OP: You can use cash without problem.
OP: You can use cash without problem.
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Unfortunately, Australia is one of the most expensive places I've been (also live there) with the exception of Switzerland Sure some things can be cheaper but overall it can be quite painful on the wallet.
Yeah usually my international trips are to Japan so I'm used to bringing a couple thousand to cover myself for two-three weeks (emergencies, not to spend it all on food/lodging), but Australia seems way more expensive so I'll probably come prepared with minimum 5k (although I'll be attempting to do as many free things as possible). I hate being stuck in other countries short on cash in case of an emergency. That's happened to me twice (once in England and another time in France). I figured this is a great time to go for holiday because I'm from Hawai'i and we only recently started flying direct to Brisbane with Hawaiian Airlines so starting rates were mega cheap !
OP, you should talk to your local bank about a few things.
1. International Money Cards. They work with local banks and tend to have lower/no fees associated with their use.
2. When and where you're going. Cards used in foreign countries will usually trigger warnings with your banks and they might automatically cancel them.
3. Get a second card if possible. If it does get automatically flagged at least you won't be stranded. An international money card can be that 2nd/3rd card.
We use cash and cards about on par with Canada... Actually, it's exactly like going to Canada except it's much warmer and we don't speak funny (imo, the Canadians and US people would probably disagree).
Check your shoes before you put them on if you leave them outside.
Carry at least 2 600ml bottles with you.
Stick to the cities.
Wear sunscreen! Turning bright red is not only painful but can be very dangerous.
Lastly, if you want to get the most out of your trip, make sure you visit places other than the big touristy spots. Bondi beach is like the most overcrowded beach in Australia. There's thousands of miles of beach that are way better and less crowded. Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are overcrowded as well.
Also, the wildlife here gets a bad rep. Mostly because the foreigners forget the one simple rule of avoiding any wild animals. You don't pat Grizzly Bears in the wild so don't try to pat a Kangaroo (it'll do almost the same damage to you if you try).
card mate its the way of the future its the shit, paypass anything under 20$ just hold the chip in the card over a sensor or some shit i don't know how it works and walk away no pin no sign nothing its amazing, and then just normal credit charge the other things, carrying around money is lame, and weighs you down, just roll with the whole card thing it truly is the best way to live in australia imo, i haven't really had to have money in my wallet except for going out clubbing and shit
I'm not sure it matters when the drop bears are waiting for you to get off the airplane.
NZ > Australia because NZ has dino-birds and Australia has drop bears.
Never had any problems with cash when I went there, just try and find a place without exorbitant exchange fees.
OP you are right most people tend to use cards unless there's a reason not to, but at the same time nobody's going to find it strange if you want to use cash. I'd suggest you just doing whatever's going to be cheapest for you, since I can only begin to imagine how much places try to sting tourists for already.
Last edited by Windfury; 2012-12-21 at 07:36 AM.