Changes to the WHV—Why Are We Still Waiting?

If you’re coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV), then you’ve probably seen that there have been some changes made to the working holiday visa, however, they’ve yet to be implemented.

Because it’s been a while since we went over a few of the changes, let’s take a quick look at what these changes to the working holiday visa will be.

Changes to the Australian WHV

The rate of 15% for every dollar will be introduced; this is down from 19%. However, the normal tax rate will remain in place for anyone earning more than AU$37,000.

In the past, no one could work for an employer for more than 6 months, period.

Now, you can work for the same employer for 12 months, as long as it’s in a different region on a different premise.

This is great news for people hoping to stay with the same company.

The application fee for the working holiday visa has dropped from AU$440 to AU$390—anything that gives us more money to travel is excellent news for all of us.

Changes to the Australian WHV

The age limit will also increase from 30 to 35.

The conditions you need to qualify for a working holiday visa (WHV) and the countries eligible for a working holiday visa will not change.

For example, you can’t have held a working holiday visa in the past, you have a valid passport that integrated with the working holiday program, you’re between 18 and 25, you’re a visitor that wants to spend your holiday in Australia, you have the money to support yourself (around AU$5,000), have enough money for a ticket back (included in the previous point) and you aren’t accompanied by kids.

These changes are great news for everyone and we were excited to see them implemented come January 1, 2017 like promised. Unfortunately, this still hasn’t happened. Why these changes to the working holiday visa haven’t occurred yet is quite puzzling.

There hasn’t been a policy change, so it’s possible it’s just government logistics that are holding it back. It’s also strange there’s been no word on why these changes haven’t occurred yet.

If you’re waiting for these changes to the working holiday visa to be enacted to apply, just keep watching this space and we’ll let you know as soon as they have.

For now, we have no idea while we’re all still waiting and hanging in the balance. In the mean time, I suppose we can just start planning our trips to all the amazing places we want to go and see on this working holiday adventure.

Changes to the Australian WHV

4 Great Places to Travel in Queensland

When it comes to traveling in Australia it can be hard to pick just one destination, but luckily for you getting around the country is pretty easy so there’s no need to.

Because of this added traveling ease, it can make it feel very overwhelming! I mean, the whole country is stunning so how do you pick between all of the amazing places?

To make it a bit easier for you, we’ve curated 4 great places to travel in Queensland. One of the most gorgeous parts of the country, these places in Queensland will make you forget about the rest of Australia.

Places to Travel in Queensland

Cairns

Although totally underrated, Cairns is a beautiful city and has some of the best wildlife and more.

You might not think Cairns has beautiful beaches, scenic railways, a rainforest and amazing wildlife, but it does and that makes it an excellent place to travel in Queensland.

As an added bonus, if you go a bit outside of the city you’ll also find lots of coffee plantations so if you’re a coffee addict than this is totally the place for you. Or not. Depends how you look at it.

Places to Travel in Queensland

Whitsundays

It’s hard to imagine a more gorgeous, heavenly place than the Whitsundays. Stunning white sand beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, crystal clear and aqua-colored water, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.

With about 7,000 km of coastline, 150 islands and the Great Barrier Reef (unlike anything else in the world) this is a unique and breathtaking place in Queensland that you must travel to if you’re in Australia.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and if that’s not cool enough for you, there are beautiful beaches, dream-worthy lakes, great hiking and fantastic food.

While of course Fraser Island isn’t somewhere you go if you want to be around cities and beaches together, it’s an amazing place to go and just relax in a beautiful setting.

Magnetic Island

You may be wondering about the name of this island and it comes from the fact that in the 1700s people noticed the island messed with their compasses, however, no reason has ever been discovered for that.

This intrigue only adds to the beauty that is already has to offer.

With incredible fishing and hiking, the seafood is also to die for. And if you’re into adventuring and exercising, they host the yearly Magnetic Island Adventurethon in March/April.

