Sailing out of Sydney for 5 months made me fall madly in love with Australia and its people. I was lucky enough to visit Melbourne and Hobart twice and I even got to check out Australia’s first prison in Pt. Arthur while I was working aboard the Carnival Spirit.
Prior to signing off the ship, I found out that my mariners visa allowed me to stay in the country for up to five days so I decided to spend my time in Sydney and fully experience this vibrant city.
Traveling on a Budget
I was on a tight budget and wanted to enjoy Sydney as much as possible while spending the least amount of money. In order to do that I did the following:
Stayed in an Air Bnb instead of a hotel
Air Bnb is an amazing and often cheaper alternative to a hotel, especially in a big city. I love that you can actually experience the city from a better cultural perspective by staying with a local host. It truly makes your traveling experience one of a kind.
Since I knew I was going to be out exploring the city for the majority of my stay I was not super fussy about my accommodations. I was traveling alone so it really didn’t make any sense for me to book an entire place especially since I was hardly ever going to be there. After a thorough search on Air Bnb, I found a great place in Rockdale (suburb south of Sydney). It was a dorm like rental with 3 shared rooms in two units. There were bunk beds in the room and everyone shared a common bathroom (pretty similar to a hostel). Being the New Yorker that I am I was a little nervous at first since I’ve never stayed in a shared space like this before, but I made sure all of my things were locked up at all times and I was cautious not to leave any valuables lying around. The other guests in my unit were very friendly and I really enjoyed talking to them about traveling amongst other things. This AirBnb was a fantastic bargain at $127 for a total of 5 days and 4 nights!
Ate at Local Restaurants
The neighborhood, a cultural mix of Greek, Lebanese and Chinese descendants is conveniently located 10 minutes away from the airport by bus and 17 minutes away from the Sydney CBD (Central Business District) by train. I loved that I could easily grab some cheap breakfast, lunch, or dinner from the dozens of affordable restaurants and shops around Rockdale. It definitely allowed me to save money on meals and I loved having a different cuisine everyday. Doing this allowed me to have enough money to splurge at more expensive restaurants in the CBD.
Free Events and Attractions
Before my stay, I spent a about an hour or two online looking up free events and attractions in Sydney. I made a two page list of the things that sounded awesome and then organized the list from the most important things I wanted to do first to the least. I didn’t plan out every detail of every single day in Sydney at all because from my experience traveling, its better to just go with the flow. My list served as a guide but what I did each day really depended on my mood and feelings when I woke up. The best thing about my time is Sydney was that I was traveling alone so I didn’t have to ask anybody how they felt and what they wanted to do. I could simply do ME with no worries at all. So each morning I looked at my “Sydney To-Do list” and picked one thing out and started from there. Obviously I didn’t get to do every little thing on my list but I did a lot and had the most amazing time.
I genuinely love sharing my travel experiences with you all, with hopes of inspiring you all to get up off your ass and see the world. I don’t do this to brag or show off the places I’ve been to and the things I’ve seen but merely to show you that you don’t have to be rich to travel well. If a girl like me who doesn’t come from a privileged background can travel the world why can’t you?
After all, to be completely honest travel is more than seeing sights. It’s a change that goes on deeply and permanently on the ideas of living. Traveling will take you on the greatest journey in life, the journey to self-discovery and most importantly finding yourself. It’s the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Talk to you soon mate!