When I quit my job and jetted off to the land down under, preparing for the trip seemed like a daunting thought. There seemed like there was so much to set up, but you’ll be happy that applying for your Working Holiday visa is pretty simple!
Book your flight
Skyscanner, is a travel search engine that compares and lists the cheapest flights from every airline. TIP: Make sure you book while using an incognito window on your Google Chrome/Windows etc. My first choice of airline is Qatar Airways. I have never flown with anyone else long distance, purely because they are always the cheapest and consistently reliable.
Get your Working Holiday Visa
I chose the popular one year Working Holiday Visa for my time in Australia. At over £200 it is quite pricey but when you think about the fact you get a year to work and travel Australia you won’t be put off. You have to complete a form first to see if you are eligible, but unless you are convicted drug dealer on the run, I’m sure you won’t have a problem! You can apply for your visa here.
Set Up A Bank Account
If you are staying for a long time I would recommend opening an Australian bank account. There a few to choose from like ANZ and Bankwest but I would recommend The Commonwealth Bank. It’s really easy to create a bank account online before you even get to Australia. Just visit the Commbank website and get yourself set up. They have a great app you can download too which comes in extremely handy for online banking!
Transfer your money
There are so many ways to transfer money from your home bank to an overseas account, but I’ve found that a lot of them have extremely high charges. If you choose the wrong company you could end up spending way too much money just getting your money out of one country and into the next. I discovered Transferwise, an online way of transferring money that gives you the real exchange rate. It is owned by the creators of Skype and is completely legitimate, safe, and you can see where your money is at all times.
It isn’t a necessity to take cash with you, but I made sure I changed some English pounds to Australian dollars back in the UK. A lot of ATM’s in Australia charge (it differs depending on your bank), so at least by taking some cash you’ll have some in your pocket for your arrival!
Yes, you need it. I have met so many people who don’t have travel insurance and I just don’t understand it. Why risk having to spend potentially thousands when you can spend what may seem like a lot but is actually pretty small in the long run? There are so many websites out there; comparethemarket, insureandgo etc. that help you get the travel insurance that suits you!
Simply put, a Superannuation fund is essentially an Australian pension. Every time you’re paid you have a small amount taken from you and put into your superannuation fund. If you’re on a Working Holiday Visa it is a great way to save up a little extra cash. Your local branch will help you set up an account and ensure that you get your money. I’m not 100% that all Australian banks offer their own superannuation, but I know that Commonwealth does.
With it being the 21st Century and all that the chances of you wanting a working phone when you get to Australia are pretty high. There are two major phone companies to choose from; Telstra and Optus. I have always gone with Telstra paying $50 a month for 8GB of data, unlimited texts & minutes. That includes calls to the UK as well. They’re really easy to set up, just make sure if you plan on using the same phone you had back home, get it unlocked by your provider. If I remember correctly it costs to do so but I know lots of people who have flown out without unlocking their phone so they can’t put an Australia sim card into it. You can do it while you’re out here but it may cost a little extra especially if your phone company doesn’t have a branch in Australia.
Tax File Number (TFN)
Being on a Working Holiday Visa, I am assuming you will be planning on working out in Australia. Getting your TFN is extremely important so you will get taxed the correct amount and not too much. You can fill out a form here, and they will send you a copy of your TFN in the post, simple!
Medicare is basically a type of health insurance for the duration of your time in Australia. If you have access to a city centre when you land I would find out where you can apply for Medicare in town. Mosey on down, fill in a couple of forms and in return you’ll be given your medicare card!
Have I forgotten anything? Let me know!