Queensland is a beautiful part of Australia, but these places to Travel in Queensland top all of the lists. Get a taste for wildlife, cities, food, and incredible views to last you a lifetime.

What do you think? Have I missed anything? What are you most excited about? let me know in the comments below!

Places to Travel in Queensland
Magnetic Island….paradise!

Are you a lover of Sports? So is Australia!

Australians love sports just as much as other countries, but they also have a slightly different selection than you might find in say the US or the UK.

Let’s take a look at the Australian sports they love and sports that you must make the time to experience when you visit Australia. After all, you haven’t experienced all of Australia if you haven’t experienced the world of Australian sports.

Australian Sports

Rugby League and Rugby Union

Things are going to get a little confusing here because Rugby Leave and Rugby Union are two very different Australian sports—both you should experience.

Basically what you need to know is that the rules for both of the games are different, but they both originate in the same sport of rugby.

These vary in things like possession, tackling, scoring, laws and number of players. Feel free to look it up on your own time. We’d be here all day if we tried to explain the difference to you now.

Both of these Australian sports are beloved and you should definitely experience them when you’re in this wonderful country.

Australian Sports

Aussie Rules

You might be thinking now, “Aussie Rules for… what sport exactly?” Well, actually that’s the name of the sport. Confusing, we know. Aussie Rules is a form of football, also called footy.

See, Australians really like to find nicknames for things. How does this vary from regular football (or soccer if you’re a friend from the US of A)?

Basically, think of it as football with fewer rules and a bit more aggressiveness. It’s great fun to watch, we promise. And it’s a very typical Australian sport you must make the time to experience.

Cricket

If you’re from the UK or South Africa, you probably already know cricket is a huge deal and know exactly what the sport entails, but this is also a big sport in Australia.

This Australian sport looks a little something like baseball but way more fun. You haven’t experienced true Australian sports if you haven’t watched a cricket match.

Surfing

We have saved the most Australian sport of all for last—surfing. When you think of Australia you probably think of the ocean, the waves, the attractive people walking along the sand in their swim suits… sorry got distracted there. Point is, surfing is a huge deal to Australians, it’s the very core of who they are.

So you honestly can’t say you experienced everything Australia has to offer if you haven’t gone and watched some surfing. And besides, it fun, if not a little terrifying, to watch anyway.

Australian sports are great fun and this is a list of the must-see sports to watch when you visit Australia, but if you want to add more to this list—great for you! We salute your quest for Australian sports knowledge. 

Going to Any sports matches in Australia? Let me know in the comments below!

Australian Sports
Australian Rules – An awesome sport!

No worries here in Australia – Is Australia safe to travel!

In a time when we’re always reading about terrorist attacks and it seems like there’s more fear in the world than happiness, we need to think about the safety of the places we go to more than ever.

Australia is one of the safest places you can travel in the whole world, so you shouldn’t definitely pay it a visit.

You may be wondering why exactly Australia is safe to travel because we all like hard facts that prove points rather than people just blathering. So let’s get into the nitty gritty and talk about what makes Australia safe.

Is Australia safe to travel

No Guns

Look, we don’t want to get into a political discussion, but there’s no denying that guns and shootings are way too common in the US.

Australia banned guns years ago, so the number of deaths from shootings is significantly smaller than in the US, making it a significantly safer place to live or travel.

Low Murder Rates

No one wants to talk about murder, that’s not fun, but Australia has one of the lowest murder rates in the world per capita, at only 1.1%. That’s incredibly low and to compare to other countries it’s 4.7% in the US and 3.5% in India.

Snakes Don’t Kill As Much As You Think

When people think of Australia they probably think about all the creatures that can kill you and snakes probably come to mind as one of the most dangerous.

While there are many poisonous snakes in the country, only 12 people have died from snakebites since 2000. That is less than one person per year.  We promise you’ll be fine.

