enticing to ignore - it’s a festival for the senses as you see, hear, smell, touch and taste new things, and there’s always something new to experience and to learn.

So where can you travel to from Australia that won’t cost the earth? We’re glad you asked. We’ve researched some of the best options that will get you out seeing the world.

Japan

For a cultural journey like no other, head to the world's largest metropolis of Tokyo and start your journey around this stunning and quirky country.

Take in magnificent sights like zen gardens, cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji and traditional geishas while gorging yourself on delicious food. Known to be clean, safe and efficient to travel around, Japan's regional cities like Osaka and Kyoto (and snow sports resort towns like Niseko!) offer a more traditional experience than the wild bustle of Tokyo. What's more, Japan's exchange rate with the Aussie dollar makes this premium destination so much cheaper than it was a decade ago.

More info: Travel Japan

Return flights from Australia to Japan usually cost less than $1000 - check out the 'offers' tab in your Citro app to find cashback on flights.

Bali, Indonesia

There’s a reason hundreds of thousands of Aussies visit Bali every year, and although some areas are certainly teeming with fellow tourists and kitsch shops, it’s easy to get away from all of that to experience all the natural beauty, spirituality, and peaceful spots that made Bali appealing to tourists in the first place.

Known for its soul-searching activities like yoga, meditation and hiking among the volcanoes, Bali is also one of the most popular destinations for those travelling on a budget. The exchange rate, regular flight deals and accommodation are all known for being surprisingly affordable when travelling from Australia, which is what makes so many of us return year after year.

More info: Bali.com

 

Bali is home to over 20,000 temples. Proper attire, in the form of a sarong and sash, is often required to enter the temples, so be sure to keep this in mind and look up temple etiquette before visiting.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu is known for its lush greenery and pristine blue waters offering coral reef snorkelling, scuba diving into water caverns and shipwrecks, and more. While the island has its fair share of upmarket resorts, there are lots of cheaper accommodation options to lighten the load. Flipkey is great for booking holiday homes, which can make your visit much cheaper. And, bonus, the three-hour flight from Australia’s east coast means flights are often priced much lower than other overseas destinations. Once you’re there, the exchange rate means you can eat and enjoy adventures at a competitive price.  

More info: VanuatuTravel

Vanuatu is an collection of about 80 smaller islands, 65 of which are inhabited.

Fiji

The perfect place to unplug and not have to worry about anything, including big holiday costs, Fiji is known for its friendly locals, pristine waters and fresh produce. You can stay at high-end resorts, if that’s your thing, but there are plenty of affordable options around Nadi, as well as on the Mamanuca Islands, and getting around while you’re there is cheap - with an hour-long bus journey costing about three Australian dollars. Flights are affordable too, and Citro cardholders can get 1.25% cashback from Virgin Australia. Simply head over to the Offers tab in the Citro App and book your flights through the Virgin Australia link.

More info: Fiji Travel

Snorkellers and scuba divers have nicknamed Fiji the "soft coral capital of the world" because of its 4000 square kilometres of stunning coral reef gardens.

Vietnam

Vietnam offers a unique rich culture that combines a diverse and fascinating history. Cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hội An are busy and full of bustling attractions, history, and great food, out in the country you can visit waterfalls and temples among the clouds that will take your breath away, and Hạ Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can cruise among the picturesque limestone islands. Like many other South-East Asian countries, Vietnam’s cost of living turns an Aussie budget into a luxurious one. Tours and other tourist attractions are pretty affordable. And if you love to shop, Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to find a bargain, and to have new clothes made by their talented but well-priced tailors. Check out our partner Designer Journeys for great Vietnam travel options.

More info: Vietnam Travel

Vietnam is predominantly a cash economy, especially when it comes to purchasing quick snacks, transport and last minute tours. Converting some of your travel spend into Vietnam Dong (local currency) upon arrival will hold you in good stead.

New Zealand

We can’t talk about affordable travel without a mention of one of our closest neighbours. While the exchange to NZD doesn’t do much for the Aussie dollar, the fact that you can fly here for under $300 if you’re lucky, and that there’s a lot of beautiful natural attractions you can see for free, can help make a holiday here more budget-friendly. New Zealand’s compact size means it’s also easy and quick to get around. Hiring a camper van is a great budget-friendly way to see the country, which can cost you anywhere between $30 and $250 a day. Check out our partner Designer Journeys for great New Zealand tour and travel options.

More info: New Zealand

New Zealand's beautiful landscapes and rolling green hills are preserved thanks to the country's significant ecological awareness. About 30 percent of the country is listed as national reserve.

Cambodia

Cambodia is a less mainstream option in South-East Asia that boasts a natural beauty and remote islands - while being more off the beaten track than some of its neighbours. The cost of living in Cambodia is 47% lower than in Australia, which means you can buy beers for $1 and delicious meals for around $3.50. There are plenty of attractions that are free or very affordable, including Buddhist pagodas, animal rescue centres, and art galleries. The Cambodian people are also known for being friendly and welcoming to visitors.

 More info: Cambodia 

The most visited temple in Cambodia, Angkor Wat, is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings. It's a must-visit for its historical and cultural significance.

India

India is a destination that will bring your senses alive! From the bustling cities to the Taj Mahal and the spectacle that is the Himalayas, there is something for everyone. And let’s not forget the food! India is further away than some of our other destinations in this article, but flights start at around $900, and once you get there, it’s convenient and cheap to get around using the Metro rapid transit system. For a more authentic and less chaotic experience, visit rural areas, where there is an abundance of homestay options where you can experience the true India at a budget price.

More info: Incredible India

The Taj Mahal in India is a white marble mausoleum renowned for its beauty and symmetry. Built in the 17th century, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and symbol of love.

Singapore

Singapore has a reputation for being more on the expensive side, but there are options that make it an affordable favourite for many. Singapore has made a name for itself with its high quality dining, architecture, and cultural festivals. Public transport makes it easy and cheap to get around, at $1-$3 per trip, and delicious fresh meals at the markets cost around $5. The city also has plenty of free activities to enjoy. 

More info: VisitSingapore

Singapore is a bustling city known for its modern skyline, vibrant street food scene and diverse culture. It offers a unique blend of tradition and innovation in Southeast Asia.

Thailand

Thailand is another destination popular among Aussies, and while the tourist traps can cost you plenty, getting off the beaten track can bring you a rich and rewarding holiday that won’t break the bank. Go for destinations like Koh Chang or Chiang Mai, and avoid more expensive places like Bangkok and Phuket. Street food is everywhere, and it’s very cheap and fresh. There are markets aplenty where you can get a bargain, but don’t forget to haggle - those tourist prices are well inflated, and haggling is all part of the fun.

More info: Thailand

Thailand, known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant street markets, and delicious cuisine, is a popular destination offering a mix of relaxation and adventure.
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