Is Australia safe to travel

Great Medical System

The medical system in Australia is top notch, so if you do find yourself in a bit of a pickle you’ll have some of the best care in the world.

Safe City Index

If you look at the safe city index, which looks at things like murder rates, robbery rates, gun shootings, clean air and more, you’ll find Australia has the most number of cities than any other country.

Of the 10 most livable cities in the world, Australia has four and when it comes to the top 5 most livable countries? You’d better believe Australia is number 1.

Great Police Force

Again we don’t want to get political, but Australia has a great police force who are there to serve and protect and seeing as the vast majority don’t even carry guns you have fewer instances of tragedy at the hands of police officers.

Police officers are there and they want to help you, which makes Australia even safer.

As you can see, Australia is one of the safest countries in the world and to be honest, your biggest risks don’t even come from people, but rather the wildlife and the harsh environment.

As long as you keep your head screwed on straight, you’ll find Australia is safe—safer than pretty much anywhere else.

What do think? Am I wrong? Let me know in the comments below!

Is Australia safe to travel

Transferwise Review – Good or Bad?

When you’re travelling, you’re going to need to have access to your money and probably transfer money internationally.

Transferwise is a money transferring service that allows you to transfer money internationally with accurate rates and low fees.

I recommend using Transferwise when you’re travelling, because it keeps you from losing money from bad exchange rates, and is easily accessible while you are travelling.

Transferwise Review

About Transferwise – Is it worth it?

If you’re considering travelling anywhere, you’ll still want to have access to your money back at home. So even if you’re only going on holiday for a few weeks, it is completely worth it to use Transferwise; you’ll be saving tons of time and money!

Instead of sending money across national borders, Transferwise takes care of all the currency exchanges and money transfers without ever sending money over a border.

The system matches the money rate and uses a peer-to-peer transfer system, where Transferwise finds someone who wants to convert their money the opposite way you do, and helps to switch between the two currencies.

You save a lot of money this way, because you’re charged a lower transportation fee.

Transferwise Review

Also, Transferwise is sometimes 8 times cheaper than using banks, because they usually add a lot of markup to their transportation fees and currency exchange rates.

I also like that Transferwise is a faster way to transfer money – banks can take days or weeks to transfer money, while Transferwise funds are usually transferred in one working day!

With accounts all over the world and 38 different currencies, Transferwise is also easily accessible. You’ll be able to transfer money anywhere you need it, and take care of currency exchanges along the way. Transferwise also has a great mobile app for your phones and tablets, so you can take care of your money transfers any day, any time.

This can be necessary when you’re travelling and getting or sending money from home!

Plus, Transferwise uses accurate exchange rates instead of marking them up like banks do, so you’ll almost certainly be getting better rates for your money. You can avoid unfair bank fees altogether!

Best of all, it is extremely secure and has high transparency – you always know where your money is at, and it’s always safe. I agree with others who have reviewed Transferwise; it’s completely trustworthy.

Customers and clients have consistently given 5-star reviews, and they have great customer service; the service is trusted around the world, and used for living abroad and sending money home, travelling around the world, and even international business.

Good or bad?

When you’re travelling, you’ll want to save as much money as possible – Transferwise uses accurate exchange rates and low fees to make sure you get a fair rate. Also, it’s easy to use. All you have to do is send the money, and Transferwise takes care of all the exchanges!

Because Transferwise is fast, easy, and secure, I recommend that you use it for your money transfers; you’ll always have access to your money when you need it!

If you want to know the best bank in Australia in my opinion make sure you check my FREE Australian Traveller Action plan!

Have you used Transferwise? What do you think? How are you going to transfer money to Australia?

Transferwise Review

Wondering about what to do for Valentine’s Day in Australia?

One of the more popular holidays in countries around the world, Valentine’s Day has a long history of big dinners, cards and gifts, and romantic gestures. If you’re going to be in Australia for Valentine’s Day this year, you can expect all these things and more!

While Valentine’s Day isn’t as big in Australia as it is in other countries, like the US, there are still tons of fun ways to organize the day if you want to celebrate it!

Valentines's Day in Australia

What’s the usual?

Valentine’s Day in Australia is really celebrated the same as it is in other places; people usually exchange flowers and cards (commonly e-cards!) with their loved ones. However, the day is also about family and friends, not just significant others!

So, no matter who you are celebrating with, there are plenty of things to do. Depending on how you are celebrating, some people go out for a nice meal, or attend a festival or show.

Special deals

If you’re looking for plans for Valentine’s Day this year, don’t worry; you have plenty of options to choose from. A lot of restaurants are doing special deals for Valentine’s Day; to start off your plans, you can check out the restaurants in your area and see which ones are offering deals!

Lots of restaurants tend to offer deals on Valentine’s Day, like discounts on multi-course meals or a free dessert! By participating in some of these deals, you can save a lot of money on your Valentine’s Day plans.

Valentines's Day in Australia

Planning Valentine’s Day

After enjoying a meal at one of these restaurants, you could attend a festival or carnival, or try a cruise or tour! There are plenty of activities out there to make sure you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day celebration.

There are still available spots on a lot of cruises and tours around Australia; you can go on a cruise and getaway to Fraser Island or North Stradbroke Island, or go on a boat tour in Hervey Bay. Any cruise or tour (especially at Australia’s beautiful beaches) is sure to be a huge success for your Valentine’s Day!

If you’re looking for something more unique, you could even try the Moonlight Cinema, or try a winery tour in the Gold Coast.

Check out your local area for even more ideas; each area in Australia has limitless activities and events to make your Valentine’s Day perfect.

If there are any in your area, you can also check out some of the carnivals and festivals, or other Valentine’s Day festivities.

These are a lot of fun, and help you to celebrate the holiday with a bunch of local people and other travellers! This is especially great when you are visiting Australia over Valentine’s Day, because you’ll get a better feel for the culture and get to see some local traditions, customs, and celebrations.

Get started!

By looking for deals at restaurants and checking out local attractions or celebrations, you’ll have a unique Valentine’s Day experience while saving some money!

With these suggestions, you’ll be able to organize the perfect Valentine’s Day for you and your loved one.

What are your plans? Let me know in the comments below!

Valentines's Day in Australia

The Great Ocean Road – Awesome!

One of the most spectacular sights of Australia is the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Warnambool.

This stretch of coastal highway is beautiful and has tons of natural wonders.

If you’re looking to do this, you may be wondering what’s best to see it.

Should you self-drive or tour for the Great Ocean Road? When you’re answering this question, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions to determine which is best for you.

Great Ocean Road

How many are you?

When determining whether to self-drive or tour for the Great Ocean Road, you need to think about how many people will be in your group.

Are you a large group, a couple or traveling solo? Maybe just a small group of friends? Depending on your answer, one option or the other will be good for you.

If you’re a group of friends, perhaps self-driving is a good option because you can all take turns and take as much time as you want at each site.

If you’re a solo traveler, you may prefer a tour because it’s a lot of driving for one person. Alternatively, if you feel up to it, there’s nothing wrong with doing that either.

As a large group of people, you may find a tour is better because you wouldn’t all fit in one car. But again, it’s your personal preference.

Great Ocean Road

Do you like structure or like choosing yourself?

When deciding whether to self-drive or tour the Great Ocean Road, you need to think about the pros and cons to each option and what your travel preference is.

If you’re on a tour, you’ll have a relatively strict itinerary you’ll need to keep up with, and some people love that.

When you’re on a tour, you don’t need to think about anything, just show up and be taken to all of the different sights. Plus, you’ll probably get more information about each destination than if you were by yourself.

With that being said, some people prefer choosing what they want to see and choosing how long they stay there.

If this is your preference, than self-driving would be a better option because you have more flexibility and can tailor it to your own personal preferences.

What’s your budget?

This is a big question because a tour will probably be more expensive than simply renting a car and self-driving. You need to take into account how much you’re willing to spend and plan accordingly.

Ultimately, when deciding between whether to self-drive or tour the Great Ocean Road, you need to understand both options are great, but it really depends on personal preferences.

Neither one is better than the other; it’s just that one is better for your particular situation. If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll be able to make an appropriate choice and go on to experience one of the most spectacular roads in the world.

Don’t forget if you want to book a Rental car you can get the best deal here – it is a promise! 🙂

Best Flight to Australia?

Best Flight to Australia

When you’re taking a plane (especially for 20 hours or more!) you definitely want to get the best experience possible.

That means a comfortable flight, great service, and the best rates available.

When you’re trying to get the best flight to Australia, make sure to:

Pick a good airline

No one wants to be stuck in the airport waiting for a flight that keeps getting delayed, only to get on the plane and find out that it is crowded, loud, and the airline staff aren’t helpful at all.

It all comes down to picking a good airline; make sure to read reviews and check your flight information carefully to see if you’re choosing a good one.

Minimize layovers

Your mood can make or break your trip, and long hours stuck at the airport aren’t going to help at all.

Try to minimize your layovers so that you only have two hours or so in between flights.

This will give you enough time to find your flight and take care of any additional security needs, as well as grab a snack or coffee.

When you make an effort to minimize your layovers, you’ll get to your destination much happier and much faster.

Best Flight to Australia

Use airport lounges

Airport lounge benefits can depend on which lounges you belong to; however, most lounges offer comfortable seating, quiet environments, and great cell phone service and Internet speed.

You’ll also usually have better service or personal assistance.

Some lounge passes even come with a plan so that you can check baggage for a reduced cost or for free, or check in more quickly.

Priority Pass is a great option; it isn’t a part of any specific airline, and your membership will get you into a variety of lounges around the world.

You’ll have great service and a quiet environment to relax before catching your flight. With all these features, using airport lounges can really minimize your stress to help you have the best flight to Australia, and they’re especially great if you’re a frequent flyer.

Momondo

Using Momondo to help you get the best flight to Australia is going to help a lot; they provide you with an overview of the airline and flight options as well as the best deals.

They aren’t owned by any larger company, so they provide unbiased information based on over 600 airlines.

When using Momondo, you can sort by “airplane alliance” to use the same airline and build up frequent flyer miles. 

You can also use Momondo’s “Flight Insight” option to see the factors that affect flight rates, and you can click the “Fare Alert” button to be notified when rates change.

Internet history

Believe it or not, clearing your internet history before searching for flights can actually help you get a cheaper rate.

Airlines use cookies and other browsing data to track the flights you are searching, and can actually increase their rate if they know you’re interested in a specific flight.

With so many ways to find cheaper rates, minimize stress, and choose a good flight, you’re going to have the best flight to Australia.

Don’t forget you can find out how to get a flight to Australia for less than $200USD from anywhere in the world by get the FREE Australian Travel Action Plan!

Any tips you know of? Anything I have missed? let me know in the comments below!

Best Flight to Australia

Australia is the place to travel in 2017

Each New Year we all have a list of the places we’d like to visit and why. It usually includes far-flung, beautiful countries and cities that have been on bucket lists for years, and it probably includes Australia as well.

While Australia has always been on people’s lists, Australia is the place to travel in 2017 for many reasons.

This could be the best year yet to head to this beautiful and diverse country, so stop putting it off, book those plane tickets and this year get yourself to the other side of the world.

So why is Australia the place to travel this year?

Australia is the place to travel

Economy Is Booming

In previous years, the economy in Australia wasn’t doing so great. Australia is expensive, it always has been, but it’s becoming more manageable for people traveling there than in previous years.

When the Australian dollar was quite so inflated, it made it hard for people from other countries to come because it was almost unaffordable.

Now, however, the economy is doing well so it’s a perfect time to swoop in and experience everything it has to offer.

Lots Of Jobs

If you’re coming to Australia for backpacking, than this is certainly the time to come.

As a backpacker, one of the most important things is actually being able to find work in Australia, and if there’s no work than unfortunately you’ll be on a plan back way too quickly.

Currently, due to the booming economy, jobs are plentiful, especially in sectors like customer service and hospitality.

You stand a pretty good chance of getting casual work pretty quickly, making Australia an even more appealing place for people in 2017.

Don’t forget: A good agency dedicated for backpackers that I highly recommend to speed up the process is Jobs4Travellers and to make it even sweeter use the promo code MYAUSTRIP1  for a 10% discount on standard membership – reduced to $31.50, or use MYAUSTRIP2 for 10% discount on the “Ozzie Starter Pack” that includes TFN and bank account set up – reduced to just $50.

Australia is the place to travel

It’s Safe

Many of those countries on your list may not be the safest. Lots of countries and cities in South America, Africa and other parts of Asia have high crime rates.

Perhaps they’re not the most violent of crimes, but you should always be careful of where you’re choosing to go. This is another reason why Australia is the place to travel because it is incredibly safe.

In the past several years, the number of victims in all major offense categories decreased, some as much as 16%. With Australia becoming even safer as time goes by, it should be creeping up on people’s lists of places they’d like to go.

Australia is such an incredible country and right now it is in an excellent place. Lots of jobs, the economy is great, safety statistics are increasing, the social benefits are doing well and it’s just plain beautiful with tons to do in Australia.

In 2017 we bet there are lots of places on your travel bucket list, but we think this is the best year yet to visit this amazing country. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Are you coming to Australia in 2017? What are looking forward too? Why are you coming in 2017? Let me knwo in the comments below!

5 Questions in Australia You Should expect to Hear!

When traveling Australia you’re naturally going to meet lots of Australians. Just while you’ll probably have lots of questions for them on what it’s like to be Australian (I mean, do they REALLY call it the barbie and do they really eat kangaroo?) they’re going to have just as much questions for you.

The questions you get in Australia will vary of course depending on the person, but these are 5 questions you will hear without a doubt while in Australia.

Questions in Australia

Where are you from?

This is a natural question to ask, but after a while it will begin to drive you a little bit crazy. “I don’t want to tell another person where I’m from for God’s sake!!” you’ll think to yourself.

But you won’t say that, you’ll just kindly smile and tell them.

How long have you been traveling?

This is another one of the many questions in Australia you’ll be asked all. The. Time. This question always leads to more questions, which makes it one of the worst ones to get.

No matter what your answer is, it leads to a billion others.

Don’t get us wrong, questions are great and learning about one another is fantastic, but sometimes you just don’t want to be asked this question every single day.

Questions in Australia

Where have you been?

Australians love their country and they’re always very interested in where in the country you’ve visited.

Of the many questions in Australia, this one is probably the most fun because if you haven’t been somewhere that you should, these people will probably tell you about it and you can make plans to see even more of the country you may never even have known you wanted to visit.

How long will you be here?

Just like how long you’ve been traveling, you’re bound to get this question while traveling Australia all the time.

It’s natural to ask how long you intend to stay somewhere if you’re traveling long term.

And if you don’t have the answer, that’s ok, it’s not like they’re asking to subtly imply you to leave or anything.

What do you think of Australia?

Of all the questions in Australia, this will probably be one of the most common and most fun to answer.

Australia is a beautiful country and having someone ask you what you think of it allows you to relive all of the awesome moments you’ve had so far and think about all of the amazing places you still want to visit.

It’s very common to hear all of these questions in Australia, and as tedious as they sometimes might be, it’s always great to build relationships with locals and other travellers because they’re what makes traveling quite so special.

Any questions you hear a lot? Are you going to use or avoid these questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Questions in Australia